Books and Reading in the Lives of Notable Americans: A Biographical Sourcebook

Books and Reading in the Lives of Notable Americans: A Biographical Sourcebook

Books and Reading in the Lives of Notable Americans: A Biographical Sourcebook

Books and Reading in the Lives of Notable Americans: A Biographical Sourcebook

Synopsis

Books and reading have contributed to the success of generations of Americans, many of whom have had distinguished careers and have left their mark on history. While the accomplishments of these notable Americans are well known, their adventures with books and reading are less familiar. This book discusses the reading activities of 50 notable Americans from a wide range of historical periods and professions and from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Many of these figures appear prominently in school and college texts or are part of popular culture. Included are alphabetically arranged entries for such readers as Benjamin Franklin, Helen Keller, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mark Twain, Oprah Winfrey, and Ronald Reagan.

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to provide a reference source for teachers, students, parents, librarians, media specialists, and the general public on the role books and reading have played in the lives of a number of notable Americans from early to modern times. the book will also be useful in general library collections for those interested in learning more about this aspect of the noted people included.

All of those profiled have found reading important in their lives. Most loved reading and read many books and other materials for education, information, and inspiration. a few of those included read little but were strongly influenced by just a few works. Most also loved libraries, a number considering a library a "second home," and they encouraged others to read and to use libraries.

Major questions considered are: What types of reading were especially enjoyed by the biographees? Which books or other reading materials had major impacts on their personal or professional lives? Did parents, teachers, or other adults influence their reading as children? To what extent did those profiled use libraries and promote the use of books and libraries by others?

Educators and government and business leaders place increasing emphasis on the importance of good reading skills for students and adults. Such slogans as "readers are leaders," "leaders are readers," and "read to succeed" clearly highlight the importance of books and reading in one's personal life and in success in school and in the workplace.

The book contains discussions of the reading interests of unique people from different walks of life: scientists, entertainers, writers, social activists, athletes, government officials, and business and labor leaders. Also pro-

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