The Struggle for Recognition

Jane Ciabattari, president of the National Book Critics Circle, points out a recent posting at Blographia Literaria giving my column its Seal of Approval:

Scott McLemee's coverage of recently published academic books is one of the real treasures of the internet. On his Intellectual Affairs column, he pulls out consistently fascinating subjects and makes them even more interesting. I don't know how many books he must have to read to find the gems he displays, but he always has something fairly obscure but tremendously intriguing to write about. Here is a recent example, on Liberty Hyde Bailey.
My thanks to Andrew Seal for this. Any sign of recognition is appreciated, just so long as it does not proceed along the lines of my experience at a coffee shop one morning this past weekend.

I was sitting there minding my own business (staring off into space, between chapters of a pamphlet denouncing Ernest Mandel for being the wrong kind of Trotskyist) when I noticed that a woman was trying to get my attention.

"Are you Thomas Friedman?" she asked.

It is fair to say that I was not expecting this question.


"Oh. Because you look like Thomas Friedman."

My wife was out of town. Later, by phone, she assured me that I do not look like Thomas Friedman. This was only just so comforting.

I'd like to think someone will demand that Friedman take a stand on Pabloite revisionism, just to restore the balance of the universe.    
March 4, 2009 1:54 PM | | Comments (5)



You do *not* look like Thomas Friedman. More like Scott McLemee, I'd say.

At least she did not say you look like Gerry Healy.

As well she might! Well maybe I'm not quite that far gone.

I think it's anyone with a beard who looks marginally thoughtful (OK, so I'm giving Friedman the benefit of the doubt on that). Personally, I think you should have smiled, admitted you were him and then asked her how much for rough sex -- in the interests of socio-economic research, you'd assure her. Other entertaining embellishments -- turning to any large male nearby and telling him to bring the car around after he's done shoving her out on the street -- suggest themselves all too easily.

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on March 4, 2009 1:54 PM.

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