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Coun- cil committee on Basic Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (1981–88), which produced three major reports on the present, past, and future of the behavioral and social sciences. This involved frequent travel to Washington, D.C. These years of institution management and service to the profession were not without their gratifi cations, but as time passed I became progressively more impatient with the slowdown in my research. In particular, I was very anxious about my lack of progress on a major monograph on the history of working-class education

(Smelser 1981, 1984, 1988b, 1991b, 1995); I had organized and edited a general handbook of sociology (Smelser 1988a); I had coedited and written 288 s o m e r e c e n t r e f l e c t i o n s theoretical essays for all three of the German-American theory projects; and I had completed essays on a variety of other subjects. None of these were full scholarly realizations in my mind, however, and I increasingly got the feeling that I was involved in too many distracting activities. Worst of all, my work on British working-class education lay fallow, inching for- ward