Tag Archives: Book Review

I Read This and You Don’t Need To: How Universities Work

John Lombardi has a long and distinguished career as a successful, argumentative university president at the University of Massachusetts, University of Florida, and Louisiana State. He has penned a short, incisive book, How Universities Work, that ultimately fails because he hasn’t answered the question every author must ask: Who will read this book? The small […]

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I read Hope against hope: Three schools, one city, and the struggle to educate America’s children and you can too if you want

I was oddly unaffected by this book.  Normally I resonate to people’s stories struggling against all odds.  Sarah Carr’s 316 page narrative chronicles the challenges that primarily three individuals face in schools in post-Katrina New Orleans.  There is a 14 year old who we want to see succeed.  There is an ambitious idealistic TFA teacher […]

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Academic Affairs IV: A Sampling

Here’s an excerpt from William Tierney’s excellent Academic Affairs: A Love Story: Stanley opened his eyes and glanced at the clock. Only 6:00! He considered staying in bed a bit longer but he was wide awake. He told himself last night that he was dead tired because of all of the errands he had run, […]

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Academic Affairs III: Revelatory Reviews of the New Novel

Here’s what readers are saying: (1) With all the sizzle of Fifty Shades of Grey…Academic Affairs is not just a love story. It’s a true love story, as much about mind and spirit as it is about body. That is not to say this read is for prudes. We get to have our intellectual cake […]

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Academic Affairs II: An Interview with Bill

So what’s with a social scientist writing a novel? My whole career has been in part dedicated to representing reality, academic realities. Whether I’ve been doing ethnographies, case studies, interviews or observations, I have tried to portray situations as I have seen them, and in some cases lived and experienced them. This novel is another […]

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Book Review: Paying for the Party: I read this book and you probably should as well

Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality, by Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton, is a five year study of young women at MU (aka Indiana University). The primary means of data collection was interviews with about 50 women over a five year time horizon. They thought they were writing a book about gender, but […]

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The Power and Peril of Free Speech

If we were going to list the world’s greatest living writers surely Salmon Rushdie would be on the list. I appreciate that he is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Midnight’s Children is regarded as a masterpiece; it not only won the prestigious Booker Prize, but was voted the “Booker of Bookers.” Some of his […]

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The Digital Bookshelf of an Assistant Professor

Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is one of my favorite plays. At the beginning of the story, Faustus, surrounded by countless dusty tomes, declares that he has read everything about everything. I’m not sure what it says about me (especially given Faustus’ fate), but I frequently think about that scene. I read a lot. I eagerly […]

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On Empathy and Moral Worth: Michael Chabon’s “Telegraph Avenue”

Memorial Day suggests summer is around the corner! As we approach summer I wanted to suggest two first-rate novels to read; I’ll discuss the first one today and the second next week. I frequently tell my students if they want to read good writing they’re not going to find it in social science. I find […]

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A Guide to Strategic Diversity

I wrote the Foreword to Damon William’s Examining Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education (Stylus, 2013). Here’s what I said: In his epic The Souls of Black Folk in 1903 W. E. B. Du Bois commented that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” Damon Williams […]

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