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A penetrating analysis of the American mentality as seen through private eye fiction. Ruehlmann traces the American Detective personality back to its roots, the lawman of the Old West rather than the civilized British inspector, and explains our man's psyche in terms of the nation's makeup, peculiar or perverse as it may be. Included among writers discussed are Mickey Spillane, Ross MacDonald, Donald Westlake, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler - all names who have been entertaining America for years. --- from book's back cover
Carr—author of The Big Switch (2007) and the much-discussed Atlantic Monthly story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”—is an astute critic of the information technology revolution. Here he looks to neurological science to gauge the organic impact of computers, citing fascinating experiments that contrast the neural pathways built by reading books versus those forged by surfing the hypnotic Internet, where portals lead us on from one text, image, or video to another while we’re being bombarded by messages, alerts, and feeds. This glimmering realm of interruption and distraction impedes the sort of comprehension and retention “deep reading” engenders, Carr explains. And not only are we reconfiguring our brains, we are also forging a “new intellectual ethic,” an arresting observation Carr expands on while discussing Google’s gargantuan book digitization project. What are the consequences of new habits of mind that abandon sustained immersion and concentration for darting about, snagging bits of information? What is gained and what is lost? Carr’s fresh, lucid, and engaging assessment of our infatuation with the Web is provocative and revelatory. --Donna Seaman