The Contextual Guide and Internet Index to Western Civilization
"One of the more enjoyable ways to explore other avenues of Western civilization that we may have avoided in school is with Culture®. Culture® endeavors to be nothing less than a tour guide of Western Civilization, naming and explaining the key people, events and ideas that shaped our society throughout history. Culture® is an unusual program, earning praise not so much for fancy technical tricks as for the richness of its content and wit. The premise is that learning comes from being able to see relationships among discrete facts, and that one cannot truly understand a facet of history out of context. Art, music, religion, philosophy and science all contribute to an understanding of the history and politics of a given time, and Culture® brings them all together."
"Culture® is a tour-de-force. It attempts to put as much knowledge about Western Civilization as possible at the fingertips of computer-using students...Culture® could be used to design a fascinating culture station in a resource room or library...Tremendous thought went into the organization of all this information, and meticulous effort went into creating the links to the multimedia resources. The richness of art, literature, and music humanizes a history that has too often been taught strictly from the perspective of wars and governments."
1994 Editor's Choice Award: "Best Software of 1993" -- "Probably the most comprehensive and flexible liberal-arts software in any format, this package enables users to navigate through more than 3800 years of Western civilization, making historical cultural information interesting and accessible."
"Still the most amazing reference/instructional tool since the CD-ROM-based encyclopedia, this update of Culture® has exceeded its own benchmark. (See the Highly Recommended review in the Sept/Oct 1991 The Book Report). Using a holistic approach, the user can browse through essays, follow random thought paths, listen to music or view famous artwork linked in a multimedia fashion....The new accompanying workbook provides detailed lessons. The information in this program and its accessory multimedia links is important enough to merit a dedicated workstation in any secondary library. Put this on the "must have" list. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
"Culture® is a schematic, period-based overview of 3800 years of Western history and culture. The strength of Culture® is that it emphasizes relationships rather than facts and dates; its structure empowers and encourages recurrent explorations of diverse influences in order to understand 'the big picture' and acquire contextual cultural literacy. Culture® is one of over 100 educational software programs listed in ASCD's 1994 edition of ONLY THE BEST-Annual Guide to Highest Rated Educational Software. This easy-to-use reference guide identifies the most recent education software and multimedia programs that meet the highest criteria for excellence."
"Culture® is the most unusual software I have ever used or reviewed. It surpasses anything I've looked at in both versatility and informational complexity. It beats everything with any reference value....It is a reference work with Nintendo appeal, a playful textbook, or history with a twist....It is so unbelievably perfect for the library environment. This is what I was born to review. This is what I've been looking for....Whew! From Beethoven to Dracula. That is the kind of quirky experience Culture can offer. The knowledge gained in spite of oneself is astounding....This software represents a leap in multidimensional computer access.
"In the introduction to his Culture®, Walter Reinhold states: 'Knowing how historical and cultural facts are woven together throughout the tapestry of civilization is integral to a decent education.' The thing that first impresses the user of Culture® is how sincere Professor Reinhold is in this belief and how strongly he perceives the need to enhance the traditional teaching of Western Civilization by connecting these historical and cultural aspects. The second thing that strikes the user is how successful Reinhold is in addressing this need with Culture®. Reinhold clearly does not see historical facts as distinct, isolated data and obscure dates but as a complex of interrelated developments, personalities, movements closely interwoven with cultural-humanist achievements. This is a very appealing, defensible, and useful view of history and, it seems, the very best foundation for the tuition of Western Civilization courses. Culture® is a successful and extremely significant addition to the tools of the Western Civilization teacher. Through the medium of the computer Culture® enables the student truly to become involved in the process of learning, of connecting with the world of ideas and a rich complex of political, literary, musical, artistic, philosophical, theological, scientific, military, and geographic developments. Anyone who has taught Western Civilization recently, and observed the sad state of intellectual-cultural knowledge on the part of many students, will be aware of the great need for such a teaching aid as Reinhold's Culture®. Indeed, this program is an intellectual tour de force of considerable significance to the job of teaching Western Civilization. While many programs designed to enhance the teaching of Western Civilization, or to supplement one aspect of it, tend to be rather "slim and shallow" affairs, Culture® is impressively full; it is not a meal to be digested at one setting....Indeed, so successful is this program that it was impossible for this instructor of Western Civilization to follow the program through one topic without getting side-tracked and learning."
"Culture® is a virtuoso performance....My outright opinion of the program can be expressed in one word: excellent.... Culture® users, whether teachers or students, will appreciate the sheer excellence of scholarship and research. The prose style is engaging and interesting. Professor Reinhold has a sense of humor and a gift for anecdote that he effectively employs to enliven his discussions of history, ideas, music and art... Culture® does not take a 'trivial pursuit' approach to studying culture. Culture® has a way of opening unexplored doors."
"Culture® is engaging and simple to use. I have always favored this interactive contextual approach to the teaching of history. What's more, the author has chosen to feature only the most salient ingredients from each of the generations surveyed in the data base. Given the wide variety of events and personalities involved, this is no small feat. I often found myself saying, 'Aha, good choice.' Culture® is a wonderful program and I hope you have tremendous success with it."
"The combination of Walter Reinhold's fine scholarship and modern technology has resulted in a remarkable tool to help young people grasp both the big picture of the humanities and the detailed contributions within the major areas of humankind....I find myself using it quite often."
"Culture® is an extraordinary product....Users can serendipitously browse to their hearts' content via the dynamic links created for navigation through Culture®. Culture® is a powerful cultural database that is perfect for public access environments from senior high school through college and, of course, in libraries. It is one of the most significant and innovative HyperCard applications I have seen to date."
"Walter Reinhold's Culture® demonstrates many of the brilliant possibilities that HyperCard offers to the educator in the humanities. Ambitious, imaginative and often witty, the program places at one's fingertips a survey of Western history....Culture® surpasses much of the educational software in the humanities."
"Culture® is a tour de force of electronic learning. Imagine if you will, blending over 20 years of research by a first-rate humanities professor (Walter Reinhold of New York University) with enlightened software design....and you will have a sense of the impressiveness of this project......What key dimension does Culture® provide that a good old Western Civ textbook does not? In a word, perspective. It empowers the user to pick up a piece of Western Civilization, turn it round and round, and view it in many different ways. This is an exhilarating experience. A person could spend a week inside of this program and still gain new insights from it...you owe it to yourself to take a look at this program if you ever get the chance."
"Information on more than 3800 years of Western civilization is available in a true hypermedia/hypertext environment....The user can navigate through an overview card or move through eight historical period cards (subperiods of time or introductory, art, music, religion, philosophy, and scientific essays). Various categories are indexed by country through culture grids, there are profiles of more than 1000 famous people, and short essays with pop-up graphics are available on general periods of time....Despite the sheer bulk of information, the icon-based navigation makes use of this material seem natural....This extensive title is a wonderful resource for humanities, science, language arts, math, art, music, and social studies classes."
©2000-2010, Cultural Resources, Inc.