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"Writing as he does with energy and grace, Kernan is a thoughtful guide to the world Johnson lived in and helped to make. . . . What is best about Kernan's book is that it is up to date but not voguish; he has assimilated new scholarship but not been overpowered by it."--W. B. Carnochan, The Times Literary Supplement
"Kernan's work is deeply informed and thoughtful, not reductionist but relationist. He does not pretend that print was the direct cause of all the changes he discusses, but shows rather how many or most of the changes relate in one way or another to print, are intertwined with it. . . . Kernan's book is rich and rewarding. . . . There was a dark side to Johnson's awarenesses that frequently shows, and Kernan . . . has rightly brought it to our attention."--Walter J. Ong, Review
"Kernan picks up the image of Johnson where recent biographers left off. Samuel Johnson, he sums up, was 'skeptical, deeply troubled in mind, mad at times, neurotic nearly always, radically doubtful of himself and of the social values he at the same time so stoutly defended.' To that 'existential Johnson,' Kernan adds an image of Johnson as a model of success in the emergent print culture. This makes for fascinating reading."--Thomas D'Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Alvin B. Kernan: