Skip Navigation
Falvey Library
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

"Very Short Introductions": Concise Information, Perfect for the Train Ride Home


This time of year, every minute counts – especially with finals less than two weeks after we return from Thanksgiving holiday – hashtag: for real, dude! Fortunately, the Library has resources designed to pack a lot of information into a little bit of time. So instead of perusing Buzzfeed on the train ride home, buzz through one or two Very Short Introductions to get a head start on crunch time!

Sometimes we need background information for a speech or project. Maybe we need to become familiar with a subject before seeking in-depth, scholarly information. Sometimes, we just need a very short introduction. That’s where Oxford University Press’ “Very Short Introductions,” published since 1995, can help. Over 200 of these concise, pithy “pocket-portable introductory lectures” (Guardian Review) covering such topics as archaeology, arts & architecture, biography, business & management, economics & finance history, language & linguistics, law, literature, mathematics & sciences, medicine & health, music, sociology, philosophy, politics, psychology & neuroscience, religion & bibles and the social sciences can be found at Falvey.

Noted authors in many fields have contributed to these short successful volumes about the world. This series has spawned literary events and lectures on both sides of the Atlantic. So, are you game? Just seeking leadership, or logic? Seeking the more spiritual leadership? Try short introductions to the New TestamentAugustine, or IslamKant, you say? We’ve got that too. Everything from the mystical to the mind bending, consciousness to Christian ethics, from American politics to chaos theory, from relativity to Tocqueville. And we’d bet nine of out ten of you would want to shorten statistics!

However, as a prominent reviewer described one of the series titles “The brevity of this volume is both its strength and its weakness.” Judge for yourself. Find out more about “Very Short Introductions” (VSI) at You Tube. Or learn more from one of the VSI study guides at Oxford University Press.  Better yet, check one out at Falvey.


The latest editions in our collection are below with attached author biographical information. You’ll find links to our catalog listings. Click the authors’ names to find their other (longer) publications. Author specifics prove that although the introductions are short, the scholarship and authority behind them is not.

American Political History by Donald T. Critchlow (more on Critchlow)

Love by Ronald De Sousa (more on De Sousa)

Ritual by Barry Stephenson (more on Stephenson)

Exploration by Stewart Angas Weaver (more on Weaver)

The United Nations by Jussi M. Hanhimèaki (more on Hanhimèaki)

Ancient Assyria by Karen Radner (more on Radner)

Privacy by Raymond Wacks (more on Wacks)

Liberalism by Michael Freeden (more on Freeden)

The American Revolution by Robert J. Allison (more on Allison)

Myth by Robert Alan Segal (more on Segal)

SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science.


1 People Like This Post


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


Last Modified: November 21, 2017

Ask Us: Live Chat
Back to Top