[Milton-L] soliciting of reviews

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Fri Dec 12 13:37:49 EST 2008


Hannibal:

When you're reading a review of a book in your field, don't you feel you
learn as much about the reviewer as you do the book being reviewed?  I agree
with you that there's no substitute for time spent reading in a field, but
our reading of reviews is usually not a matter of blind trust in the
reviewer.

Jim R

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 11:14 AM, Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
> wrote:

>
> This raises, alas, yet another question -- who should be doing the
> reviewing.  Many young scholars, even graduate students, are eager to
> review, since this is a relatively easy way of getting publications.  But
> this can easily make enemies and damage career prospects.  There is also a
> problem of authority.  I confess I get irritated when I read reviews in TLS
> or other major journals that are written by graduate students, even when the
> arguments seem sound.  Since a review is partly a guide to books that one
> hasn't read, one wants to be able to trust the reviewer.  This is not to
> deny the argument that we all have ideological bias -- not a very
> interesting one, I think -- but rather to assert the need for credentials
> and the desire of the reader for a reviewer that can be trusted.
>
> Hannibal
>
>
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