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December 29, 2009
A comment by Siva Vaidhyanathan denies
that there's a disease of the academy:
"The academic list of significant
public intellectuals under 50 is
probably a couple dozen people long A couple of dozen doesn't strike
by now. me as a lot, actually. But then,
it could be enough, if they're
"Academia rewards public work, the right ones.
relevant work, folks. It actually
rewards good writing and broad
thinking. That's not to say that
one does not have to resort to
undignified, specialized, The hedging there is interesting.
jargon-filled writing along the way Academia rewards good work, but
to success. But please. Check out also demands bad work?
the book ads in the NYRB and see
all the publicly relevant work My guess: good work is
being published by academics not (always) punished,
writing for Yale University Press, but is not required.
W.W. Norton, or Basic Books. There
are too many to mention. How many
academics had op-eds in the
NYTimes, WaPo, or WSJ in 2007?
Again, too many to count."
And how many were worth counting?
Do you remember any? Well, there's
And I like the book ads
in the New York Review
myself -- they're my
span cafe reading.
But they don't always look
like they're such great books.
And while there's a fair
number of them, many
of them repeat week
after week (there may be
a hundred in an issue, More to the point,
but that doesn't mean who actually *reads*
there are a hundred out these books?
belt may slip
on either end.
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