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Public administration has enjoyed for at least a half century a small but significant stream of scholarship on the arts and humanities as they bear on the issues of our field. Charles T. Goodsell and Nancy Murray's fine collection of essays, Public Administration Illuminated and Inspired by the Arts, represents a significant milestone in that stream of scholarship. Not only does this volume present a broader than usual spectrum of topics from the arts but it also offers a useful conceptual framework, termed "bridges," for thinking about how the arts can aid in understanding our field.
Looking beyond literature alone for insight, this book uses a more expansive view of the arts, including not only novels and short fiction but also film, drama, poetry, classical literature, visual art, and aesthetic theory. The arts contribute "illumination" - shedding new light on public administration problems - and "inspiration" - harking to the potential of the human spirit. The editors also note that with greater diversity in organizations and society and more complexity in the environment, there is a concomitant need for a broader view of scholarship - one that moves beyond the narrow, scientistic view of research dominant for nearly a century, to include the arts.
The book has 14 chapters; the editors each contributed a chapter, collaborated on …