Monday, June 25, 2012

Books That Shaped America Exhibit at the Library of Congress

In Michael Dirda's article titled 'Books That Shaped America’: a reading list as big as a nation published in The Washington Post, he writes the following:
Happily, the Library of Congress’ latest exhibition, “The Books That Shaped America,” ignores the familiar high-culture shibboleths and embraces cookbooks (Irma Rombauer’s “The Joy of Cooking”) and schoolbooks (McGuffey’s “Primer”), mysteries (Dashiell Hammett’s “Red Harvest”) and science fiction (Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”), political tracts as well as poetry, both Dr. Seuss and Dr. Spock.

Running from Monday to Sept. 29 in the Thomas Jefferson Building, the exhibition — its titles chosen by the library’s staff members after considerable wrangling — puts on display what one might call the classics of upset and trouble making. When first published, these books shocked people, made them angry, shook up their deepest beliefs. They shamed readers with accounts of racism, greed, corruption, Puritanism and provincial narrow-mindedness. Here are the impassioned works that made us look behind the curtain, into the bedroom and closet and boardroom, at what we were afraid of and at what we covered up. Just skimming through the titles of “The Books That Shaped America” underscores that in this country anything can be questioned, nothing is set in stone, everything can be changed. We are, after all, a nation founded on and grounded in revolution.
This sounds like an exciting exhibit to see in person!! To see the list of books that will be part of the 'Books That Shaped America' exhibit, click on the link above.

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