41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (Hardcover)
There is no case for this book, which is deceptively marketed and disappointing.
The title indicates that Robert Darnton, an eminent historian and scholar, will mount an argument in favor of books. Instead, what follows is a series of his old articles, dating back to the early 1980s, with nothing seriously unifying the group.
A few of these old articles, laid out as chapters, are somewhat interesting. However, others are shameful, including one that reproduces a grant proposal he made in 1997, followed by a progress report from 2002. This is just lazy and insulting to readers.
Nowhere on the outer cover does it indicate that this is a collection of previously published essays; there's just a passing mention in the back flap. Seemingly, they wanted this to look like a book that it is not.
I do admire Darnton as a scholar, but I have lost admiration for him after this. For he, who so admires books, to release this is neither a tribute to the medium, nor to his readers.
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Initial post: Mar 24, 2011 4:05:28 AM PDT
world student says:
I totally agree with this review. "Shameful" is the word for recycling the old essays, some of which say the same thing, in almost the same words. It felt like the book was padded, and it did not flow smoothly at all. The most flagrant example was including the grant proposal, especially since amost all of the information in it had already been stated before. I actually felt indignant while slogging through the same e-book information for the second (or third) time, but I doggedly read through to the end of the book, looking to the "past section" with a glimmer of hope. Was there an editor for this book? I don't see evidence for it.
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