SOCIAL SCIENCES

Becoming an Academic: How To Get Through Grad School and Beyond

Johns Hopkins. May 2019. 272p. bibliog. ISBN 9781421428802. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421428819. ED
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Going into academia is an ambitious topic to cover in under 300 pages. However, Mewburn (Australian National Univ.; How To Tame Your PhD; Thesis Whisperer blog) offers not a definitive manual on going from grad school to the professoriate but instead a collection of essays with advice on subjects at the forefront of aspiring academics' minds, with an emphasis on commiserating over the common challenges. The volume contains an introduction and six chapters on broad themes such as writing, productivity, and employment, but each features a series of topical segments that can easily stand alone (the author likens them to blog posts). Despite the liberal dose of humor and skewering of academic foibles, Mewburn's counsel is solid.
VERDICT This quick and entertaining primer will appeal to students considering a career in academia as well as their advisers and anyone who has been down the path themselves.

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