[Marxism] apartheid publishing

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Fri Dec 26 09:06:00 MST 2008


I have never been able to understand why radicals go along with
arrangements in which their journals and books are published by companies that
charge exhorbitant prices.  Who will read books that sell for over $100?
I would be embarassed to have such a book on my resume.
 
Let me blow Monthly Review's horn.  Price has always been a concern.  Which is why 
we always publish paperbacks.  The hardcovers are much more expensive, and we can make some
cash when libraries buy these.  But other presses put out only a hardcover
edition and make oney by these library sales.  Trouble is, a book aimed at moving
people in a radical direction will have no or little impact in such cases.  I wrote Why Unions Matter
(second edition is coming out soon) for working people.  Wouldn't I be hypocrite if it sold for $80 or more?
Better I didn't write it.  Plus with the lower price, I can give some copies away when asked or when
I think someone can't afford it.  But when I was interested in a book on international capital
flows written by a UMass prof, I couldn't ask him for a copy (about $140) when I met him, and
he sure couldn't offer me one.  I know I could have gone to the library, but on principle I said the hell
with it.  Let's be honest.  Aren't such books written just for peers, and for status and 
promotions in academe?
 
Michael Yates


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