- Paperback: 699 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Third Edition edition (2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0739475827
- ISBN-13: 978-0739475829
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Incomplete Education, 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned But probably Didn't Paperback – 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Laid forth are the histories of various fields, with respect to the creators, movers, and shakers of the classics and masterpieces. While there is some trivia as such, what you learn from this book is not only how things such as economics, popular music, literature, etc., got started, but the major courses they traversed, i.e., WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE TODAY.
This book won't give you much to boast about at a cocktail party, but will give you an overall understanding of the state of the arts, politics, and the rest of the world in general, which may be of more use than what I had intended on buying in the first place.
An Incomplete Education is just the sort of book that provides a framework in twelve areas of knowledge including the Arts, Philosophy, Political Science, World History, Music and much more. The original edition was published in 1987; the third updated and expanded edition came out in 2006. It's a book of knowledge that is also very well paced and entertaining. For example, in the literature section, they identify "twelve fictional characters with whom you should have at least a nodding acquaintance"; in political science: "What you need to know before answering a personals ad in the International Herald Tribune".
According to authors Judy Jones and William Wilson, "In a world of bits and bytes, of reruns and fast forwards, of information overloads , . . it feels good to be grounded."
Clearly, this is not a COMPLETE Education. To wit: the title. After all, how would anyone define what might be a COMPLETE education. Rather, the book is a useful volume which helped me to organize my thinking. It is a companion that sits on my bookshelf "at the ready" when questions arise, (what do I really understand about the difference between Shiites and Sunnis) or when a Lexicon is needed to settle the question of whether continual or continuous is the appropriate word. It is a great addition to anyone's library, or a gift for someone who asks a lot of questions. I found myself savoring--and chuckling over-- each section.
I think that people need to read the book's introduction to see what the book is SUPPOSED to do before they slam it.
No, the book isn't going to be exhaustive or complete. How can it be? It's only one book and it's not even that thick!
The idea is just to learn enough of someone else's subject so you can navigate and know what they are talking about. You will need to read about it in more detail elsewhere, but at least this book will help you get started.
I did not find any SIGNIFICANT factual errors in the book. Perhaps in a book that attempts to cover all knowledge of the known (and unknown) world there might be an itty bitty error here or there, but I did not notice any. One assumes the authors used appropriate consultants for certain subjects. In the subjects that I am trained in, there were no errors.
Also, I did not find the authors to be condescending, nor did the humor interfere with my learning. In fact, my enjoyment and learning were increased.
That said, I would have to agree that completely serious, humorless people will not be happy with this book.
I bought the first edition of this book years ago, and I still refer back to it often for the simple joy of reading it. I learn something new every time I pick it up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun to breeze through, & pick up on all those factoids that I missed in school.Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Bird
Subject matter does not always complete what I would suggest for an incomplete education experience.Published 2 months ago by Connice
It's an entertaining read, but doesn't achieve what it says it should, not by a long shot. What is included is barely covered, general knowledge, but that's as deep as it gets. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Allen Baker
I thought it was going to be like a bathroom reader but it was too much, even for my Virgo husband. :)Published 3 months ago by Desiree
I am a teacher and I buy this book for students that are graduating that I see potential in... Everything you should have learned but didn't.... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Prince T.
I was looking for something more concise like the devotional seriesPublished 5 months ago by Giosue Di Meglio
I gave it as a gift for a very close friend. He is a lawyer and was very satisfied with all the information in the book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer