Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A review of the ASA Guide to Graduate Departments

Recently my colleague David Weakliem ordered the 2007 American Sociological Association Guide to Graduate Departments. It's basically a phonebook, organized by departments, of all faculty members in U.S. sociology departments.

After the order, the ASA sent David a standard message thanking him for ordering one of their books and inviting him to send them a review of it. Now... presumably this invitation is meant for more substantive works than a directory, but they did ask him. Here is his review:

"People say that War and Peace has a lot of characters, but it's nothing compared to this book. However, it does have a comprehensive index which is very helpful in keeping them all straight. The lack of depth in characterization was disappointing--people would appear and then disappear, never to be heard from again. Still, you have to admire the epic sweep of this work, and I'm looking forward to the author's next effort."

Maybe it's too much of an inside joke for non-sociologists, but I think it's really funny.


Ray Fowler said...

Well, I'm not a sociologist, but you got me laughing out loud on that one. I love the characters appearing and then disappearing never to be heard from again.

Knumb said...

Meanwhile, back in the ASA shipping department:

"Hey, Bob, here's another wiseass with a literary review of our directory."

"Phonebook comparison again?"

"No, 'War and Peace.'"

"Well, at least this one didn't sleep through the tenth grade. File it."


S.S.Stone said...

"appearing and then disappearing" : sort of sounds magical to me ;)
knumb: i like the sound effects (Clang!)how creative thou art! *smile*

S.S.Stone said...

Brad, did you disappear today? *smile*

Anonymous said...

David should have his own blog...he's hilarious, but only a few people know it...

Brad Wright said...


You're right about David being really, really funny. He's one of the few true intellectuals that I know, remembers every detail that he's ever learned, and he's hilarious. All things that would make him a good blogger.

I've actually encouraged him to start blogging, but he thinks he has more important things to do with this "research" thing he always seems to be doing.

Brad Wright said...

Thanks for noticing Sarah... had a tough day yesterday and blogging just felt like too much.