Regnery Publishing

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Regnery Publishing
Regnery Publishing
Parent company Salem Publishing
Founded 1947
Founder Henry Regnery
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Washington, D.C.
Distribution Perseus Books Group
Nonfiction topics Conservatism
Official website regnery.com

Regnery Publishing in Washington, D.C., specializes in conservative books characterized on their website as "contrary to those of 'mainstream' publishers in New York."[1] Regnery is currently led by president Marji Ross, who until served as vice-president under Al Regnery, son of Henry Regnery, the company's founder.

Regnery has published books by authors such as former Republican Party chairman Haley Barbour, Ann Coulter, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, columnist Michelle Malkin, commentator Robert Spencer, pundit David Horowitz and Barbara Olson.

History[edit]

Regnery Publishing has existed as a series of companies associated with Henry Regnery. The first, Henry Regnery Company, was founded in Chicago in 1947 and split in 1977, forming Regnery Gateway Inc. and Contemporary Books Inc. Under the leadership of Henry Regnery's son, Al Regnery, Regnery Gateway became the modern-date Regnery Publishing.[2]

Henry Regnery Company (1947-1977)[edit]

After helping to found Human Events as a weekly newsletter, Regnery began publishing monthly pamphlets and books. A German American, Regnery had studied in Germany for two years and, while not sympathetic to Nazism,[citation needed] was always very sympathetic to Germans. Some of the first pamphlets he published, including a reprint of a speech by University of Chicago president Robert M. Hutchins, criticized the harsh treatment of Germans and Japanese both in popular attitudes and in postwar administration of the former Axis countries.[3]

Regnery published the pamphlets and some books under the name Human Events Associates in 1946. He began publishing under his own name in September 1947. The first book published by the Henry Regnery Company was by socialist Victor Gollancz who ran the Left Book Club in Britain. A man of Jewish heritage, Gollancz was appalled at the bombing of German civilians late in the war and by the treatment of the country afterward. Gollancz published In Darkest Germany in Britain but was unable to find an American publisher for his unpopular ideas. He approached Regnery, who agreed to publish it. Regnery subsequently published the U.S. edition of Our Threatened Values by Gollancz.[3]

Regnery's third book was The Hitler in Our Selves, by Max Picard. Other early books included The German Opposition to Hitler by Hans Rothfels and The High Cost of Vengeance (1949) by Freda Utley which was critical of the Allies' air campaign and post-war occupation. Utley's book was the first Regnery book to be reviewed in The New York Times, where it was excoriated. Reinhold Niebuhr gave it a positive review in The Nation magazine.[3] But not all of Regnery's output during the period was so "highbrow", as one of the company's better sellers in 1975 was SuperJock: The loud, frantic, nonstop world of a rock radio DJ by popular WCFL disc jockey Larry Lujack.

The company was founded as a nonprofit corporation. Regnery later wrote that it was initially organized that way, "not because I had any ideological objection to profits, but because, as it seemed to me then, and does still, in matters of excellence the market is a poor judge. The books that are most needed are often precisely those that will have only a modest sale." The Internal Revenue Service forced the company to be reorganized as a for-profit concern on March 1, 1948. Regnery hired his first few employees that year.[3]

Conservative and anti-Communist books[edit]

Regnery published some of the first and most important books of the postwar American conservative movement. "[I]t was a measure of the grip that liberal-minded editors had on American publishing at the time that Regnery, which was founded in 1947, was one of only two houses known to be sympathetic to conservative authors", according to Henry Regnery's 1996 obituary in The New York Times.

In 1951, Regnery published God and Man at Yale, the first book written by William F. Buckley, Jr.. At that time, Regnery had a close affiliation with the University of Chicago and published classics for the Great Books series at the University, but he lost the contract as a result of publishing Buckley's book.[2]

In 1953, Regnery published The Conservative Mind, a seminal book for post-World War II American conservatism, as well as books by Albert J. Nock, James J. Kilpatrick, James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers. He also published paperback editions of literary works by authors such as novelist Wyndham Lewis and the poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.[2]

In 1954, Regnery published McCarthy and His Enemies by William F. Buckley and L. Brent Bozell Jr. "Although Mr. Buckley [...] had criticized the senator for 'gross exaggerations', Mr. McCarthy said he would not dispute the merits of the book with the authors", according to a news article in The New York Times. While criticizing McCarthy, the book was sympathetic to him (and in fact was harsher on McCarthy's critics than it was on the senator for making false allegations[4]), and McCarthy attended a reception for the authors.[5]

In the early 1950s, Regnery published two books by Robert Welch, who went on to found the John Birch Society in 1958. In May God Forgive Us, Welch criticized influential foreign-policy analysts and policymakers and accused many of working to further Communism as part of a conspiracy.[6] In 1954, Regnery published Welch's biography of John Birch, an American Baptist missionary in China who was killed by Chinese Communists after he became a U.S. intelligence officer in World War II.

Other works[edit]

Regnery was the first publisher of the psychological biography Sybil, which was reprinted numerous times by larger publishers, and eventually made into a film.[7] They also published Coal Miner's Daughter, Loretta Lynn's autobiography, in 1976, which was the basis for the film.

Regnery Gateway (1977-1993)[edit]

In 1977, the Henry Regnery Company split with Henry Regnery moving to Washington D.C. to form Regnery Gateway Inc. He took with him many of the Henry Regnery Company's rights to political, philosophical, psychological, and religious books along with a few select titles from other genres and the trademark for the Gateway Editions series. The original Henry Regnery Company remained in Chicago and was renamed Contemporary Books. Contemporary was purchased by Tribune Company and merged with Compton's Multimedia Publishing Group to form Tribune Education,[8] which was acquired in 2000 by McGraw-Hill.[9]

In the 1980s, Alfred S. Regnery, son of Henry Regnery, took control of Regnery Gateway.

Regnery Publishing (1993-Present)[edit]

In 1993, the Regnery family sold the publishing company to Phillips Publishing International, which put the book publishing company into its Eagle Publishing subsidiary, which also published the weekly Human Events.[10][11] At that time, Regnery Gateway was renamed Regnery Publishing Inc. Alfred Regnery left his post as president of Regnery Publishing in the 2000s to become the publisher of The American Spectator magazine.[12] He still holds a seat on the Regnery board of directors. Pat Sajak also is a member of the board. Alex Novak, son of political columnist Robert Novak, is associate publisher.

In January 2014, Regnery was acquired along with other Eagle Publishing properties by Salem Communications.[13]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Book subjects[edit]

Regnery has become noteworthy, apart from authors of its books, because of its penchant for political controversy with a high profile on the national stage. It recently launched a series of books titled "The Politically Incorrect Guide to" (multiple subjects), confronting what it conceives to be the assumptions of the nation's elites, sometimes negatively described as political correctness. The Politically Incorrect Guides have often been referred to by their backronym PIGS by supporters and opponents alike (Regnery's logo for the series features a pig's head). Former Regnery officials have described its marketing strategy as getting its conservative books condemned by the New York Times, generating very large sales to conservatives as a result.[citation needed]

Regnery published Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside The Clinton White House (1996) by Gary Aldrich, which Max Blumenthal, writing in The American Prospect, said "painted images of Hillary Clinton hanging crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree and claimed to expose lesbian affairs in the White House basement." [2] Aldrich had written about an incident where Ms. Clinton ordered a batch of student artwork hung on the tree without examining it for suitability.[3]

In June 2004, Regnery agreed to publish Unfit for Command by former Swift Boat veteran John O'Neill and veteran author Dr. Jerome Corsi. Television advertisements about presidential candidate John Kerry's criticisms of U.S. soldiers and recounting of his own military record in Vietnam were unveiled nationwide at about the same time as Unfit for Command was released, creating shortages of the book in bookstores nationwide.[citation needed] The book exceeded 1 million copies in print.

The Kerry campaign demanded that Regnery cease publication and distribution of Unfit for Command, saying there were inaccuracies in the book about Kerry's war record and anti-war activities at home. Regnery responded by offering to print and distribute a reply book by Kerry, suggesting "Winter Soldier" on the same subject matter that Kerry authored in the 1970s.[citation needed]

In describing Regnery's position in the publishing world, Nicholas Confessore, then writer for the liberal American Prospect, said the following:

Welcome to the world of Regnery Publishing—lifestyle press for conservatives, preferred printer of presidential hopefuls, and venerable publisher of books for the culture wars. Call it—gracelessly but more accurately—a medium-sized, loosely linked network of conservative types, with few degrees of separation and similar political aims. Just don't call it a conspiracy.[14]

Author royalties[edit]

In November 2007, Jerome Corsi, Bill Gertz, Robert (Buzz) Patterson, Joel Mowbray and Richard Miniter, five authors whose works have been published by Regnery, filed a lawsuit claiming that Regnery "orchestrates and participates in a fraudulent, deceptively concealed and self-dealing scheme to divert book sales away from retail outlets and to wholly owned subsidiary organizations" of Eagle Publishing, Regnery's parent corporation. Miniter said that meant that although he received about $4.25 a copy when his books sold in a bookstore or through an online retailer, he only earned about 10 cents a copy when his books sold through the Conservative Book Club or other Eagle-owned channels.[15] On January 30, 2008, a federal judge dismissed all eight counts of the lawsuit because the authors had signed contracts with Regnery which included mandatory arbitration clause in their contracts.[16][17] The authors have sought arbitration with the company.[16][18] In December 2011, the American Arbitration Association released its ruling on the arbitration case brought by three of the five authors (Miniter, Corsi and Mowbray) against Regnery. The ruling found in favor of Regnery on all counts.[19]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Regnery Publishing - Inside Regnery
  2. ^ a b c Thomas Jr., Robert McG., "Henry Regnery, 84, Ground-Breaking Conservative Publisher", obituary, The New York Times, June 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d [1] Regnery, Henry S., Memoirs of a Dissident Publisher, Publisher: Regnery Gateway Inc., Lake Bluff, Ill., 1985, ISBN 0-89526-802-7 online edition accessed September 8, 2007
  4. ^ White, William S., "What the McCarthy Method Seeks to Establish", book review of McCarthy and His Enemies, The New York Times, April 4, 1954
  5. ^ Conklin, William R., "M'Carthy Seeking To Push Inquiries: Would Turn to Other Cases if Army Dispute Is Delayed by Hunt for Counsel" [apostrophe in title is correct], news article, The New York Times, March 31, 1954
  6. ^ Smith, Robert Aura, "One Man's Opinions", book review in The New York Times, November 16, 1952
  7. ^ Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber, 1973, ISBN 0-8092-0001-5
  8. ^ Widder, Pat (1993-07-07). "Tribune Buys Multimedia, Book Firms". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Schmeltzer, John (2000-06-27). "Mcgraw-hill To Buy Tribune Education". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Thomas L. Phillips Young America's Foundation
  11. ^ Thomas L. Phillips NNDB
  12. ^ Alfred Regnery NNDB
  13. ^ Salem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing
  14. ^ "Hillary Was Right" from The American Prospect
  15. ^ Motoko Rich, "Conservative Authors Sue Publisher", New York Times, October 7, 2007
  16. ^ a b Rich, Motoko (2008-02-02). "Authors Suit Dismissed". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  17. ^ Memorandum Opinion, US District Court for District of Columbia, January 30, 2008
  18. ^ "Regnery Wins Arbitration Ruling". 3/13/2008 work=Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "Arbitrator Finds for Regnery in Author Dispute". Publishers Weekly. December 19, 2011. 

External links[edit]