Roger’s Rules

Imitation/flattery

A year ago, Encounter Books, of which I am the publisher,  launched a series of pamphlets, available in both printed and electronic form, designed to educate the public on a host of pressing public policy issues. We called the series Encounter Broadsides.

Here’s what we say about the pamphlets on our website:

Ammunition for Serious Debate

ENCOUNTER BROADSIDES: a new series of critical pamphlets from Encounter Books. Uniting an 18th-century sense of political urgency and rhetorical wit (think The Federalist Papers, Common Sense) with 21st-century technology and channels of distribution, Encounter Broadsides offer indispensable ammunition for intelligent debate on the critical issues of our time. Written with passion by some of our most authoritative authors, Encounter Broadsides make the case for liberty and the institutions of democratic capitalism at a time when they are under siege from the resurgence of collectivist sentiment. Read them in a sitting and come away knowing the best we can hope for and the worst we must fear. The best defense is a good Broadside.


To date, we’ve published 16 Broadsides on issues ranging from health care and immigration policy to national security and the war on terror. Coming in a week or so is a blistering analysis at Obama’s plans to raise taxes by Peter Ferrara. Look for it.  In the meantime, you can read Manhattan Institute’s E. J. McMahon on the plague of public sector pensions — a topic that may sound boring but actually is as terrifying as a horror film — Betsy McCaughey on the disaster that is the Obama administration’s government takeover of health care. (On this subject, see also David Gratzer’s early analysis of the disaster.) Jed Babbin shows how Obama is transforming America’s military “from a superpower to a paper tiger,” Andy McCarthy takes a hard look at how the Justice Department has been politicized on Eric Holder’s watch (Black Panthers anyone?)  and Mark  Krikorian casts a cold eye on what is wrong with our immigration policy. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey expatiates on what’s gone wrong with our war on terror (as it used to be called — now, I think it has something to do with Muslim outreach), Roy Spencer details what’s wrong with  the administration’s  policy on “climate change,” Victor Davis Hanson does the same for the administration’s policy on national security,  and  Ambassador John Bolton on the ways in which  current policies undermine national security. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund has weighed in for us on voter fraud (ACORN and all that) while the Journal’s Steve Moore has explained how the administration’s policies threaten to bankrupt America.

I treat readers to this catalogue of ships (see the complete list here) because I see that another New York publisher likes the word “Broadside,” too, and has decided — good idea! — to come out with a series of “Broadside Books.” Sound familiar? Well, well. Better late than never, perhaps, though I might have thought that they would at least have chosen a different name. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery.  Sometimes, I’ve  been told, it can also be the sincerest form of copyright infringement.