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Anthony Grafton


  • Originally published 07/19/2013

    Anthony Grafton writes 3,500 words a morning

    From an interview with The Daily Beast's Noah Charney....Describe your morning routine.Absolutely. When I want to write, at home, I get up about 5, make coffee, slowly begin to be conscious. I’ll do a fair amount of other work, check email and Facebook and news sites, then I’ll bring my wife coffee and read the newspaper. It’s a long day’s reaching consciousness. By 8 I like to be at the computer and I like to write until about noon.Do you like to map out your books ahead of time, or just let it flow?I write my first draft on the computer. I used to write everything out by hand, but just don’t have the time, patience, or legible handwriting to make that possible anymore. I like to write quickly, so in ideal conditions I’ll have done a lot of research, made a lot of notes, before I sit down. But I don’t do an outline. By the time I could do an outline, I’ll already know what I need to say, so I’ll just sit and write.What do you need to have produced/completed in order to feel that you’ve had a productive writing day?

  • Originally published 07/01/2013

    Anthony T. Grafton and James Grossman: What a New Harvard Report on the Humanities Doesn't Tell Us

    Anthony T. Grafton is a professor of history at Princeton University and a former president of the American Historical Association. James Grossman is executive director of the association.Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of course you haven't.Those people are not just unmentionable, they're unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs, not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?