"An astonishing amount of information."
--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
When it was originally published in 1987, An Incomplete Education became a surprise bestseller. Now this instant classic has been completely updated, outfitted with a whole new arsenal of indispensable knowledge. Here's your chance to fill in the gaps left by your school years, reacquire all the facts you once knew then promptly forgot, and become the Renaissance man or woman you always suspected you could be!
What was so important about the Dred Scott decision? Why aren't all Shakespearean comedies necessarily thigh-slappers? What happened inside Plato's cave? What's the difference between a fade-out and a dissolve? Fission and fusion? Shi'ites and Sunnis? The apostles and the disciples? Is postmodernism dead or just having a bad hair day? And for extra credit, how do you tell deduction from induction?
An Incomplete Education answers these and thousands of other questions with incomparable wit, style, clarity, and brevity. American Studies, Art History, Economics, Film, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Science, and World History: Here's the bottom line on each of these major disciplines, distilled to its essence and served up with consummate flair.
In this new edition you'll find up-to-the-minute analyses of the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe, Indochina, and the Horn of Africa; the latest breakthroughs in cloning and gene splicing; brand-new takes on the economy, from disinflation to global competition; a look at the recent upheavals surrounding abortion rights, free speech, and the death penalty; and much, much more.
Ponder the legacies of eight American intellectuals (a couple of whom aren't even dead yet). Get a handle on 350 years of opera; the central ideas of Freud and five of his famous followers; the meanings of eighteen inscrutable-looking adjectives, from jejune to heuristic, numinous to otiose. Bone up on entropy and evolution. Take a whirlwind tour of English poetry from Chaucer to Yeats. Learn what to look for in Rubens or Rembrandt, The Birth of a Nation or Citizen Kane.
As delightful as it is illuminating, An Incomplete Education packs ten thousand years of culture into a single superbly readable volume. This is a book to celebrate, to share, to give and receive, to pore over and browse through, and to return to again and again.