A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

OTIT: The Sales Pitch

Received a promotional brochure from a publisher, something that happens quite frequently for librarians with collection development responsibilities. This particular brochure was touting a new DVD series on the life of Ralph Bunche, the first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1950), and a huge proponent of the United Nations. All accounts I can find seem to indicate that Bunche was a remarkable man who's achievements deserve greater recognition.

So why, given his tremendous career, and a wide variety of quotes to choose from, did the PR release from the publisher highlight this one:
To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering.
Which, in my opinion, is not only crap, it is dangerous crap. Two possibilities-- the publisher believes that Bunche's anti-war rhetoric is the most significant part of his legacy, or the publisher believes that faculty will find Bunche's anti-war rhetoric to be the most compelling part of his legacy. In either case, it's hard to make a case that there isn't a bias in the ivory towers of our land.


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