The Great Language Panic and Other Essays in Cultural History

Robert Erwin, Author University of Georgia Press $19.95 (145p) ISBN 978-0-8203-1211-8
In these 11 essays, the former director of the University of Pennsylvania Press ironically and cleverly examines various well-known words that are generally taken for granted in American conversation and writing, without regard to their historical meaning: ``feudalism,'' ``heresy,'' ``intellectual,'' ``liberal,'' ``lifestyle,'' ``personal growth,'' ``reform'' and ``revolution.'' Erwin also looks at illustrious figures whose significance has been misconstrued: Socrates, who faked integrity; Thoreau, a childish, maladjusted, idle, irrational, self-centered freeloader; James Fenimore Cooper, America's pioneering writer, who virtually invented the frontier; Edna St. Vincent Millay, a talented, attractive poet whose cultural heroics seem to have been deliberately ignored by bureaucratic feminists. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X