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Kenneth C. Davis (1)

Teoksen Don't Know Much About History tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on Kenneth C. Davis.

39 teosta 13,591 jäsentä 152 arvostelua 1 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Kenneth C. Davis is an American popular historian, best known for his Don't Know Much About... series. Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Davis attended Concordia College, Bronxville in New York, and Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York City. Davis's second book, Don't Know Much About näytä lisää History, spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly 1.5 million copies. This unexpected success launched the Don't Know Much About... series. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Kenneth C. Davis


Tekijän teokset

Don't Know Much About History (1990) 3,062 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Mythology (2005) 831 kappaletta
Don't know much about the universe (2001) 409 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims (2002) 283 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Planet Earth (2001) 192 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Space (2001) 184 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Anything (2007) 181 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About the Pioneers (2003) 166 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Literature (2009) 133 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Dinosaurs (1605) 83 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About World Myths (2005) 63 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Mummies (2005) 52 kappaletta
Don't Know Much About Rosa Parks (2005) 19 kappaletta
Space 1 kappale

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Davis, Kenneth C.
Muut nimet
Davis, Ken C.
20th Century
Mount Vernon, New York, USA
New York, New York, USA
Dorset, Vermont, USA
Mount Vernon, New York, USA
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Kenneth C. Davis who wrote "Don't Know Much About History" and others graduated from Concordia College and Fordham. He lives in New York City



Kenneth C. Davis, far better known for his later Don't Know Much About series of popular-history compilations, proves himself a capable practitioner of original historical research in this study of the rise of the paperback-book industry in America. Published nearly forty years ago, it remains the only book-length history of the subject that I'm aware of. Thankfully, it's a good one.

Two-Bit Culture is, despite its title, first and foremost a history of paperback publishing as a business. Its nearly 400 pages of text chronicle the rise and fall of companies, imprints, marketing strategies, and editors. The text is stuffed with names, dates, facts, and figures (press runs, sales figures, cover prices, money paid for reprint rights, and money advanced to authors). For the period the book covers -- the eve of World War II to the first Reagan administration -- the book covers what must be every significant development in the industry. If you want to trace the history of Pocket Books, Ballentine, New American Library, or Avon, this is the book you want. If you want to learn about E. L. Doctorow's early career as an editor, or Ian Ballentine's industry-changing arc through the business, you'll find it here.

Davis doesn't neglect the cultural impact of the paperback, by any means--there are interesting discussions of Dr. Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child Care (the first paperback-original bestseller), the legal battle over publication of an unexpurgated paperback edition of Lady Chatterly's Lover, and the role of paperbacks in bringing the work of African American authors to mass audiences--but his coverage of such issues is scattered rather than sustained. They're well-developed pauses in the central narrative of changing business practices, rather than a parallel narrative of their own.

The book's greatest drawback is Davis's patent lack of respect for paperback originals that -- in his view -- lack seriousness and literary value. Paperbacks are, for Davis, a conduit of getting cheap reprints of "good literature" and serious non-fiction into the hands of the general public. He treats anything short of that mission with disinterest or barely concealed disdain. That high-mindedness leads him to unforced factual errors (having John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series begin in the mid-50s, rather than 1964), and shallow, unsatisfying treatments of the paperback's role in the evolution of science fiction and hard-boiled mysteries. His treatment of Harlequin and other "category" romances is a few pages long, and every paragraph of it drips with contempt. The paperback original's relationship to pulp magazines, episodic television, and similar forms of genre storytelling go entirely unmentioned.

Two-Bit Culture is unlikely to be bettered as a history of the paperback industry, but after forty years it's long past time for a new, deeper, and less judgemental history of the paperback as a cultural phenomenon.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ABVR | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 23, 2023 |
As an overview for adult who didn't pay attention in high school, it serves its purpose remarkably well. Yes, it's left-leaning, but so am I, and if I wanted to hear about how America has never done wrong, I would've paid attention in high school.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
IsraOverZero | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 23, 2023 |
A very quick, and sometimes interesting, survey of American History. Things get started with some tentative speculation about how the first (non-) indigenous peoples arrived, then picks up speed with the arrival of the first European explorers. If you already passed American History in high school and college, you already know this stuff. But it's a reasonable refresher course. Keep in mind that this is somewhat targeted at those with less than a college (or even high school?) education, so there are no big words or deep concepts.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
zot79 | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 20, 2023 |
During the pandemic, author Davis, of “Don’t Know Much About…” series fame, found relief from anxiety through short fiction. He selected his top 58 to profile in this book. With only a couple of exceptions, the books are less than 200 pages in length. The book profiles include the opening lines, a non-spoilery plot summary, an author bio, a case for why you should read the book, and recommendations for what to read next.

Although the featured books are short, they’re not what I would consider light reading. The authors include Chinua Achebe, Margaret Atwood, Albert Camus, J. M. Coetzee, Ernest Hemingway, Kazuo Ishiguro, Thomas Mann, Toni Morrison, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This book would be a good guide for readers who want to sample the works of lots of heavyweight writers within a relatively short span of time.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
cbl_tn | 1 muu arvostelu | May 25, 2023 |



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