what i’m reading and recommending

The Kindly Ones, by Jonathan Littell.  I don’t read too many novels, but this one follows the path of an SS officer in World War II and explores the banality of evil as we see Nazi ideology and the war through the eyes of–not a monster–but a character who becomes all too familiar.

How professors think:  Inside the curious world of academic judgment, Michele Lamont

The Unlikely Disciple:  A sinner’s semester at America’s holiest university,  by Kevin Roose.  A Brown student spends a semester at Liberty University.

Gang leader for a day:  A rogue sociologist takes to the streets, by Sudhir Venkatesh.  (excellent example of ethnography and its pitfalls and strengths.  The author finds new insights into a subculture of Chicago usually not accessible by mainstream social scientists.

Here comes everybody, by Clay Shirkey.  A standard reference about the new social media and the paradigm shift of information:  “not filter then publish, but publish then filter.”

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