on October 27, 2012
Medvetz's book is a fascinating sociological study of a new breed of organization: the "think tank." If the term itself is a bit ambiguous (are thinkers preparing for ground warfare? are they being displayed in a glass enclosure for the world to see?), this reflects the ambiguous position of these new organizations in the United States' "field of power." This really is one of the book's key take-home points. It shows that what distinguishes and enables the think-tank is its ability to bridge various other domains: the political, the journalistic, the academic, the economic, and so on. "Think Tanks in America" is thus, in essence, a study of how power, money, and expertise interact and intersect. Well-written and with a wealth of empirical data, it should serve as an essential text in the fields of political sociology and the sociology of knowledge for years to come.