Friday, January 8, 2010

Free books!

Let me call attention here to my four books available on-line for free reading, linking, and even reprinting (for free or at-cost distribution):

Thinking About Politics: American Government in Associational Perspective(D. Van Nostrand, 1981).

This is a college textbook introducing students to American government with the aid of a novel set of concepts that tries to improve their ability to think systematically and in a principled way about politics. It was published in 1981 and is now long out of print. I don't think it is "dated" except that a few changes in American government have taken place since 1981. I modestly thought it was ahead of its time in 1981, and it probably still is.

Basic Political Concepts(1990).

This short 40 page work summarizes the novel set of concepts introduced in Thinking About Politics, and reflects an additional ten years of refining my ability to explain these concepts. It is strictly a "virtual" book.

This work was selected by the Global Text Project to be one of the works they converted to their format and made available on-line for free use by students in the developing regions of the world. Text book costs, as the Global Text people note, are even more of a problem for students in countries with very low per capita incomes than they are for students in countries like the United States.

The Metaconstitutional Manifesto: A Bourgeois Vision of the Classless Society(1998)

This book rests on and grows out of the concepts introduced in the previous two books,. However it does not assume that readers will be familiar with them. It develops a vision of the best possible socio-political-economic world, one characterized by market economcs (but not laissez faire!), democracy, the rule of law, and universal government. It agrees with Marx that the best possible society would be classless but disagrees sharply about what that society will be like and how to get there. This too is strictly a virtual book, as no editor to whom I offered this manuscript was willing even to take a look at it back in the early 1990s.

I put this book up on the World Wide Web in 1998, which was the 150th anniversary of publication of Marx and Englels' Communist Manifesto.

Wrong Turn: A Sympathetic Critique of the Civil Rights Movement (1999).

This manuscript, too, no editor would even look at, perhaps making the false assumption that my use of the word "critique" in the title meant that I was a racist. The fact that the book praises the civil rights movement about 90% of the time did not register, since none of the editors would look at the manuscript despite the fact that the title included the word "sympathetic."

This book is more than about the civil rights movement, as it casts some perspective on American history and politics and illuminates some aspects of government that are often not noticed or understood.

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