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Publishers in Peril

February 27, 2021

The University Press of Kansas (UPK), publisher of academic works of conservative Constitutional scholar and historian, Forrest McDonald, is in trouble. So writes Matthew J. Franck in Public Discourse where he is Contributing Editor.

I sympathize with Dr. Franck because I was trained to write scholarly books and essays in political theory and have found resistance to acceptance of my manuscripts at academic publishing “Houses.” I believe that is due, in part, to my traditional ideas about political order.

Ever since the French revolution of 1789 and the “Terror” of the French Directorate of 1795-1799, opponents of institutional murder have found it difficult to publish views to the contrary of killing sprees like that of the French sans culottes. Murder was justified by French, Spanish, and even English intellectual “radicals” like Thomas Payne, who abandoned traditional order and institutions and began to lust after the “new,” the revolutionary and what today is called “the politically correct.”

That has created a counter market for specialized publishing by individuals with a gift for publishing who defend traditional order. Two contemporary examples are St. Augustine’s Press founded by Bruce Fingerhut, and En Route Books founded by Sebastian Mahfood and Ronda Chervin, publisher of my novel “Coda.”

In other words, these two individuals–and publishers like Alfred Regnery and his father before him and the late Beverly Jarrett at the University of Missouri Press–and one or two editors at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute that over the years published “ISI Books”–are the lone defenders of the civilization, culture and philosophical and theological truths of “the West.”

Thankfully, God Himself reads books!

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