Synopses & Reviews
Originally published in 1963, this remarkable book discusses the results of the 'tests of culture' devised by the author, two of which, when published in The Times Educational Supplement, evoked such wide interest that he was almost overwhelmed with unsolicited test scores and correspondence.
The late Kenneth Richmond was well aware that any attempt to 'measure culture' was open to ridicule. He makes it clear that he is concerned to measure it in its restricted sense of 'academic or minority culture' and he holds that there is a body of received opinion on the content of such culture, which in the contemporary world is represented by two areas, those of the scientists and of the literary intellectuals, and that it is possible to pose questions that will test a person's acquaintance with each.
So the tests are no mere quizzes; the results, from Universities, Colleges, the Services and Sixth Forms, are often surprising, sometimes disquieting, in the light they throw on standards of general education at the time and on the 'great divide' between the scientist and the arts man.