R. Alan Lewis, President
Ground Zero Books, Ltd.
We know—most of us have election fatigue, but it is hardly surprising that in our first column after this transformative election that we will at least provide some commentary (and perhaps some perspective) on the election.
First, as a purveyor of a wide array of works on war, peace, and politics, we have no wish to either pander to or to alienate portions of our customer base. Our collection is a “big tent”’ with works representing all perspectives and most if not all eras, geographic areas, memoirs, and analyses. As trained historians, we advocate research, analysis, and learning over promotion of one or another viewpoint. Actually, we encourage the investigation of many viewpoints in support of understanding and as a process for validating one’s own views.
In the United States, the election of Mr. Trump was by many unexpected (especially by those who placed undue reliance on opinion polls and even exit polls). From another perspective, it was the continuation of a trend that has developed within Europe and was most recently communicated through the “BREXIT” vote in the United Kingdom. As a recent Nobel Prize recipient once opined, “The times, they are a-changing.” For political scientists, this is a continuation of a trend of Republican resurgence since President Obama took office—they will point not only to the Presidency, but to net losses by Democrats in the Senate, House of Representatives, governorships, and control of one or both houses in state legislatures. Social scientists, and especially sociologists, may look at the alienation of many population sectors, not just rural white males without college degrees. Economists, whether they hark back to candidate Bill Clinton’s War Room focus on “It’s the economy, stupid!” or just look at the economic stagnation, lack of growth in real wages, and increases in health care and other costs, will have their own take on the results of the voting across the country.
What does all this mean? There are at least two answers. The first is, “watch this space,” as over time there will be post-mortems, rebuttals, digital indications (i.e. finger pointing), propaganda, advocacy, instant analysis, and ultimately scholarly analysis that may even lead to generally accepted understanding. Another is, “browse this space,” as we at Ground Zero Books, Ltd., will continue to acquire and offer books, journals, monographs, pamphlets, technical reports, government documents, ephemera, and other materials that can help each of us to obtain information, appreciate perspectives, and reach understandings on issues, individuals, and impacts.
You do not have to wait for the incoming wave of newly produced reactions to the election, or to other current events, trends, personalities, and perspectives! We have over 57,000 items currently available online and an equal or greater number of items awaiting cataloguing and uploading for your perusing pleasure. Many of these items are informative not only for understanding what went on before, but for understanding our present situations and circumstances, and providing in part a basis for anticipating (not predicting) unfolding events and their impacts and implications. We still have copies of books by President-elect Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as titles by others who put their hat into the ring, including Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Martin O’Malley, and others. We have assessments of past elections, their surprises, validations, and impacts. We have platforms and manifestos reflecting pragmatic to utopian visions of a future folks would have liked to attain. We have items from the perspectives of acting on perceived mandates and on the power and potential of political protests.
We started this column by noting that we respect the divergent views of our clients and do not choose to use this space to advocate or denigrate any party, position, or perspective. We respect the diversity of opinion and the integrity of individually held belief. It is our hope, nay more than that—it is our mission and our goal, to be a provider of choice because of the quality of our products, the integrity of our business practices, and the excellence of our customer service. To that end, we once again remind you that if you choose to deal with us directly, rather than through third party providers, we will pass along savings from not paying sales commissions. We encourage you to request our ten per cent discount when you purchase directly from our website, via e-mail, snail mail, and/or by phone. If the order and payment confirmation process can be validated, we will even accept telepathic orders. We appreciate your dialogue on our catalogue descriptions and annotations and other comments. We welcome want list and search requests, and have an earned reputation for assisting scholars and organizations through research tasks.
We look forward to continuing to serve your needs, wants, and desires (at least some of them) as we move into 2017. Permit us to wish you all the best for the upcoming holiday seasons. May your New Year may be filled with health, happiness, and the occasional “got to have” purchases from Ground Zero Books, Ltd.