Announcement from The Redneck Intellectual
Several months ago, I announced that I would have some big news to share with you in the near future. Well, that time has come.
I’m pleased to announce that I have launched a new publishing venture.
In the past week, I have created and incorporated the “Loco-Foco Press,” which will primarily serve as a platform to publish my non-academic books. I also hope to publish a variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books and pamphlets that have not seen the light of day for over two-hundred years. Finally, I’m very open to publishing books and pamphlets of friends, colleagues, and other people doing good work in support of a free society.
Here's our logo:
The aim of Loco-Foco Press is to publish contemporary and historical works on a variety of topics related to a free society.
The First Book of Loco-Foco Press
The first book to be published by Loco-Foco Press is a short monograph of mine titled What America Is: The Moral Logic of the American Revolution and Other Essays. The book is a collection of my (mostly) unpublished essays and op-eds on the nature and meaning of America.
Here’s the Table of Contents for What America Is (minus the the formatting):
Table of Contents
The audience for this monograph is thoughtful and patriotic Americans who are looking for some inspiration and motivation to continue the never-ending fight to defend the United States of America from its critics on the postmodern Left and Right.
Here’s the Preface from the book to give you a better sense of what I’m doing with Loco-Foco Press and why.
We live in an exciting new age of technological innovation and intellectual entrepreneurship. Writer platforms such as Substack and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) have democratized publishing in exciting new ways. This means of course that a lot of second- and third-rate material is published (which, by the way, is little different from much of what is published by some prestigious academic presses), but it also means that the old publishing monopoly held by elite magazine, journal, and book publishers is slowly coming to an end. This also means that aspiring, non-credentialed, new writers (both young and old) can go around the establishment press and publish their own books and articles, and sometimes even get paid rather handsomely for their efforts.
The new publishing landscape does not represent a Gutenberg Revolution in publishing, at least not quite yet, but it is signaling a radically new publishing environment in which certain ideas—particularly ideas that challenge the current cultural hegemony—can be shared with ever more people. This book is therefore a small experiment to test whether certain old ideas—ideas once considered to be self-evidently true—can be communicated to large audiences outside the extant publishing and educational monopoly of ideas.
Fortunately, I’m at that point in my career (i.e., as a tenured full professor) where I don’t really need to publish more academic books (though I have several more in the pipeline). I now have the luxury of experimenting and seeking news platforms to publish my thoughts on the things I care about or on matters important to the general public.
My goal here is not to write for an academic audience. Instead, I am using my new venture, Loco-Foco Press, to publish books for ordinary Americans who care about the future of their country.
I had no plan to do anything like this until my friend Mark Da Cunha insisted that I collect some of my (mostly) unpublished essays on America and publish them to celebrate July 4th. Well, one thing led to another, and I realized that not only did I have one book’s worth of material based on unpublished essays and speeches but several books. Readers should know that I write regularly at Substack under the nom de plume, The Redneck Intellectual. I currently have enough of my Substack essays to publish three or four books. It then occurred to me that I should start a “press,” or at least an imprint, to publish my “overflow” essays or those more appropriate for a general audience. And thus was born Loco-Foco Press.
Some of you might be curious to know the origin of the word Loco-Foco. The term refers to a rump faction of radical Democrats in the 1830s and 1840s, who broke from the main party and formed a small, splinter party in 1835 known as the Equal Rights Party. The self-designated Loco-Focos took their name from a brand of friction matches that they used to illuminate the darkened hall of their first meeting. The Loco-Focos were the most principled and dedicated proponents of a free society of any political party in American history. Loco-Foco Press hopes to carry on the principles and politics of the Loco-Focos into the twenty-first century.
Help Choose the Cover
And now for some fun!
My very talented daughter-in-law, Ally, has designed a wonderful cover for the book and she’s given me three color options. I can’t make up my mind. I like them all.
So, in the spirit of democracy, I’ve decided to crowd source the choice of colors. Here are the three cover options.
So, which color do you like best?
I would be grateful if you would vote for your favorite cover color in the “comment” section. (You just need to write one word designating the color you like best.) Feel free to “vote early and vote often.” I’m opening the comments to both paid and unpaid subscribers.
A Modest Request
The Redneck Intellectual qua Substack has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. I launched The Redneck Intellectual almost three years ago, and the general subscriber list has been growing at a steady clip every month and the “open” rate (i.e., the percentage of subscribers who open each received email) is high by Substack standards.
During that time (33 months), I have published 72 issues of “Dumb and Dumber,” 57 issues of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” 62 long-form essays (most are 4,5000-6,000 words in length), one poem, and one video.
As some of you know, I also have a day job. I teach at a major American university, and I have an administrative job running an institute. On top of that, I’m writing academic books and articles, and, oh, yes, I also blog seven days a week at, EdWatchDaily.com.
The bottom line is this: I’m firing on all cylinders every day, all day. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming, and so the modest support I receive from paid subscribers is a serious motivation to keep producing. My paid subscribers serve as a daily reminder that I have a moral obligation to deliver the goods. But for them, my weekly output would be, I’m sure, diminished.
Bottom line: I would be deeply grateful if even 5% of you were to switch over to a paid subscription (i.e., $5 per month, $50 per year, or $200 per year). I would be especially gratified if those of you who have been reading The Redneck Intellectual since day one would consider a paid subscription.
The Redneck Intellectual is a reader-supported publication. To support my work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Thank you for your consideration. Have a great week!