Archive for April 2008

A Pertinent Question

Posed by Luc Sante, in an interesting post about an educational pocket library series published by the early 20th century American Socialist weekly Appeal to Reason:

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?


Written by Dave Lovely

April 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Posted in education, politics, reading

No better than she should be

…. just very good indeed. Isaac Tobin’s jacket designs, mainly for the University of Chicago Press.

jacket design by Isaac Tobin

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…

Written by Dave Lovely

April 3, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Posted in america, book design