Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog CCI (201): Two Books

I have come across two books that discuss a number of interesting topics related to career management in the history profession.  The first is: Rebecca Peabody, The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories (2014).  The other is: Nigel A. Raab, Who is the Historian? (2016).

Both books explore topics of how an individual with a Ph.D. can thrive in the current academic profession.  Peabody's book is a collection of interviews with Ph.D.s from a number of fields.  If nothing else, it is good for letting the reader know that they are not alone in the issues that they are facing; others are confronting the same problems and challenges.  There is a lot more to this book, and many discuss their future employment opportunities. These interviews make it clear that there are several career paths open to Ph.D.s.  Raab's book asks us to realize that there are a number of people that are historians: archivists, museum curators, journalists, and the like.  He says the book is something like a "The Making of..." documentary that one often finds on the DVD releases of major films.  He wants people to see how historians produce history.  These two books should directly and indirectly inspire readers to think about other career options outside of becoming a professor.