Have you ever written a book review?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

If Only We Published This Title . . .

Sales of “Atlas Shrugged” Soar in the Face of Economic Crisis
Washington, D.C., February 23, 2009–Sales of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

“Americans are flocking to buy and read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day” said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government’s increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we’re facing, and she offered, in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ a principled and practical solution consistent with American values.”

Friday, February 27, 2009

Current Events . . .(OT)

I am in the business of publishing books. I hire people. I pay taxes. My employees pay taxes. My independent contractors pay taxes. I buy truckloads of paper, cloth, and ink. I want to hire more people who will feed their families and in turn, pay more taxes.

I cannot. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the regulations, laws, restrictions, and obstacles the mooches who suck on the public tit place in front of me.

Sadly, the Marxists who have largely run my state of California into the ground, and the politicians in DC who are doing the same thing to our country, are making it harder and harder to hire people, buy equipment, save money, or build a business. But that is not surprising when you realize that 80 out of 100 federal Senators have never worked in the private sector, and not a member of the President's new cabinet, to the best of my knowledge, hails from private enterprise.

Think about that a moment.

Current events remind me of this brief exchange on free markets from the 1970s, when Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman slapped down the embarrassingly naive Phil Donahue with logic our high schoolers used to carry around in their hip pocket.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This Year I Will Buy . . .

Our small poll on projected book buying for 2009, worth less than the price of a cup of 1971 bad coffee at Shill's Maidright in Mason City, Iowa, triggered 21 votes. It broke down like this:

More books than in 2008: 7 (33%)

Fewer books than in 2008: 3 (14%)

About the same number: 10 (47%)

I am not in a position to know yet: 1 (4%)

So 17 of 21 will buy the same number or more books. We like that and hope the projection holds.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Maps of First Bull Run

Harry Smeltzer announced on his outstanding BullRunnings site our forthcoming Maps of First Bull Run by Brad Gottfried, and the notice has spurred many comments there, and emails and a few calls to us here. I posted a comment this morning on Harry's site, and thought it would also be wise to post it, verbatim, here:

Hello All

Thanks for this discussion. I can tell you that Mr. Gottfried and all of us at Savas Beatie appreciate it. (I am sure Brad has not seen it yet, since he is busy indexing his book--a most unpleasant task.)

Harry is being humble. He played a major role in reading the manuscript and making it better, as did Jim Morgan (author of the outstanding "A Little Short of Boats") for the Ball's Bluff portion, and Jim Burgess at the Manassas National Battlefield. Without guys like this willing to make books like this better . . . well, you get the idea.

"The Maps of Chickamauga" by David Powell and David Friedrichs is finished in terms of the manuscript and first cut maps and will go into the editing stage very shortly. We believe it is a real ground-breaking effort and will crack the Chickamauga nut wide open. (As readers discovered with "The Maps of Gettysburg," these books serve as the key to unlocking every title in your library on the same subject. Pull down any book and read it, and keep the Maps book next to you as you do so. You finally have the cartography that makes the strategic and tactical descriptions make sense.)

"Chickamauga" will be released on the anniversary of the battle this fall (September 19, 2009). It is a big book (320 pages and about 145 or so full page original maps) and like Gottfried's "First Bull Run" will be in full color.

Many people have called or emailed to ask about other specifications; here they are:

Specs: 7 x 10, dust jacket, head and foot bands, colored end sheets, full color throughout, 70-lb coated acid-free paper, and the binding is sewn AND glued for a very long life.

We do not have a date on the Shiloh book because the authors (Tim Smith and Gary Joiner) have other commitments, so they will turn to it when they can.

Once Gottfried finishes his index on "First Bull Run," he and I are turning to "The Gettysburg Encyclopedia," which is about 85% complete, in an effort to knock off his portion of the work, and then turn it over to me for my portion (entries, more developmental editing, and so forth). Brad will then be turning his attention to "The Maps of the Maryland campaign," the next book in the Savas Beatie Military Atlas series.

We deeply appreciate your support, your questions, and any and all suggestions you might have. Sign up for our free monthly e-letter, which will offer interviews, excerpts, and updates on these and other titles. You can do so through our website at www.savasbeatie.com.

Thank you.

Best regards


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another Shot at Stealing your Second Amendment Rights

"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is a force, like fire: a dangerous servant and a terrible master". — George Washington

Call me old fashioned. I actually think the Constitution means what it says, and that we fought a war for a limited government. "Savas, that is such an antiquated idea. Move on, already." Silly me.

My friends, we are ALL in the First Amendment business. As a publisher, I am more directly than you, perhaps, but as readers of freely produced literature, as citizens of a republic, you are, too. I have also lived long enough, read enough history, and have taught enough history (and Constitutional Law) to know that the Second Amendment guarantees all the others. This I KNOW, despite uneducated fools who try to tell us differently. If you can strip away one Amendment with legislative action (rather than by the Amendment process, as directed in the Constitution), can you not do so with all the others?

Read these quotes below--all of them--and then read this article in the American Thinker: More Gun Control Introduced in Congress

In the actual bill you will read, it requires upon penalty of jail that you have to report to the Attorney General. Well, our new AG Eric Holder is also on record as having said he does not believe the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual gun ownership. That's nice of him. And he also filed a brief with the Supreme court in the recent 5-4 landmark D.C. vs. Heller case (Holder lost because there were five sane jurists left.)

No one should be allowed to eviscerate our fundamental rights: Not Democrats and not Republicans. But tyrants of both stripes occasionally try to do so.

A little shocked, are you? Ah. Go back to sleep now. There are lattes on every corner and American Idol is on TV later.


"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is a force, like fire: a dangerous servant and a terrible master". — George Washington

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." — Daniel Webster

The Constitution of the United States of America


2nd Amendment:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
— George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

Those who created the U.S. Constitution's BILL OF RIGHTS only placed ONE of the 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights above the Second Amendment:

The Second Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Without the SECOND Amendment, there is nothing to prevent a coercive state from violating the FIRST Amendment.

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central state. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
— Richard Henry Lee, writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic,
Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." — Zachariah Johnson, Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

"… the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms" — Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2
Article on the Bill of Rights

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"
— Samuel Adams, quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer,
August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable …
the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

— George Washington, our first President of the United States

"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."

— Thomas Paine

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
— Richard Henry Lee, American Statesman, 1788

"The great object is that every man be armed," and "Everyone who is able may have a gun." — Patrick Henry, American Patriot

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands
can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" — Patrick Henry, American Patriot

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … "
— Thomas Jefferson, etter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

"The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." — Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8

"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
— Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is,
as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
— Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950)

The above individuals were the very ones instrumental in CREATING our country. We should heed their words.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Head of Socialism is Rearing. I Refuse to Bow

Someone mentioned Atlas Shrugged in a comment, which triggered me to recall my favorite part of the book.

I am a business founder. I pay employees. I have to make a profit. I am awake at night worrying about this and contemplating that. I have to deal with all the bullshit from government interference in my business and private life. From people who have never managed anything, have never had to produce, or compete, or make payroll or be better, faster, and smart than the next guy. Or live under the rules they make us, the producers, slave under. Oh, and I pay my taxes.

Since I am also an attorney, this scene from Atlas Shrugged is when the character Hank Reardon, a steel magnate, is on trial for not "sharing" his discovery of a better steel with "the people." His words are directed to the court.

No, I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers - with the facts, but not with the evaluation.

I work for nothing but my own profit - which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage - and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner.

I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with - voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product.

I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not.

Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not.

Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not.

If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it.

I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people - the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbours and that more men are willing to pay me.

I refuse to apologise for my ability - I refuse to apologise for my success - I refuse to apologise for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me. This is my code - and I will accept no other.

I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow men than you can ever hope to accomplish - but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognise the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life.

I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work - my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good - that nobody's good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices - that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the right of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction.

I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation - as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won't. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist.

Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"