Sunday, April 29, 2012

Short Books

Culling books out of limited space, I'm surprised at how many saveurs du jour have become saveurs d'hier. But I am pulling out some items I can't bear to part with, even if I very likely will not read them again. And I wonder if this is a coincidence: most of the ones I want to save  are short. Here are some short savers, some of which I admit I haven't looked at in years, but they sure made a dent on me once:

  • Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (224).

  • Edward C. Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (186).

  • Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger (179).

  • Leon Fetsinger et al., When Prophecy Fails (253).

  • J. Glenn Gray, The Warriors (242)

  • E. J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels (202).

  • Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (160).

  • Frank H. Knight, The Economic Organization (179).

  • Philip Rieff, Triumph of the Therpeutic (274).

I had totally forgotten Hoffer, though funny thing: back in the 60s when Hoffer was hot, it occurred to me that he might be a flash in the pan. Banfield is a particular favorite that I have written about here before. I suspect you might see it as one kind of Imagined Community--as is, perhaps, also Fetsinger and Hoffer and maybe Hobsbawm. Maybe even Knight, although somehow he seems to be the outlier here. I suspect that several can count as describing responses to extreme situations. Readers are invited to suss out any other hitherto unidentified commonalities.

1 comment:

shotHotBot said...

I never read primitive rebels - does it have some relevance to understanding the Occupy movement?

Also, I keep thinking I should have a year when I only re-read books but I never have had the guts to do it.