It's not available online, of course ....

... but the new issue of Radar magazine has a nifty little trashing of "cultural histories" -- you know, the books about tea, salt, cod fish, glottal stops, herpes sores, whatever, the ones that trace How Nothing Would Be the Same in Human History Without This Little Item. Although some of the histories have been well-done, instructive, fascinating (Dava Sobel's Longitude, David Friedman's A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis), quite a few, Peter Hyman writes, are little more than gimmicks.

By the way, he calls them "cultural histories" -- inspired by Foucault. book/daddy has heard the term "commodity histories" -- inspired by Marx.

August 26, 2007 11:47 AM |



Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on August 26, 2007 11:47 AM.

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