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Vineland (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Thomas Pynchon
Tristes Tropiques
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Patrick Wilcken, John Weightman, Doreen Weightman
Richard III
William Shakespeare
The Dwarf
Alexandra Dick, Pär Lagerkvist
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, Cecil Day-Lewis
Labyrinths
Richard Wolin
Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, Nicholas Penny
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven Weisenburger

Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities - Martha C. Nussbaum I'm Reading this because of an assignment. It's not the sort of thing or author I'd generally bother with.

The book is trite, simplistic, poorly written, poorly argued - and that from one who is basically in sympathy with her general position. She draws a simple-minded distinction between "education for growth (which is bad; business or technology oriented) and education for critical thinking and self-development (Humanities; though this book, like much of the Humanities today, in fact, exhibits precious little of such allegedly "critical" thinking) -- she confuses NeoLberalism and NeoMercantilism, neither of which term she seems to be familiar with, lumping them together as "old paradigm" and "collectivist", and claims that the hyperdrive towards economic growth that one sees in India and South Africa (and presumably China?) will undercut democracy in the Western World (non-sequitur, anyone...?) -- this, by the way, at a time when the West has itself entered what is perhaps terminal economic decline and when the political consequences of that decline in growth are becoming clearer day by day (today, for example....: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/08/gabrielle-giffords-shot-c_n_806211.html) -- a threat she seems to be quite unaware of.

Basically a rehashing of ideals that were cutting edge in 1917 (Tagore, Dewey), but whose breathless espousal today... is something of an embarrassment. The intellectual narcissism of the Humanities in America is on full display here --

Though very bright, Nussbaum was a lousy classical scholar -- who had been feted and coddled by institutions (and by her 'mentor', Gwill Owen) since early days. Her work on Plato was awful -- not surprising, coming from the school she comes from (Owen and Vlastos); Aristotle, she thinks, was basically an 'essentialist' (which is incorrect: see, e.g., http://www.amazon.fr/Aristote-lidéalisme-platonicien-thèse-Charles/dp/B0019TP2XG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294530361&sr=8-2-spell); her dissertation, on the de motu animalium, was a fairly strong piece of work, as philosophical commentary goes... -- though her knowledge of Greek was always suspect. I could go on... But people are already angry at me for speaking the truth too loudly....

Anyway, the book is basically a waste of time -- BAG IT.