Evelyn Wood: She Got Readers Hooked on Speed

Born today was Evelyn Wood.

Speed reading was her livelihood.

“Read a myriad of words a minute” she contended.

Without any proof one comprehended.*

*Evelyn Wood had little classroom experience, no degrees in reading instruction, and a background that included cooperation with the Third Reich. Nevertheless, a nation spooked by Sputnik and panicked by paperwork eagerly embraced her promises of a speed-reading revolution. Journalists, lawmakers, and two U.S. presidents lent credibility to her claims of turbocharged reading speeds. Fudging test results and squelching critics, Wood maintained her popularity even as science proved that her system taught only skimming, with disastrous effects on comprehension. As apps and online courses attempt to spark a speed-reading revival, Scan Artist looks at Wood’s rise from missionary to marketer exposes the pitfalls of wishful thinking. (Chicago Review Press, 2019)

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  • Next you'll be telling me Irene Hughes was a fake.

  • In reply to jack:

    Seeriously?

  • Thanks for reasons to put behind "But I don't like reading for speed!"

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Happy to be of service.

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