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Difference between revisions of "Talk:The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism"

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(Relation to article: Fourth Great Awakening: Approval of a review of a book before its subject?: agree with John)
(Process of approval: response to Anthony)
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:::::Joe, I would like to remove the article from consideration of approval, until I can make the changes that respond to everyone's comments, for which I am grateful.  Will you arrange that with Nick, please.  Thank you.  [[User:Anthony.Sebastian|Anthony.Sebastian]] 04:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
 
:::::Joe, I would like to remove the article from consideration of approval, until I can make the changes that respond to everyone's comments, for which I am grateful.  Will you arrange that with Nick, please.  Thank you.  [[User:Anthony.Sebastian|Anthony.Sebastian]] 04:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
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::::::That seems the right course of action.  I'm going to remove the article from the approval queue for now, but '''do''' please let me know at the Approval Manager account talk page whenever you feel like the article is ready to recommence the approval process.  If you hurry, it might even be the first one I'll get to guide through the new approval process as Manager! ;) -- Joe ([[User:Approval Manager|Approval Manager]]) 05:12, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  
 
== Relation to article: [[Fourth Great Awakening]]: Approval of a review of a book before its subject? ==
 
== Relation to article: [[Fourth Great Awakening]]: Approval of a review of a book before its subject? ==

Revision as of 05:12, 15 August 2011

This article is developed but not approved.
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To learn how to fill out this checklist, please see CZ:The Article Checklist. To update this checklist edit the metadata template.
 Definition Book report, Robert William Fogel's The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism, 2000. [d] [e]

Help with Categories and Subpages

Will someone add Category Religion Workgroup to this article, and explain to me how to do that in future.

Will someone include subpage 'Addendum' for future supplementary text.

Thank you. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 17:23, 3 October 2007 (CDT)

How to put an already partially completed checklist on top of this page

I have already started a checklist, via 'Start article with subpages'. How do I put the already partially completed checklist on top of this page? --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 17:30, 3 October 2007 (CDT)

I see you got it. I hope you found it nice and simple, once you knew the trick. Chris Day (talk) 22:21, 4 October 2007 (CDT)

Title

The title of this article is too long; at least, on Firefox the text gets jammed together as it spills on to a second line. I don't think we need the info in parentheses. John Stephenson 23:28, 4 October 2007 (CDT)

John: I'm okay with shortening the title by removing the parenthetical text. However, I do not know how to do it and still keep everything intact, including links to the article from other articles, the checklist, etc. I will try when I have time. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 12:15, 5 October 2007 (CDT)

Image width

Hi Anthony--the image is still so wide that it is causing the dreaded Horizontal Scrolling, and making the text spill out into the grey area. This makes the article unreadable for me. If you created the image, could you change not the display size of the image but the width of the text columns in the image itself? The smaller image size makes the text hard to read in any case. Even better (because more accessible) would be simply to type in the text from the image into a wikitable. If you need help creating a wikitable, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would help. --Larry Sanger 18:34, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Balance

Too little attention is given to criticisms of Professor Fogel's thesis. Three references (11, 12 and 13) are quoted, but the hyperlnks to 11 and 13 make no connection, which makes it difficult to find what is missing. In any case, there should be a brief account in the text of the main points made by critics, Nick Gardner 21:10, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Will work on that. Thanks. Anthony.Sebastian 03:30, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

The question of balance is critical here. This book is not a widely accepted work of scholarly repute, but is regarded as of interest mainly because of the author's having a Nobel Prize in an field unrelated. On that basis, William Shockley's views upon the genetic deterioration of blacks in America is a worthy topic. The speculative nature of this work should be made clear, along with the objections to it. It may be more of interest as evidence that bright and skilled minds can go amok. It adds little to CZ to make this article on an eccentric thesis an "approved article" unless a really solid perspective is supplied. John R. Brews 19:10, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Remarks

It seems that the table is not adapted but copied from the publisher's website and According to its copyright notice the original copyright notice has to be reproduced here. I am not sure that this is compatible with our license. Moreover, the same table is duplicated on the Addendum subpage.

Anthony, I know that you like long annotations but to me this article reads more like publisher's blurb than as a presentation of the author's thesis.

Another remark: In an encyclopedic article it is not suitable to address the author as "Professor" Fogel, I think.

--Peter Schmitt 00:06, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Peter. I will attend to each of your remarks, as well Nick's above. Anthony.Sebastian 03:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

major conceptual problems

This "article" is essentially a table and a list of bullet points. History is not a list.

There is no discussion/criticism of the concept of "awakening." "Surges in religious fervor and organization" do not constitute an "awakening" which is cultural shift as in the first and second great awakenings. To go beyond the second great awakening is to just play with historiographical interpretations (e.g., if there was a first and second, there must be a third and fourth, no?), and just faulty reasoning. Sure, religious fervor has caused political changes in late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (e.g. the Social Gospel, and the Moral Majority), but to suggest that these movements constitutes a "cultural awakening" is just hooey. In the first two awakenings the results were fundamental reorganizations of American religion; I just don't see it happening later. The article should be more critical of this spurious theory.

Russell D. Jones 16:39, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I certainly can't argue with Russell's points made above -- from a quick glance at the article, I would almost certainly agree with all of them. Moreover, it seems to me that this article is essential a "book review" and a synopsis of the contents of that book, with help from a Web site. Whether or not the article falls within what CZ considers an "article" to be, I'm not very clear. Right now, as Secretary of the Editorial Council, I have just moved a proposed Motion from the Discussion period to the Voting period -- this Motion, which has been discussed and revised for several weeks now by members of the EC, will, I hope, redefine the "Approval Process" in a useful way. I am assuming that this Motion will be accepted by the EC as a whole within the present 36-hour time frame. I suggest, therefore, that nothing further be done about the possibility of Approval of this draft article until the Motion has been passed. At which point, other perspectives may possibly be brought to bear upon the article and its proposed Approval. Hayford Peirce 17:33, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
As the initiator and chief contributor to this article, I suggest we remove it from consideration for approval until I've had the opportunity to revise it in respect of the comments here on the Talk page.
Incidentally, Russell, you are disputing Fogel's concepts, and Fogel might might well lose in a debate with you. But CZ cannot articulate a point of view. I'm just trying to summarize the content of Fogel's book. There are published critiques of Fogel's concepts, and we can include them. I'm working on that section of the article, as time permits. If you know of any published thoughtful critiques that resonate with your exceptions, perhaps you could add to the article, or call them to my attention for inclusion. We could also incorporate a 'Signed Article' subpage. Anthony.Sebastian 03:15, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Does the article provide an accurate account of the book that will be useful to readers who want a summary? If the answer to that question is yes, I suggest that it deserves approval, regardless of other considerations. Nick Gardner 09:55, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, articles about specific books are certainly legitimate subjects. But I think that any article about a book certainly wants to have appraisals of the book in the question, rather than just being a resume or summary of the book. It should be put into historical context, perhaps, and, well, you know all the other things that should be mentioned. If this particular article has some of that, then there shouldn't be a problem. In any case, the new "Approvals process" now has, I think, five positive votes at the EC, so it should be passed shortly. Hayford Peirce 19:04, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the article should be critical of the concept and of the shortcomings of the book. Pull no punches. If we're writing a book review we should be critical. There is no value in writing a "cliff notes" version or objective summary of the book. If it's conceptually flawed (and it is), we should say so.
Here're some problems that the article needs to address
  1. by what standard does a Nobel-prize-winning economist demonstrate competency in American religious-cultural movements? There seems to be an attempt to address this issue in the section "Why does an economist concern himself..." but it's just a list of bullet points summarizing Fogel's argument about imbalance. He's an economist. How does he measure the immaterial? We need to know.
  2. What is Fogel's definition of a "Great Awakening" and does his evidence meet this definition? As I mentioned above, "an upsurge in religious fervor" just isn't rigorous enough a definition to test historically. What are the common causes of these "upsurges?" What common consequences?
  3. What evidence (by evidence I mean events, movements, people, books, ideas, etc.) has Fogel downplayed or ignored that undermine his thesis? and
  4. Is he holding to the same standards of evidence for the supposed "third" and "fourth" awakenings as for the first two Great Awakenings? (I doubt it.)
  5. The article needs to emphasize that this is a highly-contentious historiographical interpretation. How contentious? Consider this: not a single leading historical journal, outside of the economics discipline (the Journal of Economic History and the Business History Review did review the book but they can be forgiven because Fogel is a Nobel-prize-winning economist; how could they ignore him?), has reviewed the book, not the American Historical Review, not the Journal of American History, not Reviews in American History. It's clear that (after a decade now) the history profession has not recognized this book as legitimate historical scholarship. This article needs to be clear about that. His theories are about as accurate as the Moon Landing Hoax. Jon Butler in the BHR noted that Fogel's argument "has only limited success" and that the awakening schema is "fraught with difficulty, especially in its depictions of a first and third Great Awakening and in its insistence on 'cycles' of awakenings in American history." We should consult here also Frank Lambert's Inventing the 'Great Awakening' (1999) And Edward Zajac in the Journal of Economic History noted that "Fogel's book represents big-picture research that often collapses complex events into thumbnail sketches. It is thus open to attack for sins of over-simplification, over-generalization, omission of important details, and lack of rigor." Both reviewers though had praise for the book too, but they were critical enough to point out the flaws. Our article should too.
  6. The "Responses" section doesn't contain one response that is critical of the professor or the book.
  7. Are you aware also of his book "Time on the Cross?" It got blasted in the historical literature when it came out years ago. Fogel is no stranger to problematic historiographical interpretations.

Russell D. Jones 22:34, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

(Unindent) By a vote of 6-0, with one member not voting, the Council has approved Motion EC:2011-032 concerning changes in the Approval process of articles. You may read the entire discussion at: http://ec.citizendium.org/wiki/EC:2011-032 Hayford Peirce 15:40, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Hayford, I looked at that and can't make any sense of it. Where is the policy? Russell D. Jones 22:34, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Russell, the wording of the Motion is here -- it's a very lengthy motion, and one that took us a long time to agree on. http://ec.citizendium.org/wiki/EC:2011-032#Approval_process -- please note that this is about the PROCESS of Approval, it does NOT address the qualifications for Approval, an entirely different matter. Hopefully the people who will now make Approvals will be guided enough by the Process details to eventually make clear what the qualifications are. I'm sure that Peter can explain it to you better than I can, or, indeed, any of the other members of the EC.... Hayford Peirce 01:04, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

(Unindent) Russell, regarding your thoughts on the conceptual problems in Fogel's book, it would make an excellent contribution to this article if you submitted a Signed Article to accompany the article—see CZ:Signed Articles. It would be inappropriate to include some of your criticisms of the book in the main article, but they could be elaborated on in a signed article. I will incorporate the factual material you mentioned, such as the non-reviews of Fogel's book in top historical journals, into the article. I also plan to include published negative responses to the book, and if you know of others than the ones you mentioned, please call them to my attention. I will bring in Lambert's, Zajac's, and Butler's published criticisms. Thanks for your help. Anthony.Sebastian 02:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Process of approval

Hayforth above says:

Russell, the wording of the Motion is here -- it's a very lengthy motion, and one that took us a long time to agree on. http://ec.citizendium.org/wiki/EC:2011-032#Approval_process -- please note that this is about the PROCESS of Approval, it does NOT address the qualifications for Approval, an entirely different matter. Hopefully the people who will now make Approvals will be guided enough by the Process details to eventually make clear what the qualifications are. I'm sure that Peter can explain it to you better than I can, or, indeed, any of the other members of the EC.... Hayford Peirce 01:04, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

The wording referred to begins:

Approved Citizendium articles are those which are formally acknowledged as reliable as well as informative and well-written according to the project's standards of quality.

This statement appears to be some kind of "qualifications" statement. I'd assume that it describes qualities of approved articles, and that satisfying these criteria is only a beginning of qualification. Personally, I'd object to book reviews as approved articles, and require that approved articles must be intended to treat entire topics or sub-topics, and use books only to flesh out the overall discussion. John R. Brews 16:35, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

John, as Hayford mentioned, the EC put the 'qualification statement' in http://ec.citizendium.org/wiki/EC:2011-032#Approval_process only as a general statement. Precise formulation of approval qualifications has not been done since the charter was adopted.
I've already agreed that this article describing Robert Fogel's book is not ready for consideration of approval, and I plan to ask that it be removed from consideration at this time. I plan to work further on it in accord with suggestions made here on the Talk page.
I disagree with the idea of never approving articles that treat of the contents of a book. That would exclude articles describing the contents of many books that would be of value to readers, and that would allow authors contributing to articles that refer to the book to link to the book article for further information. Anthony.Sebastian 01:35, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
edit: change "allow" to "not allow". Anthony.Sebastian 02:28, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that we have to distinguish between a "book review" and "an article about a book". A "book review", to my mind, is the sort of thing the New York Times does in their weekly section about mysteries. An "article" about a book is the sort of thing that Edmund Wilson used to do in The New Yorker. Ie, he might tell you something about the book in question, but he also put it into historical context, etc. etc. A CZ article about a specific book should do that, plus examine it from different points of view. A straightforward "book review" of, say, Pride and Prejudice or The Origin of Species should NOT ever become an Approved article. An article about either of them could, if good enough, be Approved. Hayford Peirce 03:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that this book has been very extensively reviewed - and I found these quickly -here,here,here,here, here,("Fogel’s book represents big-picture research that often collapses complex events into thumbnail sketches. It is thus open to attack for sins of oversimplification, overgeneralization, omission of important details, and lack of rigor. Inasmuch as each of Fogel’s great awakenings have lasted about a century and we are only 40 years into the 4thGA, it may be a while before we see whether or not Fogel’s book becomes a classic or is confined to the dust bin of failed grand theories.")and here, and here. It does seem to me therefore that an article about this book is very appropriate - not another review of it, but perhaps a 'meta-review'?Gareth Leng 09:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, a "meta-review" is the right way to think about the work of writing a CZ article about a book, I think. We, as readers of the article, need some information about the contents of the book: what is the author's main argument, how does the author go about making that argument? But what makes a scholarly book important is what it contributes to broader discussions and how it is received; we need to hear about those items, too, in order to understand the book's significance. With a novel, the situation would run parallel: the important contextual information is the impact that the book has had on the public generally and on other authors. -Joe Quick 15:51, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Joe, I would like to remove the article from consideration of approval, until I can make the changes that respond to everyone's comments, for which I am grateful. Will you arrange that with Nick, please. Thank you. Anthony.Sebastian 04:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
That seems the right course of action. I'm going to remove the article from the approval queue for now, but do please let me know at the Approval Manager account talk page whenever you feel like the article is ready to recommence the approval process. If you hurry, it might even be the first one I'll get to guide through the new approval process as Manager! ;) -- Joe (Approval Manager) 05:12, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Relation to article: Fourth Great Awakening: Approval of a review of a book before its subject?

It seems a wrong order of events to me to be considering an "appraisal" of Fogel's book for elevation to approved status when the subject of that book is discussed in Fourth Great Awakening and that article is not under similar consideration, and remains incomplete. I'd suggest that until the article discussing the subject of Fogel's book is developed and approved, it is nonsense to approve a book whose only reason for existence is this debatable topic. In fact, a decent discussion of the topic probably would make use of Fogel's book and make this review of it redundant. John R. Brews 14:51, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't know whether or not another article would make this one redundant, but otherwise I certainly agree with John's comments above. Hayford Peirce 15:58, 14 August 2011 (UTC)