Paladin Press

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Paladin Press
Status Active
Founded 1970
Founder Peder Lund & Robert K. Brown
Country of origin United States
Distribution United States
Official website www.paladin-press.com

Paladin Press is a book publishing firm founded in 1970 by Peder Lund and Robert K. Brown.[1]

The company publishes non-fiction books and videos covering a wide range of specialty topics,[2] including (but not limited to) personal and financial freedom, survivalism and preparedness, firearms and shooting, various martial arts and self-defense, military and police tactics, investigation techniques, spying, lockpicking, sabotage, revenge, knives and knife fighting, explosives, and other "action topics" [3] (though the availability of books on topics like improvised explosives has been severely curtailed in recent years).[4]

History[edit]

Paladin's first book, 150 Questions for a Guerrilla, was by Gen. Alberto Bayo, a Communist veteran of the Spanish Civil War who became Fidel Castro’s mentor when Castro was training men in Mexico for his successful revolution in Cuba. The theories advocated in his book were state-of-the-art for the time. Paladin’s edition became required reading for serious students of guerrilla warfare and is still in print today. This early work set the tone for Paladin’s future: it would be first to print books about controversial or suppressed subjects, and it would also be criticized for publishing works that some people found objectionable.

From 1970 to 1974, Paladin developed its stock of titles primarily by reprinting government military manuals previously available to the public only through purchase of purloined copies. In 1974, Lund and Brown split over the direction the company should take. Lund wanted to expand Paladin’s coverage of topics, while Brown wanted to start a magazine. Lund bought out Brown, who founded Soldier of Fortune magazine (SOF) in 1975.

Current publishing ventures[edit]

Paladin Press currently publishes (or has formerly published) work from a variety of well-known and notable figures in the firearms, martial arts, self-defense, and survival fields, among them John Plaster, Kelly McCann, Ragnar Benson, Jim Cirillo, Jim Arvanitis, Louis Awerbuck, Marc MacYoung, Sammy Franco, Jeff Cooper, Col. Rex Applegate, William E. Fairbairn, Michael Janich, Mike Conti, and Phil Elmore.

Paladin publishes a vast array of books and videos on privacy and personal freedom, including works by Barry Reid and Sheldon Charrett.

Paladin is also a former publisher of Ashida Kim, whose dispute with the company (over royalty payments) is loudly proclaimed on Kim's website.[5] In the spring of 2006, Paladin announced that it had acquired the rights to reprint 40 books previously published by Loompanics Unlimited, including the works of Claire Wolfe, Eddie the Wire, and other popular anti-authoritarian writers.[6]

A new in-house printing press has enabled Paladin to launch an ambitious program to reprint classic combat books in the public domain as well as bring back into print select titles it had dropped over the years. To date, the company has reprinted previously hard-to-find books on World War II hand-to-hand combat, firearms, combat shooting, counterinsurgency, martial arts, survival skills, boxing, wrestling, and self-defense.

Controversial publications[edit]

Paladin Press published the book Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors under the author's pseudonym "Rex Feral".[7] The book is written as if by an actual experienced assassin, as a how-to manual on contract killing. It was alleged to be written by a divorced mother-of-two who simply fabricated much of the material it contains based on mystery novels and movies.[8] The book goes on at length about studying "the mark", learning that "mark's" movements and routine, and silently moving in for the profitable kill, offering advice on weapon selection and techniques.[9]

Legal issues[edit]

Paladin was sued by the family of a victim whose murderer is alleged to have used this book as a guideline in three 1993 murders.[10] (See: Lawrence Horn). In 1999, Paladin Press' insurance company settled out of court and agreed to pay several million dollars to the families of the victims, against the wishes of Paladin Press themselves, who wanted to fight the lawsuit on First Amendment grounds.

In 2000, Paladin Press was sued again as a result of Hit Man. The lawsuit was result of the 1998 attempted murder of Bobby Joe Wilson by her ex-husband, Robert Leslie Goggin, who allegedly hired Robert Jones to kill her in order to get money from her life insurance policy. In court, Jones testified that Goggin recruited him to kill Wilson. Jones said he then purchased Hit Man. In her lawsuit, Wilson outlined two dozen points of advice from the book that Jones followed to the letter in planning to kill her. The suit was eventually settled out of court in 2002.[4][11]

Paladin no longer publishes the book, and allowed the remaining copies to sell out.[8] Copies exist on the Internet (notably IRC), often accompanied by the spurious claim that the book is now in the public domain.[9] Paladin Press claims that the rights are still held by the author.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]