Should I Assign My Own Book in Class?

I’m already thinking about the books I want to use in next semester’s Jacksonian course, and I have a dilemma. I want to assign the Jacksonian and Antebellum Age essay collection that I edited a few years ago, but I’m reluctant for two reasons.

The first is that I’m afraid it smacks of arrogance to assign my own book. Second, the book only comes in a pricey hardback edition, with a cost of almost $80 new and $40 used on a popular online site.

(Just a note: My contract with the publisher includes royalties, but I haven’t seen a check and, frankly, I don’t expect one will be forthcoming because of poor sales. The 8-10 students who might take the class certainly aren’t going to make a difference.)

My justification for using the book is that the essays cover a broad range of topics that no other book on the Early Republic does. I was fortunate to have junior and senior historians contribute summaries of published work or peeks at new research, some of which has not yet been published in other venues, as far as I know. It’s a solid book and will make a nice supplement to the other books I’m considering.

What would you do, readers?

Advertisements

One Reply to “Should I Assign My Own Book in Class?”

  1. I would put two copies on faculty reserve and ask the publishers to come out with a paperback version that would be in the price range of students.

    Of course, I’m assuming faculty reserve still exists in universities. I hope it didn’t go the way of carbon paper and mimeograph machines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s