Category Archives: summer reading

July 4, 2013, 11:07 am

Celebrating July Fourth Chez Radical

blog-firework-statue-of-libertyTenured Radicals are not supposed to love July 4. As you know if you kept up with the culture wars, we ruin everything about United States history with our constant harping about race, class and gender. But I do love July 4 — my Dad used to make a big deal of hanging the flag before breakfast (and being a former Eagle Scout, let me tell you — he could hang a flag.) I also love listening to the Declaration of Independence on NPR. This year, they asked ordinary Americans on the Mall to read it, line by line. and then asked participants to talk about what this document means to them.

So how do we think about July 4 without sinking into mindless, uncritical patriotism? (more…)

May 7, 2011, 1:26 pm

American Studies Declares A Victory Over All Other Fields: Amy Farrell Hits The Big Time

So when folks tuned in to Stephen Colbert on May 4 to get his take on the Bin Laden thing, they also got American Studies celebrity Amy Farrell!  Apparently this is her second time on Colbert discussing the history of obesity.  Farrell’s second shot at the big time was triggered by the publication of her new book, Fat Shame:  Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture.  See both appearances on the Dickinson College website.
How did your favorite Radical become alert to this, since ze has not time to watch TV until the third week in May, and can’t stay up that late under the best conditions?  Facebook, of course.  A really good blog reporter always checks the main feed for news about the people who are “friends” — you know those folks.  They are the people to whom you feel friend-LY — who you don’t really know, and/or who you wish you did know. 
Photo courtesy of Amy Farrell

Read More

August 21, 2010, 4:25 pm

Slouching Into Fall: Best Books of Summer 2010

One of the tragedies of a summer ending is ending a summer’s reading. Soon we bring a close, if we have not already, to those hours of getting lost in a book, of time unimpeded by intrusive thoughts of papers ungraded, classes to prepare and teach, errands to run and meetings to attend. Only in the summer (or on a cross-country flight) am I able to re-experience the pure joy of beginning and ending a book in one day, that happy sense of having been entirely emptied out of my own thoughts and occupied by someone else’s, and the sweetness of reluctant departure from a world I do not live in. Reading is, in short, one of the few available ways of making a journey to the past that I know that is also effortless, happy and free (I am eliminating psychotherapy and my own scholarship from the list of time-travel methods, and while reading is not always free, it can be with the help of a…

Read More

July 30, 2007, 3:00 pm

The No Asshole Rule: A Reflection

As you know if you make a close study of Tenured Radical 2.0 in all of its features, I have been reading Robert I. Sutton’s The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. And to get to the punchline quickly: you should read it too. It is short, it is well written and Sutton — a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University — has written a book that nicely bridges the worlds of business and intellectual work.

What occasioned my purchase of this book? Well, it doesn’t really matter, does it, because I loved it and I wish something like it had been available to me years ago. I would also say that the bulk of my labor this year will be administrative, and because there is no formal mentoring in this kind of work, I do what I can to learn management techniques, either by observing adminstrators at Zenith closely and seeing…

Read More

May 26, 2007, 1:16 pm

Summer Reading List

Please note that I finished Debby Applegate’s, The Most Famous Man in America, and it is a Great Read. It is now out in paper, and I recommend you take it on vacation.

Remember I said in the previous post that gay and lesbian books sell like little hotcakes? Well, the Radical’s new featured book (which I am taking on my weekend retreat to the country house of another historian) is a good example. If you are, just now, choosing a dissertation topic, read this book, because it demonstrates how you can make choices (even as a graduate student, the time where it seems all choices have been made for you!) that make your life more pleasant and possibly more lucrative. Karen Krahulik’s Provincetown represents the following good choices:

1. Choosing a fun summer resort as the place to do your research. Can’t beat that with a stick. It’s almost like being a Europeanist, but without having…

Read More