Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Getting Sloppy at the New York Times


There's an entertaining article in today's NYTimes about the latest and greatest from Pearson Prentice Hall. It's called Janson's History of Art: Western Tradition 7th edition by Randy Kennedy. While comparing Art History to the Sopranos and dropping hints about why Grant Wood had not been included in previous editions is all fine and dandy. Getting quotes from unemployed teachers about how their students aren't going to be able to understand New Yorker cartoons anymore isn't too swift, then calling it the "first thoroughly revised version" loses tons of credibility points, what were the other five editions, chopped liver? And not mentioning the "New & Improved!" DVD edition which is heavily promoted on the website is probably just going to annoy the publicist hired by Pearson Prentice Hall. Finally, if you think this all a mountain being made out of a molehill, the book itself costs $107.33 (standard class size these days for an intro to Art History is about 50, or $5,366.50 per class, not bad scratch, eh?) which ain't cheap, and how many revisions of a textbook get an reprint of their press release in the New York Times? So do you think it is gonna help sales?

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