Pierre van den Berghe wrote Academic Gamesmanship over forty years ago. Though dated in many particulars, the book retains an uncanny relevance and insight into the life of higher education. It is also one of the funniest things you’ll ever read.
Published in 1970 and long out of print, it has nonetheless enjoyed a continued readership, with used copies selling at a premium (as high as several hundred dollars on Amazon.com).
Because the editors at TheBestSchools.org have greatly enjoyed the book, we decided to contact the author. Now long retired, but still sharp as a tack (he is professor emeritus at the University of Washington), he graciously agreed to license the book to TheBestSchools.org, thus making it widely available to a new generation of aspiring academics.
Not only did Professor van den Berghe agree to let us reprint the book, but he was also kind enough to add a new preface, “An Update of Sorts (2015),” sketching, as he put it, “the most notable trends in the last half century of American academia.”
The entire book as well as the new preface can be accessed from the links at right. We have left the original unchanged except for correcting some typos and adding a few editor notes (chiefly, the notes adjust dollar amounts from 1970 to the present, 2015, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index inflation calculator).