The big news this week (actually, pretty much the only news) is the very positive reception for the Just Third Way Edition of Fulton J. Sheen’s Freedom Under God. So far we’ve only had two reactions that were less than positive. The first was from someone who said he hadn’t read the book, and didn’t want to. He just knew he hated it. The second was that somebody got a copy that had a binding error: during the binding process part of someone else’s book was included. (We advised that the customer return the book and get a good copy.)
Other than that:
• Again, the big news is that a short time ago we released Freedom Under God for printing. CESJ is now taking bulk/wholesale orders (please, no individual sales). Until December 31, 2013, the per unit price for 10-99 copies is $16.00 (20% discount), for 100-499 copies is $14.00 (30% discount), for 500-999 copies is $12.00 (40% discount), and for 1,000 or more copies is $10.00 (50% discount). Shipping is extra. Send an e-mail to “publications [at] cesj [dot] org” stating how many copies you want and the street address (no P. O. Boxes) where you want them delivered. We will get back to you with the total cost, how to pay, and estimated delivery time. All payments must be made in advance, and orders are placed only after payment clears.
• A recent buyer on Amazon of Freedom Under God posted a review titled “Warning!” It seems the purchaser got a copy with a printer’s error: somehow during the binding, the foreword was replaced with forty pages of “disgusting” poetry! We don’t know anything about the quality of the poetry, but we agree with the purchaser that it had no place in Fulton Sheen’s book. We advised him (or her) to return the book immediately for replacement with a good copy. We’ve had this sort of thing happen only once before in a decade of dealing with this printer — the cover of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen got put on somebody else’s text. It was replaced immediately. Our printing subcontractor is good, but not perfect. When books are printed individually, this sort of thing can happen. Unless you want to retain it as a rare “collector’s item” the way coin collectors and philatelists look for items with errors and flaws, return the book immediately to where you bought it for replacement.
• As of today, CESJ can fill orders for most of its publications from Australia. We are currently in discussions with a potential distributor Down Under. We’ll keep you posted on how soon you can put in an order, and with whom. Due to various complications (such as currency conversions and transfers in small amounts that don’t wipe out any profits on the sale), we cannot at this time take direct orders from Australia.
• We just received a terrific endorsement of the Just Third Way Edition of Freedom Under God from Monsignor Sal Pilato, Vice President Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, Superintendent of High Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As Msgr. Pilato stated, “Venerable Fulton Sheen left this world over thirty years ago. But every time I read an excerpt of his writing or preaching it seems that he was speaking directly to us in the 21st century. I heartily endorse the re-publication of the Archbishop's Freedom Under God by the Center for Economic and Social Justice. As his message reaches a new audience they will discover the timelessness of his writings and thought especially as we try to navigate these extremely difficult political and economic times.” Msgr. Pilato’s words are particularly encouraging, as we made a special effort through the addition of the foreword and notes to present Fulton Sheen’s message in a way that makes it relevant for “us in the 21st century.” Thank you, Msgr. Pilato.
• We have located a “negative biography” of Fulton Sheen. We’ve been hearing that he was a personal friend of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Well . . . somebody had to like the guy — and you should have seen some of the people that Jesus guy hung out with. In any event, it looks at this point that there is no way anyone could make hay of this. We’ll know for sure after we read the book, of course, but none of the reviews so much as mention Hoover. All the reviewers said that even the extremely jealous author of the biography had a hard time trying to make Sheen look bad (one reviewer said he admired Sheen more after finding out about his faults), and the book is clearly an effort to “get” Sheen. Had there been any leverage in the relationship with Hoover, it would have come out — in spades.
• Of course, if you’re looking to read something substantive about Sheen, we suggest you might find it useful to wait for the release of Thomas Pompowski’s book, scheduled for 2014.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 71 different countries and 50 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Australia. The most popular postings this past week were “The Fulton Sheen ‘Guy’,” “News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 34,” “‘Long Lost’ Book by Fulton Sheen Rediscovered,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” and “If You Have a Free Moment.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we’ll see it before it goes up.