Archive for April 2008
What happened to continuing self-education? These books were read by teamsters and machinists and stevedores and farmhands and miners. They read them not because they thought the books could help them get a better job but because they were curious. They were hungry–they wanted to consume the world. This isn’t to say that every hod-carrier in Michigan in 1910 was reading them, but enough were to make the series continually expand. And none of it was fluff, or merely mercenary, or simple-minded propaganda. How many people–with considerably longer formal educations and a larger fund of leisure time–read anything like that sort of thing today, for fun? How many people assume without thinking about it that reading is and has always been a pursuit strictly for the privileged? Would it be too much to consider a connection between the rightward shift in politics and the decline of self-motivated learning?
…. just very good indeed. Isaac Tobin’s jacket designs, mainly for the University of Chicago Press.
Pointer from The Book Design Review, a while back.
Image: jacket for Chad Heap’s Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940.
Interestingly, this seems not to be the final jacket – this is the book’s page at the University of Chicago Press – but I think this one’s better, implying as it does that this sort of thing was going on just a bit earlier than one might have thought…