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The Dictionary of Global Culture
ISBN 0679729852 / 9780679729853 / 0-679-72985-2
Publisher Random House Inc
List price $25.00
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This work, edited by two of America's most accessible public intellectuals, from Harvard University's Afro-American studies department, is a scholarly yet easy-to-read reference that serves as a cultural-literacy primer for the third millennium. Multicultural in scope, it contains concise and timely essays on everything from the Islamic origins of algebra to Chinua Achebe, the Dalai Lama, John Coltrane, Frida Kahlo, and Fannie Lou Hamer. Gates and Appiah also include figures of popular culture such as Amy Tan and J.R.R. Tolkien. What makes the work most impressive is the editors' search for "an understanding of other cultures that enriches without displacing" the achievements of Western civilization, showing how African, Afro-American, Hispanic, Asian, and European writers, politicians, and artists have all contributed. --Eugene Holley Jr. [via]