“On Writing Book Reviews and the Ethic of Academic Kindness”
When I was a doctoral student, I used to write three to four book reviews annually. Not only did I get to receive a free book, I had an amazing opportunity to learn more about my academic fields of interest from experts and specialists. When it was time for me to write my own dissertation, I stopped doing book reviews because of the pressure and the anxiety associated with the writing process ✍.
As a result, I made a commitment to myself to be a positive reviewer and not to denigrate any book or undermine somebody’s efforts to write an academic book (unless the book promotes violence and hate and dehumanize people)
Folks: writing a (good) book is already hard work and a HUGE commitment and responsibility; writing a terrible, harsh, and heartless review of somebody’s book is not a mark of rigorous and careful scholarship.
Let’s extend some kindness, hospitality, and tolerance to our academic peers!
With your pen 🖊, you can humanize the academia and make the world a better place.