- Hardcover: 1248 pages
- Publisher: St. Martins Press; 2 edition (1 Jan. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312376596
- ISBN-13: 978-0312376598
- Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 6.6 x 24.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
THE NEW YORK TIMES GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE 2nd ED.: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind Hardcover – 1 Jan 2008
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This widely expanded update to the original 2004 edition defines nearly every facet of contemporary life--from arts, grammar, mythology and culture to science, economics, and geopolitical issues. Though bearing an authority and informational wealth that might rival the voluminous Oxford Dictionary of English, this surprisingly manageable volume is organized alphabetically by subject and contains thousands of highly accessible essays, tables, and lists, all composed by "New York Times" field experts. It also includes an introduction by longtime "On Language" columnist and Pultizer Prize winner William Safire. An essential background referenec for almost every subject: highly recommended for all public libraries. "Library Journal" I wish I'd had this book 25 years ago. It is certain to become an indispensable tool for fact fanatics. "Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything" In short, this is the largest, most up-to-date and affordable one volume desk reference available today and is an absolute must for every home, dorm room and library. "Tucson Citizen""
About the Author
"The New York Times" is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. Founded in 1851, the newspaper has won 95 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I found the depth of this knowledge to be just right, though. I don't care to shine on Jeopardy. My goal is to become aware without getting too deeply into it unless I am really passionate about a particular subject.
Sure, some stuff is missing, but, what is there is PLENTY. For example: we all heard about Sunni and Shiites Islaam, but I doubt many, including, and especially, George Bush know the difference. How many of Seven Wonders of the World can you name? Do you know who Pygmalion was? Did you know television was invented in 1927? Did you know that America has the highest rate of STD's of all industrial nations? Do you know why? Do you care? If the examples did not evoke some sort of curiosity, this book, in all likelihood, will seem useless to you. But if you found that your brain lit up with tingly wonder, this book would probably be a good place to start.
On the negative side, truthfully, there is nothing unique or incredible about this book that sets it apart from others, maybe a little heavier. It's just like any other almanacs published every year by New York Times. It's just another information-filled book, not better or worse....
This book has over 1300 pages without a single illustration, and of course, is basic, but don't let it fool you, you can still find something new that can send you to the library or the web to satisfy your curiosity. If you are an average American, (not a geek, who probably already knows all this stuff anyway), if you are curious about the world you live in, and would like not to appear dumb when others discuss world's events at a party, you will surely find something fascinating about this "everyday" stuff. Something you probably had heard mentioned as recently as today without really realizing how little you knew about the subject in point. Each category contains 10-15 pages. Topics: Philosophy, Psychology, Broadway, Geology, Geography, Earth Science, History, World Wars, Music, Political Science, pop culture, world events and so on...
My New Year's resolution: one section a week.
Rather than carp on what's missing in a book like this, like some of the reviews here, look at what's included instead, and there's plenty to keep you occupied there, no matter what your interests are. If you're interested in more complete coverage, my advice there is to buy one of the one or two volume encyclopedias, such as the Oxford Concise Encyclopedia from Oxford University Press or the Britannica Ready Reference. These are even more ponderous and complete but are less approachable and readable since the technical level is higher.
So don't be too critical of a volume like this, which attempts to steer a middle ground. It's still an enjoyable read, and worth your time and money. Also, I say this as someone who regularly reads both the short and long versions of several 'pedias and knows their pros and cons. For me this is something I would use as enjoyable bedtime reading when I don't have the stamina or attention span to brave another formidable Britannica article, or even The World Book, which traditionally was somewhat more readable, although the Britannica has resolved that issue now with the three levels of writing difficulty in the new electronic DVD version.
But getting back to the present volume, overall, a nice job and informative and enjoyable to read.
I guess if there was anything nice I'd have to say about this book is that it's big so it'll take up space on your bookshelf if that's what you need.