Saturday, March 31, 2007

Advertizing Blitz!

My yearly royalty statement from Wadsworth/Thompson Learning reveals that On Pascal (2003) sold eight copies in 2006. It is part of the Wadsworth Philosophers Series. (I also wrote on Jesus, which sold a 404 copies during the same time.) At least it is still in print. It has sold a little over 1,000 in five years. The grasshopper drags himself along...

All modesty and self-restraint aside, I believe it is a far better book than that. It is readable, but well-documented, and it raises many interesting themes related to his life story, philosophy of science, the nature of Pensees, ethics, views of human nature, the infamous wager (which I defend in a modified version), and his views of Jesus Christ.

So, given the vast and influential audience of The Constructive Curmudgeon, let us try to increase sales by:

1. Buying a copy yourself (and not a used one!).
2. Giving one to a friend, Christian or non-Christian.
3. Consider using it for a text in the classroom (apologetics, history of modern philosophy, adult ed in the church, etc.)
4. Write up a review of it on your own blog.
5. Starting a "The Pascal-Driven Life" series in your church and require church attendees to buy it. Create T-shirts, mugs, and action figures as well.

This is not a plan to make money. The contract reeked; I wrote it for spreading the ideas, not lining my pockets. My pockets are lined with gum wrappers and tissues. This is a rallying cry to get the word out about a little book that celebrates a profound and timely thinker: Blaise Pascal.

If you get a copy, let me know and tell me what you think of it.

My next book will be: On the Sublime Perils of Writing Obscure Books Which Fall Still-Born from the Presses.


Paul said...

I've just searched for it on

They have your name as "Groothius". Same for "On Jesus".

(A search for "On Pascal" "On Pascal Philosophy" etc. yielded way too many results to get it).

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Groothuis,

I've been meaning to carry your books in my bookstore for awhile, and this seems as good a time as any to do so. My question is this... is the entire Wadsworth Philosophers Series worth carrying? I don't really trust Thompson Learning.

Also, besides your two books on the new age movement, what other significant titles have you published?


Austin Storm
Sky Cow Books

Pilgrim in Progress said...

Perhaps if you re-titled the book, you would have more success. Also a catchy jacket and perhaps an action shot of you flying recklessly down the high line canal on your bike in the bio section. My wife has employed her creative prowess this morning to suggest the following titles as possibilities to pique the interest of the general public.
"The One Minute Pascal"
"Pascal for Dummies"
"Pascal's Devotions for Coffee Lovers"
"The Busy Mother's Pascal"
"A Comparative Analysis of the Lives of Kenny G and Pascal"
"Pascal and Global Warming: Oprah's Book Club Addition"
"Pascal's Medition: Mantras for your Morning Yoga"
"Pascal's Guide to Exponential Church Growth: Growing a Thoughtful Mega-Church"

Jonathan Erdman said...

Very clever titles, Z!

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


This is good! It warms the cockles of my heart, remote though they be from most avenues of access.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Ben Z:

1. Morris is good, clear, worthwhhile--but too autobiographical. The editor should have caught all the narcissistic references. He's clever--and knows it. Now he lectures to top executives for big money and has left the academic world...

However, he brings Pascal into the contemporary debate--at least as of 1992. There are no footnotes, though.

2. Kreeft comments on selected passages of Pensees. He is often insightful, but fully Romanist here. He is writing for Ignatius and not for InterVarsity. He tones down the papism for the latter, but not the former. Of course, Pascal was a Roman Catholic, but there is often where we need to disagree with him.

Jon said...

I bought a copy of On Pascal a few years back, I think as required reading for Defending the Christian Faith. As a result of reading On Pascal, I bought and read Pensees and loved it, so thank you.

With so few copies floating around, maybe I should come to your office and request an autograph!

Aslan Cheng said...

I brought the Chinese translation of this book two years ago. It is easy to follow.

Unknown said...

Dr. Groothius,

I thought you might want to respond to Sam Harris' recent critique of Pascal's Wager.