Gangs of Russia author Svetlana Stephenson wanted to become a sociologist after she read a collection of essays entitled American Sociology given to her by her father at the age of fifteen.
Growing up in Russia, she couldn’t obtain a degree in sociology from Moscow State University without having first worked in an industrial plant or for the party. So she studied history and later obtained a doctorate in sociology from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“I consider myself a historical sociologist,” she said. “This was the time of Gorbachev. I got a job at the Russian center for public opinion and I was lucky to have it.” Continue reading “One Book at a Time”
“Libraries are innately subversive institutions born of the radical notion that every single member of society deserves free, high quality access to knowledge and culture.”—Dr. Matt Finch
Libraries are indeed a radical idea. Rather than purchase a book, I can simply go to my public library and borrow it for no fee whatsoever. Free books for everyone! Apart from the single purchase of a book by the library, it is a collective slap in the face to free-market capitalism. Some conservative voices in the nineteenth century, in fact, strongly attacked libraries for being “socialist continuation schools” that created a culture of dependency for those who could not pay market value for the books they wanted. And some continue to argue this even now. Continue reading “Embracing the Subversive Nature of Open Access”
The Humanities Open Book Program, sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is an effort to make out-of-print scholarly work once again available to scholars, students, and the general public, free of charge, in the form of high-quality, searchable ebooks. It is in many ways a bold, technologically savvy, forward-looking embrace of twenty-first-century developments in publishing and higher education—so what better person to bring on to help usher this dream into reality than an old-fogey stick-in-the-mud like myself who likes nothing better than poking around in museums and used-book stores, prefers riding trains to airplanes, and has never read an ebook cover to cover (or whatever it is they have instead of covers) in his life? Continue reading “A Brief Note on the Past, the Future, and Cornell Open”
This week, we’re focusing on Cornell Open, our partnership with National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation to bring classic books from our backlist back to the forefront of discussion through an open access strategy. As such, I’ve been turning my attention to how we market and “sell” things that are free. Continue reading “Doc Martyn’s Sage Marketing: Free Stuff!”