May 25, 2009
University of Ottawa
Dear Mr. ...
In response to your kind invitation, I have enclosed two self-published books which, in my opinion, bridge the alleged gulf between the scholar and the layperson by explaining complex, highly pertinent issues in ways we can all understand.
Canada – The Fractured Nation Interviews makes Canadian history relevant to the general reader, and to the scholar who has become blasé about Canadian history, by demonstrating that history is more about the future than it is about the past. The Interviews introduce a future where Canada is history; a future where the protagonists discuss actual historical events in making their arguments as to how this future came about.
My well-read spouse, who has one M.A. and an M.B.A. from ... [your university] considers The Interviews an original work; this is why it is her favourite — a few typos notwithstanding. She also thinks highly of Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice, but she considers my Layman’s Guide to the Koran a typical, if easy to read, scholarly work from an atypical layman.
I wrote Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice not only because it is important for Canadians to understand what our young men and women are dying for in Afghanistan, but also to explain what motivates their killers.
The Koran is at the heart of what is often referred to as “a battle of civilizations”, yet, only one side in this battle knows what the Koran is all about. It is crucial that ordinary Canadian have a firm understanding of the Koran if we are to achieve a compromise where both civilizations can peacefully co-exist.
Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice makes getting familiar with the Koran a mostly pleasant, if sometime disconcerting experience, for both the layperson and the scholar who wishes to add to his knowledge of the book that has the potential to drastically change the world in ways that the vast majority of Canadians can not, and may not appreciate before it is too late.
Thank you for the time and attention ... [you] will give to a layman’s attempt at bringing a scholar’s counsel to the people who must ultimately decide the type of world that our children and grand-children will inherit.
Good morning, Bernard,
Our three-member reading committee has looked over your books recommended that the ... not proceed to publication. The issue is simple: for a university press your books are too trade oriented.
Everyone agreed that the books are well written, very creative, and quite provocative, to say the least...
Sometimes I think the fate of the university press is forevermore to project a stodgy image. I’m trying to change that here, but it may take considerably more time than I had anticipated.
All the best.