Very Short Introductions - book series
November 24, 2007 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Very Short Introductions is a book series by Oxford University Press. Each small format paperback is a 100-50 page essay written by an expert in the field providing a concise overview for beginners on diverse but basic topics such as: Postmodernism, Russian Literature, Anarchism , Architecture.. there are 173 titles.
posted by stbalbach (12 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: yeah, there's nothing here to actually read, just order pages for the books -- mathowie

Um, this sounds interesting, but I don't think it counts as "something cool on the web" (from the posting page). It's basically an ad for a series of books. If they make them freely available online, it would make a great post. Until then, not so much.
posted by languagehat at 9:02 AM on November 24, 2007

Unless I'm missing something, these are just links to a catalogue, no content we can actually read on the web.
posted by Manjusri at 9:05 AM on November 24, 2007

Each small format paperback is a 100-50 page essay

So they are 50 pages? Why put a math problem in your post?!
posted by papakwanz at 9:14 AM on November 24, 2007 [3 favorites]

Pepsi Blue
posted by felix betachat at 9:15 AM on November 24, 2007

On one hand, this post seems inappropriate for Metafilter.

On the other hand, it's very interesting to know these books exist and I'd love hear from someone who has read a few to see if they're worth finding.

On the gripping hand, why is there a Wikipedia tag on this?
posted by tkolar at 9:19 AM on November 24, 2007

I don't think this is a great post, but the VSI series is excellent. They can be quite variable though: I found the Kant one fairly impenetrable, but the Economics one by Partha Dasgupta was very good.
posted by matthewr at 9:22 AM on November 24, 2007

The Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer VSIs are absolutely top-notch. The Political Philosophy VSI is a bit basic; the Kant VSI is not much more welcoming than Kant himself.

Which other ones are keepers?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2007

I've read the Literary Theory one by Jonathan Culler, and that was quite solid. I also read the Judaism one, and it was good, but not great. I've heard that the Hegel one is good.
posted by papakwanz at 9:33 AM on November 24, 2007

these books are really good! i've enjoyed the cosmology and quantum physics books.
posted by joeblough at 9:45 AM on November 24, 2007

Sorry I made a crappy post. There is no review that I could find about the series as a whole. If anyone has any suggestion on how to post about VSI - which everyone agrees is worthwhile knowing about - it would certainly add to the value of the post.
posted by stbalbach at 9:56 AM on November 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm happy for the post, just to know these exist. On the other hand, it is a bit weak. Here's a link to the nascent VSI blog. Perhaps it will grow over time.
posted by mkhall at 9:57 AM on November 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'll also vouch for the Very Short Introductions series. They are uniformly excellent (though I haven't read the Kant one that a couple of people up above have thumbs-downed). The one I read on the Koran was amazing.
posted by blucevalo at 10:00 AM on November 24, 2007

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