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" Is Literzry History Possible? is a book you must read. It is pleasure to be able to that the duty is made enjoyable by the clarity of though and expression. When Perkins concisely explains how literary history in also literary criticism but is different from what we usually call history, and why it is both a complex and and worthwhile pursuit, more than antiquarian interest in a 'aesthetic spectacle', anyone can see that most writers on such a topic would have had more words, fewer ideas, and less effect. What more can one ask for than lucid learining on a topic of major importance?"

"The highest achievement of Perkin's book comes in the clarity he brings to the contestation, the dignified, serious, judicious, and generous rationality he bestows on the subject. He acknowledges the damaging confusion bedeviling humanities at the moment without enlarging it, and goes a long way in this book to showing a way out of the worst excesses the contestation has engendered."

"Profoundly searching, yet written with grace and lucidity. A distinguished historian and critic illuminates and answers one of the major problems of literary study in a work that will become and remain a classic."

"Perkins writes clearly and concisely. Like René Wellek and M. H. Abrams, he has an admirable gift for making clear the underlying assumptions of many different writers."