Wow. Just excising a line from A. O. Scott’s review of Julie/Julia here. Talking about Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” he says:
The book stands with a few other postwar touchstones—including Dr. Benjamin Spock’s “Baby and Child Care,” the Kinsey Report and Dr. Seuss’s “Cat in the Hat”—as a publication that fundamentally altered the way a basic human activity was perceived and pursued.
Ignore the impulse to say “uh wait, says who?” or nitpick the list, and focus instead on the broader observation, the fact that some books actually do just that: alter the way a basic human activity is perceived and pursued.
What a goal! What a reward.
I mean, they do, don’t they? Is that still true?