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Is this reviewer making a series of assumptions?


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Initial post: Sep 17, 2006 2:52:45 PM PDT
"a reader" stated in a review from 2001:

"...He knows next to nothing about his Vietnamese neighbors, what they eat, and what they believe. He knows nothing about holidays celebrated by the Hispanics who live across the street from him. He knows almost nothing about the African diaspora. He marginalizes his own neighbors in favor of a puerile list of factoids.

Worse, he knows nothing about where his food comes from, or the energy necessary to produce and transport it, and he doesn't think your kids should care. Does he know where the clothes on his back were made? How about how the water got to the faucet, or how waste is treated? Are these cultural secrets? Or simply a further sign of his illiteracy?"

Does the author actually make statments about his ignorance or disinterest in these topics, or is the reviewer just making assumptions that the author doesn't know or understand these things. I haven't read the book, though I flipped through it at a bookstore.
I'm intrigued by the ideas presented in the book, but this above review seems to be just a blind attack more than anything else.

And really, even if a Vietnamese family has cultural traditions they bring from Vietnam to thier new home in America, that doesn't make them American cultural traits by default does it? Certainly not. Bollywood is not Hollywood, though I can rent tapes of films made in India from the corner Indian owned grocer.
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Initial post:  Sep 17, 2006
Latest post:  Sep 17, 2006

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Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know
Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know by James S. Trefil (Paperback - April 12, 1988)
4.1 out of 5 stars (79)