Paulie the K. weighs in on my man Cronon.
Those are some pretty nice words for Nature’s Metropolis (1991), a book that’s old enough to vote Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker out of office and almost old enough to have a legal beer with its author. As commenter Kathie observed yesterday, Salon’s Andrew Leonard “mentioned that he just purchased two of Cronon’s books; when I checked at Amazon, those two books were ranked something like #45 and #51 — not bad for history publications!!”
Proving once again the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
0 thoughts on “Krugman on Cronon”
And Anthony Grafton in The New Yorker, which is always good publicity: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/03/wisconsin-the-cronon-affair.html#comments
Excellent–thanks History Maven. He gets the causal factor correct, as I did not in my Saturday post. It was the blog post alone (as Brian Ogilvie pointed out) and not the NYT op-ed that inspired the FOIA request.
Tony is right. Wisconsin Republicans seem remarkably fragile and weak when they pull stuff like this. Furthermore, Tony’s editorials about history taking a more combative stance in the public square seem all the more prescient.
I need to move some books: who can I pi$$ of so that I can steer some traffic thisaway?
Krugman’s column is fantastic. People regularly mistake me for him in the street in New York: they come up and thank me for his latest column. If that happens in the near future, I will be tempted not to explain who I really am.
The AHA Council has also taken a strong public stand:
Thanks so much for this great series of posts.
Sorry, that second URl should be
Ha! You know that Krugman originally wanted to be a historian, right? You should ask him if he’s interested in loaning you some NYT op-ed page real estate one of these days. . .
For some alternate views see:
Profane–I think it’s fair enough that the GOP wants to dispute Cronon’s ideas, but the way to respond to a blog or blog post you don’t like is to comment or write another blog post in response. The appropriate way to respond to an editorial in the New York Times that you don’t like is to write a letter to the editor, or write an op-ed presenting your point of view for eithet the NYT or other newspapers.
The proper, proportional response is NOT to subpoena someone’s e-mail records! I thought Chris Bray’s commentary was especially silly, BTW. The comparisons to a journalist who joins the fight and then claims the protections of the press was fatuous, and his description of Cronon’s webpage were just incorrect.
Historiann, since it’s Monday I’m a bit glum and cynical I would answer your question by saying: just wait your turn to be attacked for what you write as free and unfettered scholarly inquiry. Cuz people just don’t understand what academic freedom is and thinking is dangerous.
Note also the recent case of Timothy Chandler, who was forced out of the provost’s position at Kennesaw State after the Marietta Daily Journal found Chandler had coauthored a paper that employed marxian analysis: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/18/provost_designee_withdraws_at_kennesaw_state_amid_controversy_over_journal_citation_of_marx
Better to read the newspaper’s op-ed: http://www.mdjonline.com/view/full_story/12173684/article-Around-Town–KSU-s-new-colors—black–gold—and-red-?
FYI – I was by no means endorsing – just making people aware of the range of opinions on this. (I would rapidly run out of offensive adjectives if I was to engage in commentary on the Wisconsin GOP).
See also now:
and the comments.
Thanks for the links, Profane. I think Jeremy takes Bray’s silly and factually challenged analysis far too seriously. Meanwhile, Tenured Radical this morning offers a link to commentary by Jon Wiener at The Nation on l’affaire Cronon.
I still think it’s a ridiculously disproportionate response, and one that is aimed squarely at shutting up university faculty in Wisconsin (and perhaps everywhere.)
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I agree, Historiann. To quote Jon Wiener, “And of course there’s a big difference between an individual using Freedom of Information legislation to expose government misconduct, and the party in power using it to harass and intimidate a critic of the government.”
I still disagree with Chris, don’t I? Sometimes I like to respond to views with which I disagree, but which made me think (cf. an earlier post on Mitch Daniels’s Social Security plan). I could just have agreed with all the posts that praised Cronon, and that was my original plan, but then I realized I was stimulated a lot more by the view I didn’t agree with (Chris’s) than by the ones I did.
Anyhow, carry on…
Jeremy–you can do whatever you want, man–it’s your blog! I wasn’t criticizing you, I was just surprised, that’s all.
Fair enough! I do tend to go about constructing my arguments by starting with someone I disagree with. Perhaps it’s an unfortunate tendency.
I continue to enjoy what I read over here at Historiann!