Gross, Ronald. The Independent Scholar's Handbook.
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1993. xviii, 301 pp.

by Ralph Dumain

There is no indication that this is the second edition of Ronald Gross' 1982 book from Addison-Wesley, but it is in fact the case. The bulk of the 1993 edition is basically the same, with some minor variations. The layout and certain stylistic features are different in the newer edition, constituting a visual improvement. As the 1993 edition is now a decade old, it could not be considered up-to-date; however, there is little time-sensitive information in it, and since there is a bit more information in this edition, given a choice between buying these two out-of-print editions, you might as well go with the more recent. (Keep in mind the author's other books as well.) If you have the 1982 edition, though, you are missing very little that is newer, so you might as well stick with it. As I have already reviewed the first edition, I will confine myself to specifying the more noticeable differences between the two, which in part reflect the differences of a decade.

The newer edition has a dedication, to an independent scholar, Jim Bennett, a victim of the AIDS crisis. Otherwise, the substantive differences are to be found in the appendices and in the bibliography (a basic bookshelf for the independent scholar).

The appendix on foundation funding this time itemizes the core collection of the Foundation Center's directories. The Cooperating Collections Network is a more extensive list of libraries providing fundraising information centers.

The appendix "Copyrighting Your Work" has been rewritten.

The appendix "University Presses in North America" actually contains less information than the 1982 edition. The 1993 edition only lists the name and geographical location of each university press. The 1982 edition provides full contact information including a contact person, plus a paragraph describing each press's areas of concentration. After twenty years some of this information is bound to be obsolete, especially the contact person. In either case, current listings should be sought elsewhere.

There are two new appendices, one on the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, founded in 1989 (I was a charter member of this organization), with a list of affiliate organizations, and one on five cases studies of organizations of independent scholars.

The annotated bibliography includes some new entries. I will just list the new references here.

Brim, Gilbert. Ambition. New York: Basic Books, 1992.

Goleman, Daniel, and associates. The Creative Spirit. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1992.

Gross, Ronald. Peak Learning: A Master Course in Learning How to Learn. Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher, Inc., 1991.

Hayes, Charles D. Self-University. Wasilla, Alaska: Autodidactic Press, 1990.

Jacoby, Russell. The Last Intellectuals. New York: Basic Books, 1987.

Naturally, much has developed during the last decade. E-mail was already becoming prevalent in the early 1990s, and the World Wide Web changed everything.

Contents: The Independent Scholar's Handbook (2nd ed) by Ronald Gross

Review of Ronald Gross' The Independent Scholar's Handbook (1st ed.)

"Oh, To Freely Pursue the Scholarly Life!" by Gary Shapiro

National Coalition of Independent Scholars

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