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Enemies of Promise: Publishing, Perishing, and the Eclipse of Scholarship Paperback – May 24 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Prickly Paradigm Press; 1 edition (May 24 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972819657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972819657
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,100,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Enemies of Promise offers a prodding and lucid intervention into the glut and glamor of the over-production system and managerial model of corporate values that has taken hold in US academia and threatens to ruin creativity and block the future. As a series of polemics and reflective musings, the extended "essay" holds up very well and should have a broad and lucid impact, as parts of it already have had on the MLA and in UP circles. I liked the sustained and situated use made of Kantian 'judgment,' and the appeal to the ethical and aesthetic individual make-up of that judgment via Kierkegaard, Augustine, and Emerson. The way Enemies of Promise invokes Fish and Rorty, these anti-theory forces do look like 'covering cherubs' blocking vision and the 'new spirit' future from coming in, in the Blakean poetic and political sense. The work stays timely, and offers much good council to the young and to the over-professionalized and administered unto death, which here in the UC system say I feel strong doses of as "becoming production." Plus, the work offers some ways and tactics of value to move forward. In short, this is a real and bracing work of moral courage and aesthetic-political provocation that holds up very well as an intervention and over-view of a 'world gone wrong.'
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Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good critique of academic culture Dec 12 2007
By Khatarnaak Khatun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A publisher at Harvard University Press, Waters is the right person to offer this critique. He ruthlesly criticizes the coroporate, quantifying mentality that has crept into academics, destroying the authority and prestige of scholarly book publishing.

The last chapter is the best to read. There are nice quotes such as "Thinking is not like watching a lightning storm but more like catching lightning bugs."

Unfortunately, the book is hobbled by its own old-fashioned views. Too many books are being published, true. But Waters is part of the problem. He begins by saying that he has "an inordinate love of books." Well, so do tenure committees. At inordinate and unhealthy levels.

He criticizes the academic's unwarranted garrulousness. But he doesn't realize that this worship of the book (good, bad or ugly) has origins in the West's worship of books, texts, great books and great authors, as displayed in his own comments that "works of art spring us forth into momentary glory" and that the function of the humanities is to connect us to "great works of art." Waters elsewhere makes much of his aesthetic preoccupations, but does not acknowledge how restricted his account of the aesthetic experience is. His account of aesthetic experience is a text-obsessed, cognition-oriented, book-loving version. Pure eurocentric high-culturalism.

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