My big complaint is with all the complaining about advertising and the way the tournament ended. To be blunt, it felt like some people were being sore losers about the whole thing. The Junto said this was supposed to be a fun time and for people to not take it seriously, but nevertheless people couldn’t let it go. I think this tournament is a great way to simply share what people are reading, and which books that found particularly helpful. Not that it was the “greatest book” but that it was a helpful, good book to read over for knowledge.
I also take qualm with people saying it is a waste of time, it is meant to be fun, and blogging is supposed to reach people in new ways. Besides, it is not like an author is going to go put this on a curriculum vita — it is friendly competition and discussion between historians.
Truthfully, this march madness tournament is what got me hooked on historical blogging, because it was not just a bunch of old people with beard sitting around a fire discussing books, it was gripping and a way to reach out to a different audience than your typical scholars in ivory towers. Maybe some historians would prefer us to return to that, but as a young historian, I say “Junto keep doing what you are doing, and thanks for reaching out to us.”
I hope more of you have the opportunity to participate in this fun tournament next year and enjoy some great discussions and maybe find some books to add to your reading list.