I just discovered, quite belatedly, a response by Steven Johnson to my earlier post on his essay about American reading habits in London’s Guardian. (Links a-plenty in that post.) It’s helpful and clarifying, though it doesn’t eliminate my earlier annoyance. Johnson’s essay is basically a critique of an NEA report called To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, and now two authors of that report, Sunil Iyengar and Mark Bauerlein, have responded to Johnson’s criticisms. They contend that Johnson overlooked some important facts in his dismissal of their work. This is an important debate, and I hope to revisit it sometime soon, but I’m pretty much mesmerized by Reihan Costello at the moment. I’ll recover. Eventually.
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