Richard Carrier Reviews ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’

His conclusion:

Is This Not the Carpenter? is an important example of what we need more of: serious scholarly examinations and debates on the historicity of Jesus and what methods to use in resolving it. It includes papers that for specialists are required reading on this topic, as well as others that are less required but nevertheless interesting and often useful, and only one of its chapters is too poor to have been included. It does not resolve the debate either way, and contains nothing definitive, but it shows the respectability of historical agnosticism and the possibility of alternative explanations of the evidence. But for it’s unreasonably high list price, I would recommend it to those who have a deep interest in the subject. Everyone else might want to wait for a more approachable, thorough, and consistent summary of the Jesus myth theory.

via Is This Not the Carpenter? | Richard Carrier Blogs.

See how he got there!  Carrier also adds:

One Final Note: I am adamantly against the trend (which I see especially in Europe) to price books beyond the reach of almost anyone. I find this elitist, and an abrogation of the responsibility of scholars to communicate their findings to the public. If you can afford it, and want a complete collection on your bookshelf of the latest in historicity research, I still recommend acquiring this book, or at the very least formally asking your local university library to acquire a copy (and certainly click the link on Amazon for requesting a kindle copy from the publisher: European academic publishers also have a bug up their ass against digital distribution, and the more letters they get requesting they join the 21st century, the sooner they will).

Some comments on this.  First, neither Thomas Thompson or I set the price; the publisher is behind any price in this.  And unfortunately it costs money to pay the copy-editor, to pay for press costs, marketing and distribution.  I don’t  like the high price either (and my percentage in any book sale is negligible–you don’t publish academically to make money), but there is some brighter news.

Amazon is likely to chop down the price at some point; usually they chop off better than competitors, and right now the best price is the Book Depository–$82.  So chances are good that Amazon will drop the price below that.  Also, if sales are decent, Equinox will put out a paperback version of this book (which will also drop the price significantly).  Of course, there is no certainty that this will happen, but if it does that will make the book readily available to more people.

Finally, anyone who has published with Equinox or one of their subsidiaries get a pretty substantial discount (35%).  So if you happen to be one of those who have published with the company, the price for you is significantly different.

That said, I do hope that a paperback book becomes available at some point and hopefully Amazon will drop the price more.




One Response

  1. […] Richard Carrier Reviews ‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ […]

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