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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
What Every American Needs to Know
Edited by James Trefil, Joseph F. Kett, and E. D. Hirsch

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
In this fast-paced information age, how can Americans know what's really important and what's just a passing fashion? Now more than ever, we need a source that concisely sums up the knowledge that matters to Americans — the people, places, ideas, and events that shape our cultural conversation. With more than nearly 7,000 entries, The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy is that invaluable source. Wireless technology. Gene therapy. NAFTA. In addition to the thousands of terms described in the original Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, here are more than 500 new entries to bring Americans' bank of essential knowledge up to date. The original entries have been fully revised to reflect recent changes in world history and politics, American literature, and, especially, science and technology. Cultural icons that have stood the test of time (Odysseus, Leaves of Grass, Cleopatra, the Taj Mahal, D-day) appear alongside entries on such varied concerns as cryptography, the digital divide, the European Union, Kwanzaa, pheromones, SPAM, type A and type B personalities, Web browsers, and much, much more. As our world becomes more global and interconnected, it grows smaller through the terms and touchstones that unite us. As E. D. Hirsch writes in the preface, "Community is built up of shared knowledge and values — the same shared knowledge that is taken for granted when we read a book or newspaper, and that is also taken for granted as part of the fabric that connects us to one another." A delicious concoction of information for anyone who wants to be in the know, The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy brilliantly confirms once again that it is "an excellent piece of work . . . stimulating and enlightening" (New York Times) — the most definitive and comprehensive family sourcebook of its kind.



Key Features:

• 23 chapters on every major area of knowledge, including politics, business, history, and literature
• 6,900 concise entries, ordered alphabetically by chapter
• 200 new entries in science and technology
• ample cross-references and a comprehensive index for quick reference



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New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition, The

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Sample entry from the concise version:

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The (1900) A book by the American author L. Frank Baum. Dorothy, a little girl, is carried by a TORNADO from KANSAS to the enchanted land of Oz. Dorothy has three companions — a scarecrow who wants brains, a tin woodman who wants a heart, and a cowardly lion who wants courage. The wizard pretends to give these things to them, although they have had them all along without knowing it. Dorothy eventually returns to Kansas by using magic shoes. Although The Wonderful Wizard of Oz continues to attract readers, it is better known through its 1939 film adaptation, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy.