Literacy in the United States Readers and Reading Since 1880 Carl F. Kaestle, Helen Damon-Moore, Lawrence C. Stedman, Katherine Tinsley, William Vance Trollinger
- Price: £35.00
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- Publication date:
- 04 Jun 1991
- 352 pages: 42 x 64 x 34mm
- 16 line drawings, tables, bibliography, index
In this book, Carl F. Kaestle and his colleagues provide a social history of literacy in America that broadens the definition of literacy and considers who was reading what, under what circumstances and for what purposes. The book explores diverse sources - from tests of reading ability, government surveys and polls to 19th-century autobiographies and family budget studies - in order to assess trends in American's reading abilities and habits. It concludes that there has been an immense expansion of literacy in America over the last century against which modest skill declines of the 1970's pale by comparison. In recent years, however, literacy has levelled and even declined in some areas of reading, as shown in the downward trends in purchases of newspapers and magazines. Current worries about American's literacy levels may be justified, they argue, as Americans are lured away from print media by electronic media. This landmark study will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand contemporary or historical debates about literacy in the United States.