Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy

Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy

Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy

Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy

Synopsis

"Ron Robin's "Scandals and Scoundrels is a clever provocation but more: It opens into a fascinating tour through treacherous postmodern territories, culminating in an economical explanation for what he calls 'the inflation in deviancy spectacles, ' all in stylish prose, no mystification added."--Todd Gitlin, author of "Letters to a Young Activist

"An engrossing and convincing account of how the academic professions have lost much of their jurisdiction for disputes about scholarly integrity to popular media that prefer contentious litigation to patient, reasoned deliberation."--David A. Hollinger, author of "Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism

"Robin proposes a new way of thinking about the radically shifting nature of academic disciplines by using a set of recent controversies to explore the current state of society itself. Wonderfully readable, this is a book which should have a large and appreciative audience."--Marilyn Young, author of "The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990

"Robin presentsa rather distressing picture of the academy as its boundaries have become more and more blurred and its standards indistinguishable from those of the rest of society. Cases of intellectual dishonesty and lack of professional integrity have often become sensational news, conveying a picture of academic corruption to the wider world, even as the latter has induced scholars to commodify their research and writing to suit its tastes. It is a fascinating story that says as much about contemporary society and culture as about the academic disciplines."--Akira Iriye, author of "Global Community

Excerpt

A voice in your ear whispers, “You know that Kenyan in the slouch hat really did say that awfully funny thing you think he almost said. Just write it down. No one will ever know. And look, just across the frontier there is that gorgeous flower—the one missing novelistic detail that will bring the whole story alive. Pop across and pick it. No one will notice. ”

Timothy Garton Ash, “Truth Is Another Country”

A proofreader rebels. While combing through the galleys of a history book entitled History of the Siege of Lisbon, a proofreader subverts the narrative by inserting a single word: not. Instead of the official version of the founding of the Portuguese homeland, which states that the crusaders will aid the Portuguese in expelling the Moors from Lisbon in 1147, the proofreader inverts the foundational myth of his nation. The altered text now reads that the crusaders will not come to the aid of the Portuguese. José Saramago, the author of this magisterial tale, argues that the . . .

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