American Vision receives a number of books for review purposes from numerous publishers each week. Some of the books are unsolicited with no note or letter telling us who the author is or why we might be interested in the topic. Some books are so poorly written and designed that we wonder what the author was thinking. Self-publishing and print-on-demand companies make it easy for anyone to get a book published today. If you have written something, there’s someone out there who will take your money and publish your book. The risk is all yours. I tell people that it’s relatively easy to write and publish a book. The hard Part 1s marketing and selling it. Some self-published books defy conventional selling methods and make it big. The Shack is a good example. American Vision has been in the self-publishing business since 1982 when the first volume of my God and Government series was published. Books are never a sure thing, no matter how important we think the topic is.
Some books need to be written and published because they challenge the status quo of ideas that often dominate and paralyze innovation and cultural movement forward. Old battles are often fought with outdated weapons to hold onto a world that needs to pass away because so much of it is built on pretense. There is a scene in the film The Late George Apley (1947) that caught my attention and perfectly describes how belief systems take root without any clear thought of the origin of the plant (worldview) or the effect it might have on the environment (society and culture) (Kudzu, “the vine that ate the South,” is a current example.) A Boston blueblood, played wonderfully by Ronald Colman, is an unbending traditionalist who tries to force his self-conceived conventions on his two children in the year 1912. For Mr. Apley, Boston is “the Hub of the universe” and Emerson is the prism through which life must be viewed. It takes Julian Dole, the father of the young lady from Worcester, with whom Apley’s son John has fallen in love and wishes to marry, to make him think about his unyielding ways. Dole states that there are two kinds of people in the world, “stand patters” and “go getters.” Apley is a “stand patter.” He lives in the past with his old ideas and inherited money. Dole reminds Apley that his grandfather had traded rum for slaves, who were then traded for molasses, which made its way back to Boston to make more rum so cycle of ill-gotten gain would begin again. Apley’s current social station was built on a sordid history that he would rather keep hidden.