My blogging buddy Rebecca Goetz blogged about this some time ago [scroll down], but given what happened yesterday I just had to chime in. Yesterday our department received two packages from Norton publishers. I received one and my department chair the other. Both packages included the second edition of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! which I am currently using in my AP classes. Keep in mind that my department chair does not teach American history so she gave me her copy. Also in her package was a copy of the 7th edition of America: A Historical Narrative by Tindall and Shi. Since she has no use for the book she gave it to me. That makes two copies of the 7th ed., one copy of the 6th ed., and one copy of the Fourth ed. that are currently gracing my bookshelves here at school. Keep in mind that I’ve received these books over the past two years. Has Tindall and Shi really changed that much that they feel a need to send multiple copies to people who will never use it in class.
Why not send emails out to instructors and professors asking if they are interested in receiving sample copies. By the way the hardcover version of Give Me Liberty! is $97.50 while America: A Historical Narrative is $50. I can’t tell you how much fun it is when a textbook representative calls me only to hear that I don’t use them in half of my classes. There is this awkward pause followed by the uneasy question, "So what do you do in those classes?" Ten minutes later he wished he never asked that question.