A lefty book club By Joshua Glenn, Globe Staff | August 1, _www.progressivebookclub.com_ (http://www.progressivebookclub.com) THE 75,000-memberMessage 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2004View Source
A lefty book club
THE 75,000-member Conservative Book Club, founded in 1964, shares a Washington, D.C., street address with leading conservative publisher Regnery, responsible in the past couple of years for a dozen bestsellers. Thanks to the CBC's success, earlier this year media giants Bertelsmann Inc. and AOL Time Warner launched a right-wing book club of their own, American Compass. Yet despite the popularity of recent books by lefties like Michael Moore, Al Franken, and Tom Frank, there hasn't been a book club for progressives.
Until now. On Monday the Progressive Book Club, an online outfit that will launch this fall, joined up with Harvard Book Store to bring together Franken, Toni Morrison, Sidney Blumenthal, and others for a panel discussion at the First Parish Church in Cambridge. (The highlight of the event, according to one Ideas staffer in the room, came when Franken cut short a lame monologue by a Billionaires for Bush activist with the line, "I'll handle the comedy, thanks.") According to its website, ProgressiveBookClub.com, the club's books will be selected by "America's leading progressive thinkers, activists, and authors," and a percentage of every purchase will be donated to allied nonprofits.
In a telephone interview, PBC founder Elizabeth Wagley told Ideas it's too early to reveal who will be on the club's editorial board. But the club is getting its act together fast. "For years, the left has been less organized than the right," she said. "But thanks to Bush, that's changing now."