HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed…
Loading...

Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America (2008)

by Jay Parini

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
127494,816 (3.89)8
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 8 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Jay Parini is marvelous; he writes clearly, he's not afraid to be a bit irreverent, he can be funny, and his breadth of knowledge--historical and literary--is impressive. It doesn't hurt my appreciation of him to know that originally he came from the West Scranton neighborhoods I often drive through on my way to work. I believe I bought his novel, The Patch Boys, back in 1986 knowing nothing else about him, and not even really knowing exactly where "the patch" was located at the time. Where he shines for me these days is not in his poetry (fine thought it is) or his fiction, but in his non-fiction, like his biography of Faulkner, and this insightful, highly readable and compelling examination of thirteen seminal works, from Of Plymouth Plantation and Ben Franklin's Autobiography to The Feminine Mystique and Dr. Spock's Common Sense Baby and Child Care, that helped create, shape and re-mold that peculiar entity we call America. Each book is treated to a preliminary discussion of its origins and context, a biographical sketch of its author, a more complete exploration of content, and a summation of its social or ideological impact on America at the time of its publication and going forward. Parini isn't just picking "great" books, but books with messages that were new, or startling, or just more clearly expressed than ever before, and he deals with their flaws as well as their strengths. I would go so far as to call his book essential reading for students of American history and literature. I got this book from the public library, and will definitely add it to my own permanent collection. It will be an invaluable resource as I read some of his top 13, (and some of the additional 100 influential books he mentions briefly in the appendix). ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | May 5, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

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)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
25 wanted2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 1
3.5
4 5
4.5
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,656,168 books! | Top bar: Always visible