Tags: conservatives | book club | Neil McCaffrey

Conservative Book Club Returns With Online Offerings

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2015 08:29 AM

The venerable Conservative Book Club has been "reincarnated and digitized," according to Lee Edwards and Anne Edwards writing in The Daily Signal.

The Conservative Book Club was originally established because major publishers and liberal book review supplements tended to ignore writers and audiences who leaned conservative. In the 1960s "mainstream publishers were convinced conservative books were the literary equivalent of the third rail," the Edwardses write.

The stereotype was that conservatives hardly wrote or read much, and that books of interest to them were basically money losers. Barry Goldwater's "The Conscience of a Conservative" was originally self-published and though it sold millions of copies did not make it onto The New York Times bestsellers' list.

Lee Edwards is a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Anne Edwards was the first employee of the original Conservative Book Club. They point out that nowadays, the Times bestsellers' list includes any number of conservative books, including those by Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. Major publisher today often have their in-house conservative imprints.

The original Conservative Book Club, under the stewardship of Neil McCaffrey Jr., operated like the Book of the Month Club. The Edwardses write: "Each month, Conservative Book Club would automatically mail a selection to its members unless they declined the book or selected another title from the newsletter.

"Neil was sure there was a sizeable market for good books on the right. He was proven correct when, in the first 18 months after the Conservative Book Club started in April 1964, the club's membership topped 30,000. After three years, the Club could point to sales of 15,000-20,000 conservative books a month."

One of the few exceptions to liberal publishing dominance has been the long-admired conservative publishing house Regnery, they write. It has been active in various forms since the 1940s and was affiliated with the Conservative Book Club, according to the Times.

Today, there is no shortage of conservative books.

"How can you keep up with the unceasing wave of new titles and decide which is the book you must have?" they write.

According to the Edwardses, the answer is the "reincarnated and digitized" Conservative Book Club. The site offers interviews, a bestsellers' list, excerpts and an opportunity to order conservative books.

The authors "represent different strains of the conservative movement," the Edwardses write.

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The venerable Conservative Book Club has been "reincarnated and digitized," according to Lee Edwards and Anne Edwards writing in The Daily Signal.
conservatives, book club, Neil McCaffrey
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 08:29 AM
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