Harvey Graff’s pioneering study presents a new and original interpretation of the place of literacy in nineteenth-century society and culture. Based upon an intensive comparative historical analysis, employing both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and on a wide range of sources, The Literacy Myth reevaluates the role typically assigned to literacy in historical scholarship, cultural understanding, economic development schemes, and social doctrines and ideologies.
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Harvey J. Graff is Ohio Eminent Scholar in Literacy Studies and professor of English and history at Ohio State University. He is widely known for his work on the history of literacy. Some of his works include The Literacy Myth, National Literacy Campaigns and Movements, The Labyrinths of Literacy, Conflicting Paths: Growing Up in America, and The Dallas Myth.Review:
“Harvey Graff is clearly the most trustworthy historian of literacy writing today. His knowledge of the diverse and bewilderingly complex and chaotic materials in this field is comprehensive and critical. In particular his understanding of the contradictions and presumptions behind the claims of many literacy experts and researchers is unequalled. The Literacy Myth is both social history and the story of the socialization and politicization of literacy.”
—Jerry Zaslove, Simon Fraser University
“With his book The Literacy Myth he has confirmed his reputation as a scholar of the highest caliber. Professor Graff is not only well ahead of everyone else in the field, but has an overall interpretative grasp of the subject that is quite as impressive as is his analytical rigour.”
—Roger Schofield, Cambreidge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure
“The most careful and authoritative discussion of the relations between literacy and social structure in nineteenth century North America. Its sophisticated combination of empirical research and social theory punctures prevailing ideas about the role of literacy in social and economic development. Graff’s examination of the ambiguous meanings and uses of literacy should be pondered by educators, policy-makers, and others concerned with the issue today.”
—Michael B. Katz, University of Pennsylvania
“On the basis of his vast knowledge as regards the history and the social impact of literacy, prof. Graff conducts an indepth analysis and a devastating critique of the groundless hopes connected with universal literacy. His sobering outlook is of great help in bringing about a more mature appreciation of pre-literate societies as well as of the present day industrial world which seems so successful in combining technical refinements and human savagery.”
—Franco Ferrarotti, Dipartimento di Sociologia, Universita’ degli Studi di Roma
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Book Description Academic Press Inc, 1979. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110122945204