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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.