The History Man

The History Man

A Novel

eBook - 2015
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Malcolm Bradbury's classic skewering of 1970s academia, hailed by the New York Times as "an encyclopedia of radical chic as well as a genuinely comic novel" Among the painfully hip students and teachers at the liberal University of Watermouth, Howard Kirk appears to be the most stylish of them all. With his carefully manicured mustache and easygoing radicalism, Kirk prides himself on being among the most highly evolved teachers on his redbrick campus. But beneath Kirk's scholarly bohemianism and studied cool is a ruthless, self-serving Machiavellian streak. A sociology lecturer who outwardly espouses freethinking nonconformity, Kirk is himself vain and bigoted, dismissing female students and colleagues while releasing vitriol against those who contradict him, particularly his clever, wayward wife, Barbara, the long-suffering mother of his two children. A funny and incisive satire of academia and ideological hypocrisy, The History Man is one of Malcolm Bradbury's most acclaimed novels and remains just as sharp and witty today as when it was first published.
Publisher: [United States] : Open Road Media : Made available through hoopla, 2015.
ISBN: 9781504007764
150400776X
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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manoush Mar 26, 2015

The History Man is by now a period novel, and it brilliantly captures the zeitgeist of 1972 and the armchair "radicalism" of some faculty and students, chiefly the protagonist Howard Kirk, a predatory, gossipy, intolerant sociology professor and thin-skinned control freak. Bradbury uses some wonderful turns of phrase to describe stock characters and set-pieces of academic life that don't seem to have changed much since 1972. But past the first chapter, the writing quickly gets tedious, slow, and utterly absorbed in minutaie, perhaps to mimic the day-to-day drudgery and petty trivialities of campus life. The overall effect is to convey the smallness of academics' lives.

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