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Books  >   History : World : 20th Century : 

The New York Public Library's Books of the Century

Library, New York Public (Corporate Author)
Diefendorf, Elizabeth (Editor)
Bryan, Diana (Illustrator)

Oxford University Press
Published:October 1, 1997

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To celebrate the library's 1895-1995 centennial, the librarians at the New York Public Library were asked which books helped shape and define the last hundred years. This book is their response: From The Time Machine by Herbert George Wells in 1895 to The Whole Internet: User's Guide and Catalog by Ed Krol in 1992, the librarians present their 204 selections. There's a page devoted to each work, with the author's dates and a few paragraphs summarizing the content and significance of the book. Divided into 12 categories (such as Landmarks of Modern Literature, Protest and Progress, Popular Culture, and Favorites of Childhood and Youth) the books form a fascinating view of the 20th century's literary canon while the text makes for a useful literary reference and excellent browsing. --Stephanie Gold--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description:
What are the books that helped shape and define the last hundred years? This was the question put to the librarians of The New York Public Library as part of the Library's 100th anniversary celebration. Their answers formed "Books of the Century," a highly popular exhibit during the Library's centennial celebration (1895 to 1995), highlighting an exhilarating collection of important works by some of the greatest writers of our times.

Now, the companion volume, The New York Public Library's Books of the Century takes readers on a thought-provoking tour of the last hundred years, through the medium of the printed word. Here readers will find over 150 pivotal works organized into topical categories, reflecting themes that have informed the century, among them "Mind and Spirit," "Protest and Progress," "Women Rise," or "Nature's Realm." Each is introduced with a brief commentary illuminating the themes and issues the books in that section address, followed by an annotation for each title offering a brief description and a key to its significance. The range of books is remarkable, embracing Chekhov's Three Sisters and Bram Stoker's Dracula, as well as Galbraith's The Affluent Society and Durkheim's Suicide, or Timothy Leary's The Politics of Ecstasy and W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk.

Illustrated throughout with imaginative paper cut-out murals by artist Diana Bryan, The New York Public Library's Books of the Century is a reflection of our times, featuring both the books we love--whether The Cat in the Hat or Ulysses--and books like The Surgeon General's Report or Mein Kampf that, for better or worse, have been an inescapable part of our century.

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