The reading habits, intellectual development, and contributions of the cultural giants of the 20th century are traced.
Treating the cultural giants of the 20th century, this volume traces their reading habits and intellectual development, as well as their contributions to Western culture. Suggesting the literary influences on these figures, the book includes 355 entries on people from a broad range of fields, including scientists, politicians, business figures, writers, religious leaders, and figures from the performing arts and popular culture.
The volume is a handy companion to Powell's earlier volume, Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences: The Nineteenth Century, 1800-1914. Reflecting non-Western influences on Western culture, the volume includes such Asian and African figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Wole Soyinka, while also covering the significant Western figures. As the volume recognizes, forms of cultural influence evolved in the 20th century to include more aural and visual influences. Yet the volume still reveals fascinating literary influences throughout the century.