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Les Back's Academic Diary is a profoundly humanistic account of the unexpected and often fleeting day-to-day pleasures of working in a contemporary university. -- Laurie Taylor Broadcaster A beautifully written book, full of reflection and reverie, decency, and front-line documentation. -- Sukhdev Sandhu, New York University All academics should make sure that they have a copy to hand. -- David Beer, University of York When discussions of higher education in England are dominated by loans and questions of finance, it's all too easy to forget about the lived, transformative experience of education. Episodes in Academic Diary serve as healthy reminders of what ought to be central to universities and colleges: learning. More than that, Les Back's generosity and collegiality forge the politics of this book into something distinct. Walter Benjamin wrote in his commentaries on Bertolt Brecht: 'Whoever wants to make the hard thing give way should miss no opportunity for friendliness.' In a similar spirit, Academic Diary tempers sentiment with critical aims. -- Andrew McGettigan, author of The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education
Les Back is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.