Authors of Their Own Lives: Intellectual Autobiographies by Twenty American Sociologists

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9780520065550: Authors of Their Own Lives: Intellectual Autobiographies by Twenty American Sociologists
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All students and scholars are curious about the human faces behind the impersonal rhetoric of academic disciplines. Here twenty of America's most prominent sociologists recount the intellectual and biographical events that shaped their careers. Family history, ethnicity, fear, private animosities, extraordinary determination, and sometimes plain good fortune are among the many forces that combine to mold the individual talents presented in Authors of Their Own Lives. With contributions from women and men, young and old, native-born Americans and immigrants, quantitative scholars and qualitative ones, this book provides a fascinating source for students and professional sociologists alike.

Some of the autobiographies maintain their reserve, others are profoundly revealing. Their subjects range from childhood, educational, and intellectual influences, to academic careerism and burnout, to the history of American sociology. Authors stands alone as a deeply personal autobiographical account of contemporary sociology.

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About the Author:

Bennett M. Berger is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.

Review:

"Bristles with anecdotes (about a woman dean at Yale who had to use the back stairs at a male-only club to attend administrative meetings, and about Justice Louis Brandeis not letting his law clerks (one of whom was the sociologist David Riesman) get married. . . . All these accounts are fragments of social history as well as of sociology." -- Paul Thomas, New York Times Book Review

"The extraordinary virtue of the Berger collection is that it allows for the first time a number of important, very different types of sociologists to remove their lab coats and speak from the heart. . . . [A] fine book from beginning to end." -- Alan Sica, Science

"These engrossing, literate memoirs should delight and inform more than professional sociologists. Scholars with an abiding respect for the great institutions of American higher education . . . will be especially rewarded, as will students of the German emigr experience. . . . Seductive and rewarding." -- Christopher Prendergast, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

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