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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid copy, April 1, 2010
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I ordered two copies of Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, as part of a reading study project. The book that arrived was published "on demand." I support that idea. But the copy received was utterly worthless. To save costs, I suppose, the book was repaginated. Since this book has footnotes, which were meant to be at the bottom of pages, the results in the scanned text were footnotes breaking up the text, with no way of easily distinguishing between footnotes and text. The lines themselves were not just subject to occasional typos, but at times wholly, completely, utterly unreadable. For example, I came across this line at random when I was deciding whether or not to try to use this book or return it, from page 348: "The following analysis follows closely Georg Simmel's "Sociology of Secrecy and? ona' KTr" ' u Z"' '"' " J" - l of Sociology, Vol. XI, No.4, January, r? nsix "hl", ut a'.... You get the idea. On the copyright page, they engage in special pleading, admitting that their books may have typos and missing text, but it's more important to provide the book for a low price than not at all. But this book cost 32 dollars! That's not *that* cheap. And any book with footnotes read with optical scanning would be made unreadable by reshuffling the pages the way they did, regardless of typographic errors. It is a matter of basic common sense that this would be an issue, but no common sense was applied to that issue. The result is a book that is so difficult to read that it is, in effect, not making Arendt's book available at all. At five cents a page, it would have cost me about 38 dollars to photocopy the original book from a library. The result would have been unbound, but at least readable. Instead, I purchased not just the illusion of a book, but an insult of a book--and the only reason that I am not out five times this cost is because three of our group elected to obtain the book from their local library.

Until this publisher takes responsibility for providing books that are at least minimally evaluated for their utility, and thus minimally functional as a book, avoid them for any book with footnotes, and use them with caution for any other kind of book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2010 7:06 AM PDT

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