When the editors of Contemporary Sociology selected the ten most influential books of the past twenty-five years and published new essays on their importance, the feature sparked enthusiasm, debate, and controversy. This volume responds to and extends that discussion by expanding the list to seventeen books, incorporating a piece on the bestsellers of sociology, and adding four essays on the "most influential" controversy itself. Although the list centers on sociology, only half of the books were written by sociologists.
The charge to the reviewers was not to make a case for a book, but rather to analyze the character and extent of its influence. Because these works are already recognized as milestones in their fields, and because the reviewers are prominent figures who themselves often played central roles in the dramas surrounding these titles, the reviews are as noteworthy for their critical edge as for their celebration of the books' contributions. The result is a thought-provoking volume that engages many of the key intellectual issues of our time.
About the Author
Professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dan Clawson served as editor of Contemporary Sociology from 1995 to 1997. He is coauthor of Dollars and Votes: How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy and Money Talks: Corporate PACs and Political Influence.
What People are Saying About This
Required Reading is an invaluable resource and fascinating reading. Potentially every graduate student and faculty member in sociology (and many in other fields) will want to have a copy on their shelf, as a reference source that will stimulate their thinking for those books they have read and/or provide intellectual background for the books they haven't read. The books are important, the contributors are highly visible, and the essays are very readable.