Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe author, a professor of folklore and American studies at Penn State, has compiled a broad-ranging anthology of undergraduate lore. It's all here: collegiate lingo, Greek traditions, exam scams, campus jokes and pranks, graffiti and more. (The book's title itself is the punchline to a slightly scatological definition of the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.) Topics treated at length include legends of campus ghosts, May Day celebrations, and fraternity and sorority initiations. Bronner also outlines the evolution of the American university, from the early days of regimentation and strong school identity to the present, when the college experience is becoming a marginal part of the lives of graduates. As a result, Bronner notes, their mores are increasingly individual and less likely to be shared among groups. Fun to dip into--definitely not meant for straight reading except for the serious folklorist--this compilation will provide both students and long-postgraduates with mood-elevating moments of recognition. Bronner's books include American Children's Folklore. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library JournalA prominent folklorist, Bronner (Pennsylvania State Univ.-Harrisburg) knows that understanding any group comes through examining its folklore. His portrayal of college students, written with great wit and candor, will prompt laughter or tears, depending on the reader's disposition toward the realities of contemporary campus life. Those who liked the movie Animal House will undoubtedly love this book, since it displays the same array of college student ``types.'' Academic folklorists may not approve of Bronner's approach here, but this deliberately popular book will appeal to public and college libraries nonetheless.-- David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia
- August House Publishers, Inc.
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