The Chronicle Review

What book do you wish someone would write?

June 04, 2017

A cultural history of privacy from Watergate to Facebook. —Derek Krissoff

A one-volume major history of diplomacy.—Peter J. Dougherty

A primary-source reader on the origins of misogyny.—Beatrice Rehl

It’s more the type of book I wish someone would publish. At a moment when our ability to have discourse across differences seems to be in critical decline — even (especially?) on college campuses — I’d like to see the emergence of socially engaged scholarship that presents two (or more) contending perspectives in genuine dialogue with each other. —Mark Edington

Roman roads are fascinating, and I would love to read a scholarly study of what it was like to travel along some of the major long-distance Roman thoroughfares. There are various technical studies of particular routes, such as the Via Egnatia, that I am aware of, but no social history. —Charles Watkinson

A readable and engaging history of recycling that combines the social activism around it, the evolving local governments’ support of or opposition to it, the science behind it, and the truths-versus-myths about its efficiency. —Brian Halley

There’s a great satirical novel yet to be written about the vagaries of and characters who inhabit the scholarly publishing world. I doubt anyone would read it, though. That’s kind of a joke and kind of not. — James McCoy

I’d love to see a book on the recent explosion of serial television programs featuring unreliable narrators. Shows like Mr. Robot, Westworld, Legion, and The Leftovers are incredibly popular, and I suspect the larger questions the culture is having about facts, authority, and reliability may be related to that trend.—Tony Sanfilippo

I am a sci-fi geek, and I love watching an author mature as an artist, so I would love to see a complete anthology of the works of William Gibson. —Meredith Babb

In 1982, McGraw-Hill published Encounters With the Future by two forecasting experts, Marvin Cetron and Thomas O’Toole. They endeavored to predict the events, trends, and technological advancements — including the reunification of Germany, the rise of the internet, and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, among other prognostications — of the final two decades of the 20th century. The time is right for another team of experts to explore what the next few decades might reveal. —John Byram

A book about what Michael Sandel calls "meritocratic hubris." —Ian Malcolm

Someone should write a really good book on what the average person can do to combat climate change, racism, gender and sex discrimination, gun violence, etc. I think there could be a great little series of activist volumes. —Gita Devi Manaktala

The Success of the University Press in the 21st Century and Beyond: A Case Study —Jane Ferreyra

A history of the technology industry in Seattle.—Nicole Mitchell

I’d love to see a multimedia e-book that explains in clear language and with great visuals the value of scholarly publishing, and why it matters not just to universities but to the culture at large. —Richard Brown

A book about the impact and importance of state-funded higher education that would get taxpayers and state governments to reverse the dismal trend in funding we have seen for the past four decades.—Darrin Pratt

I hope to announce that in a seasonal catalog shortly.—John Donatich