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Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed…
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Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America (2008)

by Jay Parini

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I really enjoyed this book. It seems to read much faster than it really does because it moves along quickly. Parini's bias is a little more evident than it probably should be, and when it isn't, it's largely because he's acting as apologist for the books he's chosen (like Huck Finn, for instance) that are widely criticized by scholars on the left. It's well worth the read, if not so much for the literary criticism, then certainly for the cultural history. Certainly, there are lessons here pertinent to every American. ( )
  TheBentley | May 16, 2010 |
1. Of Plymouth Plantation -- 2. The Federalist papers -- 3. The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin -- 4. The journals of Lewis and Clark -- 5. Walden -- 6. Uncle Tom's Cabin -- 7. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- 8. The souls of black folk -- 9. The promised land -- 10. How to win friends and influence people -- 11. The common sense book of baby and child care -- 12. On the road -- 13. The feminine mystique -- Conclusion -- Appendix : 100 more books that changed America
1 vote 3wheeledlibrarian | Jul 4, 2009 |
quite good. Got some book ideas that I'd like to read.
1 vote hammockqueen | Jan 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385522762, Hardcover)

“These thirteen books must be seen as representative, not definitive, works. They are nodal points, places where vast areas of thought and feeling gathered and dispersed, creating a nation as various and vibrant as the United States, which must be considered one of the most successful nation-states in modern history, and a republic built firmly on ideas, which are contained in its major texts. Where we have been must, of course, determine where we are going. My hope is that this book helps to show us where we have been and engenders a lively conversation about our destination, which seems perpetually in dispute.”
—from Promised Land

Americans need periodic reminding that they are, to a great extent, people of the book—or, rather, books. In Promised Land, Jay Parini repossesses that vibrant, intellectual heritage by examining the life and times of thirteen "books that changed America." Each of the books has been a watershed, gathering intellectual currents already in motion and marking a turn in American life and thought. Their influence remains pervasive, however hidden, and in his essays Jay Parini demonstrates how these books entered American life and altered how we think and act in the world.

The thirteen "books that changed America":
Of Plymouth Plantation The Federalist Papers The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin The Journals of Lewis and Clark Walden Uncle Tom's Cabin Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Souls of Black Folk The Promised Land How to Win Friends and Influence People The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care On the Road The Feminine Mystique

Promised Land
offers a reading of the American psyche, allowing us to reflect on what our past means for who we are now. It is a rich and immensely readable work of cultural history that will appeal to all book lovers and students of the American character alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:55 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

From the Publisher: "These thirteen books must be seen as representative, not definitive, works. They are nodal points, places where vast areas of thought and feeling gathered and dispersed, creating a nation as various and vibrant as the United States, which must be considered one of the most successful nation-states in modern history, and a republic built firmly on ideas, which are contained in its major texts. Where we have been must, of course, determine where we are going. My hope is that this book helps to show us where we have been and engenders a lively conversation about our destination, which seems perpetually in dispute." Americans need periodic reminding that they are, to a great extent, people of the book-or, rather, books. In Promised Land, Jay Parini repossesses that vibrant, intellectual heritage by examining the life and times of thirteen "books that changed America." Each of the books has been a watershed, gathering intellectual currents already in motion and marking a turn in American life and thought. Their influence remains pervasive, however hidden, and in his essays Jay Parini demonstrates how these books entered American life and altered how we think and act in the world. The thirteen "books that changed America": Of Plymouth Plantation; The Federalist Papers; The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; The Journals of Lewis and Clark; Walden; Uncle Tom's Cabin; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Souls of Black Folk; The Promised Land; How to Win Friends and Influence People; The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care; On the Road; The Feminine Mystique. Promised Land offers a reading of the American psyche, allowing us to reflect on what our past means for who we are now. It is a rich and immensely readable work of cultural history that will appeal to all book lovers and students of the American character alike.… (more)

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