Extreme Academe!!

Dear Commons Community,

Carlin Romano, critic for The Chronicle of Higher Education, has an essay in this week’s edition entitled, Will the Book Survive Generation Text!.  It is a fairly balanced treatment of the future of the book as required reading in the not too distant future (say 10 years).  He cites several of the books that predict the end of the university as we know it as it accommodates the high-tech lives of our students (Generation Text) who are losing their ability to focus long enough to read a lengthy book.  He is concerned that in the coming “extreme academe”, students will be unable to disconnect from their other connections to concentrate and endure the contents of a substantive book.  He refers extensively to Robert Darnton’s, The Case for Books:  Past, Present and Future, that compares how the younger people approach reading and that they are wired “differently from their elders.  For Romano, the implication is that faculty in the “extreme academe’ will change their reading assignments to chapters and articles rather than whole books and texts.  The best line in the essay is:  “the next generation of professors…will wonder why anyone ever wrote a book longer than John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty.”


The Chronicle article is available at:


Comments are closed.