Readers' Liberation by Jonathan Rose a book published recently by Oxford Press treats the topic of reading in all its aspect, for the first time trying to classify what people read in the time, from the past to the present.
A beautiful trip in the New World, where from the East Coast, starting from a fertile intellectual city like Boston in Massachusetts to the rest of the USA it was more than felt the exigency once arrived to the USA for the pilgrims and the rest of people of reading, searching for culture, news in every possible place, and so the creations of libraries, thanks also to the philanthropic work of Matthew Carnegie, book clubs, good literature, shared books available for most people.
Columbia University introduced a course where students were invited to read a list of books for later discussing the thematic treated with a teacher. This, for developing a critical point of view, necessary for understand a complex reality. It was a successful experiment later implemented with an additional lists of new authors.
Jonathan Rose will then examines what people could read during the Last Second World War Conflict, which were the pro-Hitler writers and philosophers and which books could be read freely during that war.
There is to add that freedom of reading should be implied in every culture although there are still corners of the world where this privilege is not yet possible and where there is a worrying return of censorship and not just in terms of books but newsmagazines as well.
The 50s-60s were characterized in the USA by strong books, thanks to social thematic of great pregnancy.
If you are curious to discover it, you can find here the best books according to Malcom X like also the approach of black people regarding reading.
We will understand that Oprah Winfrey's mom not being a reader didn't understand the enthusiasm of her daughter for this old art. Later Oprah would have become one of the most influential ladies with her Oprah Book Club. She promotes books and authors she simply...likes.
We will immerse ourselves in the art of the birth of press, starting with the first newsmagazine seen at the horizon, published in Strasbourg in 1605, and later followed by UK, that didn't want to stay isolated and wanted to stay updated, although at first newsmagazines were plenty of curious, fantastic news mainly without any kind of truth.
The born of press in the USA, black and white taken in consideration like also what it meant at first the written word.
In the most remote past in fact nothing was more powerful than the oral word.
A monk living in a certain locality shared informations with another convent and other monks, for keeping them all updated about the latest current events in that certain locality and vice-versus. The importance of verbal words was immense if compared at the written one.
We will see the power of big corporations on newsmagazines, starting with Louis XIV, who understood the power and importance of press and the idea of reporting with great bravery when a war was won removing all the other news that didn't give great prestige to the immense reign he dominated and we will discover what it is today press.
A lot of suggestions for implementing reading also for poorest students, advice for teachers regarding a successful literary approach for their students like also new problematic born with the advent of the net: lack of attention, irritation the sensation of not being in grade to read anymore as in the past for adults ones and for the millennial the impossibility of reading sometimes long books.
Readers' Liberation traces a spectacular work and trust me when I tell you that you won't never put down this book because it is too interesting, very well done and explicative.
If you are a book lover you will simply fall in love for it.
In an age of confusion, in an age where there are no certainties, we know something for sure: that books are still the most beloved items of so many people, and culture continues to be a fundamental aspect of our society and that most people of all social classes, of all social extractions, and wherever they live try to cultivate as seriously as they can.
I thank so much Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori