Remember Damon Linker? The former First Things staffer who wrote that New Republic cover story on Fr. Richard John Neuhuas, The Absolutist? In which Neuhaus Threatens Your Freedom?
(The article was much discussed here and at the American Scene, and Linker himself entered both discussions.)
We knew, of course, that Linker’s article was reflective of the subject of his forthcoming book The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege.
A few weeks later, he told me he was thinking of writing a book about First Things and its editor in chief. He explained that the book would be a critical appreciation of the achievements of the magazine. I said I would be happy to cooperate with such a project but I didn’t think there would be enough interest in the subject to elicit a large advance from a publisher. Moreover, this would be a first book by a relatively unknown writer. In early December, he told me that several publishers had indicated intense interest in the book he was proposing and that Doubleday had offered an advance of $160,000.
Go to Rod’s for more, including Rod’s explanation of how many books Linker would have to sell to cover that advance and how odd it is that Doubleday would give an advance for a book on RJN.
Well, I’d guess that since the book’s title hints at a wider subject (even if it doesn’t deliver on it), that scary concept has a lot of resonance today among, and does sell books.