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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Really, more of a philosophical question…

How much attention should I pay to a letter beginning, “There are countless mistakes in your book which bare mentioning”?

No, I don’t think so

Today’s New York Times ran this article: “In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth.” (If you’re a Times reader, or are willing to register, you can click on the link and read the the whole thing.) Here’s how the piece begins: …[T]he critical thinking, civic and historical knowledge and ethical reasoning that the […]

Week 7’s book: Pattern Recognition

Book: Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson Grade: B+ When my brother found out I was doing the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” challenge, he sent me a list of novels he thought I’d enjoy. This was at the top of the stack. I’ve read Neuromancer, of course, and appreciated (as opposed to “enjoyed”) it. Gibson’s […]

PROSE Awards

Just found out that The Art of the Public Grovel was recognised by the PROSE awards (The American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence) in the Cultural Studies category. I’m not familiar with the awards (academic publishing generally is kind of a foreign land for me), but I’ll take my Honorable Mention with pride. […]

Week 6’s book: A Brief History of Pacifism: From Jesus to Tolstoy

A friend who knows that I’m reading up on pacifism suggested Peter Brock’s A Brief History of Pacifism. It was an intriguing survey of pacifist movements; I’m not totally sure it was worth what I paid for it, but it’s out of print, and I inadvertently ordered it from a bookseller in England, which kind […]

Why can’t I remember this?

And the edits continue… I wrote, “In a fierce, epically bloody battle, the Korean soldiers surrounded and decimated the Chinese troops.” My editor writes, “Decimated, as you will know from your Roman research, has a specific meaning (one in ten, the punishment of a cowardly legion) and a looser, more widely used one. But since […]

My favorite editorial notation so far

I’m trying to get the History of the Medieval World into final shape by the end of February; my editor at Norton has been sending MS back to me in chunks with his notes, and I’m going through, page by page, making changes and corrections, drawing maps where they’re still needed, and making up a […]

Week 5’s book, a little late: Death in Holy Orders

You’ve probably noticed that I missed last week’s post. We’ve been moving the blog from one server to another, which kept me from posting for a few days (and may have kept you from READING for a few days). However, the domain name seems to be properly redirecting, so it’s time to catch up. Last […]


I have finally nerved myself to tackle the edited manuscript of the History of the Medieval World–which is a good thing since I’ve just learned that it needs to be back, with all illustrations and timelines and as many maps as possible, before the end of February. Which is almost possible. Dealing with the edits […]