A Recurring Dream in the Profession

For a scholar to describe a scholarly book as ‘journalistic’ is to say that it lacks hard analysis, complexity, or deep thought. For a journalist to describe a scholarly book as ‘academic’ is to say that it is abstruse, dull, hard to read, and probably not worth the trouble of getting through. Yet in their heart of hearts, scholars long for public and even popular recognition. The Holy Grail of the ‘crossover book,’ one that impresses one’s colleagues but also appeals to the intelligent general reader and perhaps even makes the best-seller list, is a recurring dream in the profession.

—Marjorie Garber, Academic Instincts

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