Author Archive

Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn

A Commercial Republic Roundtable: Entry 4 – Mike O’Connor Replies

The project that eventually became A Commercial Republic was originally my doctoral dissertation. As the capstone of one’s graduate education, the dissertation is a major undertaking; unsurprisingly, then, I received advice about it from all quarters. These recommendations typically took the form of gems that faculty had lovingly polished over the years by giving them in an undifferentiated fashion to each and every graduate student from time immemorial: one should avoid “chasing trends” but should “situate the research in an ongoing conversation”; the writer’s thesis should be “original” but not “too ambitious.” It did not take long for me to Read more