Quick Studies by Alexander Star
The Best of Lingua Franca

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Lingua Franca covered the intellectual life of the 1990s--when American scholars took to the public stage as never before--with wit and passion and helped establish many of the leading voices in American journalism today.

Dedicated to the proposition that academia can compete for interest with Hollywood and Washington, Lingua Franca explained, in depth, the ideas of the decade--and told some of its least likely stories. In Quick Studies a physicist humiliates the gurus of postmodernism in an astonishing hoax; the "Dirty Harry" of literary theory renounces his calling; a Romanian dissident is assassinated in a faculty lavatory; and a leading feminist faces charges of sexual harassment.

Anyone concerned with the key debates of our time, and their idiosyncratic debaters, cannot afford to miss this book. It is nothing less than a collective portrait of the American intellectual in its native habits.

About Alexander Star

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Alexander Star edited Lingua Franca from 1995 until 2001. He is currently the Ideas editor of The Boston Globe. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and the London Review of Books.
Published September 30, 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 544 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Though less full of spite and despair over the current state of academia than is, say, Newsweek or National Review, these pieces add up to a condemnation of academic culture as they lay bare the silliness and irrelevance of much contemporary scholarship.

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Publishers Weekly

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(Sept.)Forecast: Anthologies aren't usually big sellers, and, sadly, there's little to suggest this one will be any different, given Lingua Franca's small circulation.

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London Review of Books

The Clinton Administration provided little cover here – its cultural politics were populist – and even institutions once considered friendly to intellectuals, such as the New York Times, mocked the humanities, as with its annual listings of far-fetched titles from Modern Language Association meet...

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