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Nonfiction in Brief

October 09, 1988|ALEX RAKSIN

TEST YOUR CULTURAL LITERACY by Diane and Kathy A. Zahler (ARCO: $7.95) While certainly well meaning, the cultural literacy debate has produced mostly stuffy tomes telling us what we ought to know; they tend to elicit the same petulant, rebellious reaction from the public that a schoolmarm might inspire in his or her students. There is, however, a genuine popular demand for publications that expand our cultural knowledge--witness the popularity of Trivial Pursuit--and the authors skillfully tap it in these pages, not with trivia but with hundreds of significant questions (followed by meaningful and comprehensive answers) about subjects ranging from American history to myth and the life sciences.

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