Synopses & Reviews
"The historian Harvey Graff has done much in the past decade to show that literacy is not a single, constant thing ('literacy' with a capital L), but something that varies in time and place. He has especially done this with regard to North America and Europe, thereby complementing the work of a number of anthropologists. The essays in this revised and expanded edition of a 1987 book are particularly valuable for perspective in relation to education, employment, criminality, literacy campaigns, and concepts in terms of which literacy has been debated." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
“Harvey Graff has been exploring and mapping the labyrinths of literacy since the early 1970s. In a steady stream of books, and essays, Graff has been busily ‘deconstrucing’ our conventional conceptions of literacy as a precondition to meaningful reconstruction. . . . In chapters that vary in terms of specific focus, depth and nature of criticism, and explicitness of theoretical and policy orientations, Graff offers his readers a series of compass readings that have led him into—but not necessarily out of—the labyrinth of literacy.”
--Journal of Educational Administration and History
A compelling collection by one of the pioneers of revisionist approaches to the history of literacy in North America and Europe, The Labyrinths of Literacy offers original and controversial views on the relation of literacy to society, leading the way for scholars and citizens who are willing to question the importance and function of literacy in the development of society today.
Includes bibliographical references.
About the Author
Harvey J. Graff is professor of history and humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is the author of many publications, including Conflicting Paths: Growing Up in America.