Beth Luey

Expanding the American Mind: Books and the Popularization of Knowledge

Since World War II, an increasingly well-educated American public has come to rely on nonfiction written by academics, journalists, and scholars outside the academy to understand a rapidly changing world. This book explores the history of the genre, the authors who write in it, the ways they write, and the ways we read. It also looks at the ways publishers develop, produce, and market popularizations. Based on research in publishers' archives, reader surveys, and author interviews, it explains both the popularity and the value of serious nonfiction.

Selected Works

A narrative tour of historic houses in a small New England coastal town that invites readers over the threshold to learn each house's secrets.
A lively exploration of how nonfiction books have kept Americans learning long after leaving college
Everything scholars need to know about publishing-- "straightforward, sober, thorough, orderly, and practical"
--American Literature
Practical advice, written with experience and good cheer-- "authoritative, up-to-date, succinct, intelligent, and witty."