Edward Shils (1910-95) was the Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He was the author of many books, including The Calling of Education and The Constitution of Society, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
"Shils is a man of fabled learning, whose mind purrs powerfully like the moth at dusk. I hesitate to use the word conservative of him because it misses the central concern of his work, which is not conservatism, but the conservation of those human resources and achievements which are richest, and matter most." - David A. Martin, Times Literary Supplement "Tradition is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject that encompasses the totality of tradition in all its multifaceted variables and functions....It is a landmark analytical and theoretical sociological study that not only fills a need but also provides a basic model and impetus for further research." - H. Leon Abrams Jr., Sociology "Shils tries to explore not this or that tradition, but the role in human societies of tradition as such - in the very wide sense of everything that is traditum, handed down, from one generation to another....Shils merits appreciation for having restated, with much learning and considerable eloquence, the sheer indispensability of tradition to human society." - Peter L. Berger, New York Times Book Review"