October 15, 2003


Spence Publishing $5 Sale

We want to reach the many people who would enjoy our books but who don't know about us, so we're cutting the price of some of our best-selling titles to $5. From our groundbreaking studies on C.S. Lewis, the Constitution, music, and film to our more polemical books on race, feminism, homosexuality, and the family, your friends will find something in this special offer that will interest them.

Until 5:00 p.m. this Friday, October 17, approximately half our titles will be on sale for $5.

We would particularly recommend Russell Kirk's Rights and Duties: Reflections on Our Conservative Constitution and A.J. Conyers' The Long Truce [see see review]

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2003 12:11 PM

Why kidding? I got copies of Acton's political works for that price from Reason (or somebody, may not have publisher right).

I don't know who subsidizes them but somebody does.

If left publishers do the same, I haven't noticed since Gollancz ran out the Left Book Club -- which was before I was born.

However, Acton's more interesting religious essays are available only from "leftist" academic presses, and you pay plenty to get them.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 15, 2003 2:38 PM


Don't worry, you don't have to buy them like samiszdat out of your steel guy's trunk--conservative publisher's like the Liberty Fund will sell them to you:


The Index is in your mind.

Posted by: OJ at October 15, 2003 3:18 PM

Those cost three times $5.

I was merely making the point that rightwing treatises are scattered before the multitudes at a price that leftwing ones are not.

I brought my copy of Acton's essays on church and state -- the ones of most interest -- more than 30 years ago.

I probably paid the equivalent of 30 or 40 Bush dollars.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 15, 2003 5:54 PM

The main difference between literature of Left and Right is not price but availability. Every half-baked bit of Left quackery is still in print--from the Communist Manifesto to Population Bomb to Silent Spring -- and from big publishing houses. Walk into Borders and you'll find them all. Even the greats of the Right -- Burke, Nock, etc. -- are seldom in mass market editions -- the one collected Burke I've seen is Regnery.

Posted by: oj at October 15, 2003 6:40 PM

That's hard to explain in a free market for ideas, isn't it?

Why admire subsidized books on economics and deplore subsidized corn?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 15, 2003 9:38 PM

I'm curious.

Do the "Silent Spring" and "Communist Manifesto", etc., really sell, or do the booksellers HOPE they will sell?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at October 15, 2003 10:42 PM


I don't personally care if some rich guy subsidizes corn--that happens in the free market. It bothers me when government does--that warps the market. I don't think the Feds are going to run out and print the Complete Works of Orestes Brownson, though it would be preferable to corn subsidies.

Posted by: OJ at October 16, 2003 12:39 AM

Curiously, some rich guy (D. Lykes) did subsidize corn. It's a funny world.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 16, 2003 7:31 PM