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Susan has commented on (2) products.

Susan, January 8, 2015

Ms. Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Teheran", has written another excellent book on how books, this time, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, "Babbit" by Sinclair Lewis, and Carson McCuller's "The Heart is Lonely Hunter" can and should be read to learn more about the US character and how we see ourselves. Ms. Nafisi's discussion of these books is deepened by her sharing of what she's learned about the authors' lives, how they saw their works, and, how someone not born & raised in the US, thinks about these books, what she sees. Ms. Nafisi's perspective on what it means to be an American is invaluable, as is her recounting of how she and a few of her friends from Iran escaped to the US, and established themselves and how some may eventually, feel "at home." Or not. She also offers a thoughtful and at times, passionate, discussion of why fiction belongs to every school's curriculum, from elementary school to college. I read both Huckleberry Finn & Babbit (along with almost all of Twain's & Lewis' books) starting when I was 10 into my 20's (I've reread only HF since then), including HF in HS English class. Those books had a major impact on my thinking then and now--perhaps that's why some "educators" no longer think they should be read--because fiction, and learning to read fiction, can have such impact on readers.
This book would be welcome at any time, it is particularly important at a time when the PTB seem to see public education only as a way of training people for jobs for businesses that may or may not exist when they graduate, rather then learning to think critically and think and write clearly-- as well as do math.
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Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern
Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern

Susan, May 22, 2006

A much more scholarly book then you might think from the title. An interesting book--notable for its discussion of some of the history of the US transition from make it yourself or do without to mass production and the development of marketing and advertising (or the creation of desire) that was, according to the author, necessary to move all those mass produced goods off the shelves. As well as changing some social/cultural concepts of thrift, hard work, etc., to buy now enjoy now--all part of the development of the flapper. Additional discussion re: exclusion of non whites from definition of 'flapper' and those 'excluded' who refused to be excluded.
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