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Download Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, by E. D. Hirsch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (550 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. D. Hirsch Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this forceful manifesto Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr., argues that children in the United States are being deprived of the basic knowledge that would enable them to function in contemporary society. They lack cultural literacy: a grasp of background information that writers and speakers assume their audience already has. Even if a student has a basic competence in the English language, he or she has little chance of entering the American mainstream without knowing what a silicon chip is, or when the Civil War was fought.

A major bestseller that has engendered a nationwide debate on our educational standards, Cultural Literacy is required listening for parents, teachers, and anyone else concerned with our future as a literate nation. Included are five thousand essential names, dates, phrases, and concepts.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating reading, particularly when we bear in mind that…it is an attempt to establish what all culturally literate Americans actually know, not what they ought to know…Mr. Hirsch’s proposal merits serious consideration.”

    New York Times

  • “Whitener gives the present work a clear, uncluttered quality, and his efforts to provide variety of tone and pace...are especially commendable.


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Daniel | 2/8/2014

    " An interesting topic. He thinks what you really need to know to be educated is just a few hundred phrases and concepts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Parvoneh | 2/1/2014

    " This is some pro-establishment bullshit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrea | 1/29/2014

    " This book is not enjoyable to read. It does have a very interesting thesis. The main idea in the book is that the education in America has changed in the last 100 years and the results are that children today struggle with reading and comprehension. Hirsch cites lots of research to validate his claim that reading and the comprehension associated with it require a certain amount of basic background information. The children with high vocabularies comprehend more of what they read. The vocabulary of literate people is cultural and held in common. It is the stuff everyone ought to know to understand words in our culture. He suggests that Educational policies need to change so that reading is related to information and not just a decoding skill. He has another book out called the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy which is like a dictionary of ideas/facts that literate people share in common in our culture which allow us to communicate with each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/23/2014

    " While I don't agree with everything that is stated as "fact" in this book, it does show how other cultures think and why certain parts of history are important to those different cultures. Josh and I are reading it together and it has spurned great conversations between us and our friends. "

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