Books by Dr. Kenneth Craven
Kenneth Craven, broker of systemic change reveals 400 year old ethical battles that laid the foundation for our current economic and collective psychic meltdown.
Hamlet of Morningside Heights
January 11, 2011
In this remarkable book that is part detective story and part memoir, Dr. Kenneth Craven unfolds the mystery of the neglected ethical principles of St. Paul that illuminate Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Craven’s text offers a fascinating survey of American society writ large, concerning the treatment and place of ethics in literature and life over the last century.
Craven’s knowledge of the historical and political backdrop of the grab for the Elizabethan throne reveals the contemporary political implications of Hamlet and the humanistic values that were buried by pragmatic fortune hunters. American enterprise has re-appropriated Shakespeare’s satire of Elizabethan vices into an opportunistic program of New World virtues based on empire building. Craven’s findings question the American Dream of “rags to riches” and reveal its contradictions to humanistic ethics. Furthermore, he raises a critique of the American education system for its shortcomings in promoting individualism over communal moral behavior.
In this timely work, Craven puts his finger on the problems of the current economic crisis as stemming from a creed of fortune hunting in the competitive global market which led to an ethical and psychic meltdown. Institutions and individuals have chosen fortune over the human soul, exploiting rather than loving their neighbors. Seduced by the strumpet Fortune, American culture is transfixed by the prospect of societal success at the expense of others. The book begs us to consider what we leave behind and what our legacy will be, as individual humans and as a nation.
Craven takes his well-honed critical literary skills and focuses his lens on his own life, coming up with rich truisms and insightful life lessons. He describes in detail his personal experience of the inner workings of the academy. Caught between two worlds in his academic career—merchandising plays or studying the universals in classical drama—he brings to the table a distinctive commercial and universal perspective on theater. He frankly discusses the all too familiar world of academic in-fighting which will ring true for many aspiring scholars who struggle to establish themselves in their field, all the while drawing parallels to Shakespeare’s own struggles with the politics of theater.
Jonathan Swift and the Millennium of Madness: The Information Age is Swift's 'A Tale of Tub'
1992 and 2006 second edition
Jonathan Swift and the Millennium of Madness: The Information Age in Swift’s ‘A Tale of a Tub.” Leiden and New York, E.J. Brill, 1992. Reprinted in 2006 with new Foreword and Afterword. Since the book bridges disciplines, it was reviewed in 24 journals of religion, philosophy, literature, history, science, medicine and Ireland as classic, fascinating, extraordinarily well-informed, careful and encyclopedic.
“If they persevere [non-specialists] can expect to be rewarded with a combined appreciation of Swift’s genius, not simply as a literary figure but as a philosopher and, in the full eighteenth-century sense of the word, a divine.” ---- Charles C. Hefling, Jr., Anglican Theological Review 76.1 (1993): 117-18.
“Craven reminds us of Swift’s uncanny foreknowledge that democratic governments tend toward a populace inundated with information it cannot process and leaders intent only upon power and the deceptions by which it is gained.” ---- Melvyn New, University of Florida. 2006 Second Edition.
“This new edition situates Swift’s early masterpiece in its most resonant possible context – its savage critique of John Locke, whose life and philosophical work simultaneously served to legitimate government by popular sovereignty and to countenance colonial violence and slavery.” ---- Clement Hawes, Pennsylvania State University.
Science Information Personnel
January 20, 2023
Co-Director, Technical Information Project, U.S. Office of Education and National Science Foundation. Brokered and coordinated unified national Federal, corporate and learned response to Sputnik.
"Substantial contribution to handling effectively the tremendous outpouring of scientific literature.” --George S. Bonn, American Documentation 13 (1962): 306.
“Dr. Craven’s ability to conceptualize and express the implications and meaning of what is currently happening in the entire information field . . . place him in a very small and select handful of people capable of conceptualizing the information age.”
-Peter R. Young, former Executive Director, United States Commission on Libraries and Information Science, 1995.