The reason I bring this up is that Amazon sent me an EMail today, asking me to consider a book, Helmuth Von Moltke: A Modern Biography. Most of you don't know who Helmuth von Moltke is and you (rightly) don't care. I care because I am about to take another German history course at UMass Lowell night school and Helmuth von Moltke, as Chief of the Prussian General Staff, influences history in the 1860s and 1870s and beyond. Here is the blurb on the book:
This detailed and comprehensive book offers the first modern biography of Helmuth Von Moltke, a major progenitor of the processes modern great powers use to engage in large-scale warfare. Drawing upon the author's own previously published works, "Moltke, Schlieffen and Prussian War Planning" and "Moltke and the German Wars, 1864-1871", it also contains original research. The volume suggests that the General Staff was a pioneer of what became known in the twentieth century as 'operations research', establishing some of the framework for the modern economics of transportation. However, Moltke was much more than just a Prussian soldier and strategist. He was a best-selling author (travel writings, love letters), pioneer cartographer (Asia Minor, Rome, Silesia), dedicated lover and devoted husband, legislator, linguist, family leader, music lover, and spa devotee. "Helmuth Von Moltke" will appeal to students of military history and strategy, as well as historians of nineteenth century Germany.I would love to have this book, but I am not going to pay the $127.85 that Amazon is asking. Yes, that is one hundred and twenty-seven and pocket change. The good news is that it is down from the market price of $140.00.
Yes, professors of history might assign the book, which is hardcover and only 240 pages, but in doing so they are continuing a scam. This is way too much money to pay for a book. It is time to think seriously about what our costs of higher education are doing to our economy and to our incentives.
Please don't even think about purchasing a copy at that price for me for Christmas.
So, to wrap it up, Routledge Press seems to have developed a strange business model, where they ignore the concept of the law of supply and demand. Put another way, they should be figuring that I am not going to be be their customer at these prices, but they might have seduced me into a purchase at $29.99 or $9.99 on the Kindle (or even $12 on the Kindle).
Regards — Cliff