Sunday, February 24, 2019

as easy as one, two, three?

Since 2001 I've been in pursuit of a publisher for a book, "The Wisdom of the Hands, a craftsman's guide to educational renewal" I have had endless talks with agents and publishers. Let me correct that. The talks had always been ended one after another by rejection. And yet, the hands carry on as the primary source of human wisdom and intelligence. Anaxagoras had said, that "man is the wisest of all animals because he has hands." So there's actually nothing actually new here, but because education has become so estranged, we need a clarion call. And that's what I've had in mind.

Yesterday I had a great conversation with a friend who has just finished a novel, based on his experience as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. Now that the book is done, my friend was curious about the publication process. The choice is this: Write a book that fits a prescribed model, find an agent who takes 20% with a publisher who takes 80% and the author gets what's left. The alternative is to self-publish and get 80%. The problem with the self-publishing model is that without an agent and major publisher, the book may never gain a large following.

And yet, in the midst of all this, one of the best selling books of all time was first released as a serial in the tabloid press, given to its first readers virtually free. Uncle Tom's Cabin was written by a cousin, Harriet Beecher Stowe. The following her book gained one chapter at a time in the tabloid press was sufficient to gain a following that led to book sales of over three hundred thousand copies in its first three months.

So what I propose is a partnership. Over the next 365 days, I'll publish the proposed book in this blog, chapter by chapter, for free. You'll know when a new chapter is released. It will be given a number, 1, 2, 3 and beyond. Your job in the partnership will be to read, offer feedback, encouragement and promotion. Feedback and encouragement can be offered through the comments section below each blog post. Promotion will require your sharing what you read here with others.

The photo shows collaborative engineering using Froebel playground blocks at the Clear Spring School. The students worked together (without adult intervention) to build a slide. You can see that each child was engaged physically, intellectually and emotionally.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Great idea. I'm ready.

  2. There is something deeply wrong with a nation in which a book this important can't find a publisher! Good for you, Doug, for taking it upon yourself to get it out there in any case. I look forward to reading it!

  3. Looking forward to this. I'm curious if you had any contact with Lost Arts Press. They seem to be publishing great woodworking books lately.