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The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge, Second Edition: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind Hardcover – October 30, 2007
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“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.
Top Customer Reviews
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 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....Read more ›
weeks and I can't believe the amount of information I was able to grasp. Sure, all the
information is available on the web but I was looking for a book that would give a
'big picture' or a 'bird's eye- view' of important events and topics and this book
fit the bill perfectly.
I use it as a starting point along withThe New York Times Presents Smarter by Sunday: 52 Weekends of Essential Knowledge for the Curious Mind. I then proceed to read about the same
topic on Wikipedia or an encyclopedia like Encarta/Britannica. You could even try doing these
side by side.
My pursuit of knowledge has begun! And, I am loving it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You would not believe what you don't know - Bought this for my daughter, she is on the Quick Recall Academoc Team at school - she loves it.Published 23 months ago by Andrew Aitken
Great copy. Awesome delivery time. Just as described!Published on August 3, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I pick this book up and put it down a few times a year - its part of my personal reference library. Its a well put together book which is why it has a spot in my library.Published on April 20, 2014 by b00kll0vr
I love knowledge and this book delivers. It is pretty thick so this one will have to stay at homePublished on February 10, 2014 by trey
I'm more of a fact junkie than the brief snippets in this book allow for, but as they've tried to address an insane number of topics, it's a good starting point for deciding what I... Read morePublished on March 26, 2013 by Jeffery Quayhagen
I purchased this copy to replace the book I had years ago. This is a must have for every home library. Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by nevermore
The New York Times Guide is a Compendium of useful and interesting information written in a manner that is never boring.Published on January 16, 2013 by robbhos