Amanda Leigh Cox, Steve Fuller, Peter J. Smith, Gary Thomas and Sharon Wheeler...

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

August 7, 2014

Amanda Leigh Cox, doctoral candidate in translation studies, peace and conflict at Concordia University, Canada, is reading Jeremy Munday’s Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications (Routledge, 2012). “This third edition of an easy-to-follow classic is certainly worth a look, and the added online content will be especially useful for students and instructors. There are new articles, multiple-choice/essay-style questions and updated research along with the previous edition’s accurate and accessible overview of the development of the field. Check out the interactive timeline of theorists!”

Book review: A Normative Theory of the Information Society, by Alistair S. Duff

Steve Fuller, professor of sociology, University of Warwick, is reading Alistair Duff’s A Normative Theory of the Information Society (Routledge, 2012). “Although we have long known that ours is an ‘information society’, few have said much of interest about its implications for ordinary human relations. Duff fills this gap in an interesting and sophisticated way with a new theory of justice that draws equally on journalistic values and the social democratic philosophies of John Rawls and that forgotten Fabian, R. H. Tawney.”

Book review: Straight Man, by Richard Russo

Peter J. Smith, reader in Renaissance literature, Nottingham Trent University, is reading Richard Russo’s Straight Man (Chatto & Windus, 1997). “ ‘Lucky Hank’ is the reluctant chair of an internecine English department in a backwater US university. Russo is an incisive satirist, mocking academics’ self-importance and ineptitude: one of Hank’s more dour colleagues is called Orshee on account of his correcting anyone using an exclusively masculine pronoun. Hank’s clash with management is intensified when he threatens to kill a duck a day from the university pond until his budget is restored. This fine campus novel juxtaposes serious domestic pressures with the trivia of institutional politics. Send a copy to your dean right now!”

Book review: Selfish, Whining Monkeys, by Rod Liddle

Gary Thomas, professor in education, University of Birmingham, is reading Rod Liddle’s Selfish, Whining Monkeys: How We Ended up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy (4th Estate, 2014). “A magnificent torrent of analysis and abuse – 90 per cent brilliant, 10 per cent bonkers. Given all the fuss, I’d expected – as a professor of inclusion – to be outraged, but I wasn’t. Liddle goes on a flaming, bloodthirsty romp, scything through the clichés and lazy thinking of an effete liberal establishment.”

Book review: The Passion of Tiger Woods, by Orin Starn

Sharon Wheeler, senior lecturer in journalism, University of Portsmouth, is reading Orin Starn’s The Passion of Tiger Woods (Duke University Press, 2012). “Starn, an anthropologist, promises us not only golf but also the steamier topics of betrayal, raunchy sex and race conflict. And once we’re past an early trot through American history and golf, that’s exactly what we get. Starn is a perceptive guide as he ranges from the Frankfurt School to social media with an enviable lightness of touch.”

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