Back before the Internet, people relied on comic books and pulp magazines for self-improvement. Charles Atlas challenged generations of boys, and a few girls, to get buff and deal with that bully who kicked sand in his/her face. Ads in tawdry detective magazines promised to provide crime-fighting skills while more mainstream publications pushed everything from speed reading to making friends to learning a foreign language in just 15 minutes a day.
University presses won’t try to con you. We sell books. The kind without shortcuts. It’s just the way our evolution worked out. Had universities followed missions that involved happiness via whisky flavored toothpaste, we might today be telling you about how our aged tartar-fighting rye with the mint stripe could provide tasty dental health.
We’re in the midst of what we who love shorthand call #ReadUP, a University Press Book extravaganza that promises nothing less than enlightenment, intelligence, new worldviews, and a lot of stuff to talk about at cocktail parties.
Look, we live in a B.S.-dominant age. The best way to inoculate against it is to search out some measure of truth, the more uncomfortable the better. We provide that. We can’t even publish a book without getting the approval of a bunch of scholars first. And it’s not just egghead stuff we’re publishing. People, please! Rutgers just put out a great book on Frank Miller’s pioneering work on Daredevil. The press at Texas Christian has the science of whiskey on its roster.
Come along with us. Our books are just like the other books you love. Available at stores. Check-outable at libraries. Beautifully produced and written by actual experts in their fields. You’re smart enough to know you’re not smart enough. Same here. Every time you open a UP book you step into the light. Every time you open a UP book you make a fool angry. Every time you open a UP book you fill a sandbag against the rising tide of B.S.