, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 415–416 | Cite as

Christopher Adair-Toteff and Stephen Turner (eds.), The Calling of Social Thought. Rediscovering the work of Edward Shils

Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019, 270 pp. $120.00. ISBN: 978-1526120052
  • Alexander RuserEmail author

It might strike some readers as odd that a book aims to “rediscover” the work of so renowned a scholar as Edward Shils. Christopher Adair-Toteff and Stephen Turner provide us with an authoritative collection comprising of twelve chapters attesting to the impact of Shils upon the academy and beyond. As Turner notes in the very first paragraph of his introduction “Shils was one of the twentieth century’s most influential and respected intellectuals” and in the brief biographical sketch that follows, Shils is portrayed as well-connected social scientist, who switched effortlessly between the roles of serious academic, public intellectual and influential political actor.

For sure, Shils was a controversial figure. His participation in the Congress of Cultural Freedom those (in)famous anti-communist network of intellectuals, for instance, drew criticism particularly after the exposure of CIA involvement (Harris 2016), explaining why Shils is sometimes seen as a textbook example of a “cold...


Further Reading

  1. Aronova, E. 2012. The congress for cultural freedom, Minerva, and the quest for instituting “science studies” in the age of cold war. Minerva, 50(3), 307–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. David, B. J., & Clark, T. N. 1977. Culture and Its Creators: Essays in Honor of Edward Shils. Chicago:Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Harris, S. M. 2016. The CIA and the Congress for Cultural Freedom in the Early Cold War. London:Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Shils, E. 2006. In S. Grosby (Ed.), A Fragment of a Sociological Autobiography: The History of My Pursuit of a Few Ideas. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social WorkUniversitetet i AgderKristiansandNorway

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