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Author Topic: Magazine-Style Textbook  (Read 7912 times)
not_a_gradstudent1
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« on: March 17, 2008, 1:38:17 pm »

I just had a textbook rep stop by with a new magazine-style textbook. It really does look like a magazine, except maybe for the $50 pricetag and lack of commercial advertising. Apparently, according to the rep, research shows that students are more likely to be willing to read about American Government if it's packaged to look like Cosmo. I'm very skeptical...


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amity
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 1:47:38 pm »

And I thought it was just my extremely trend-oriented field that was suffering from this!  I just decided not to adopt a very nicely priced package with decent content because I couldn't get over the magazine look.   
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jrscholar
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 2:06:23 pm »

Quote
research shows that students are more likely to be willing to read about American Government if it's packaged to look like Cosmo.

If only we could get a U.S. history swimsuit edition.  Just imagine: William Howard Taft in that special bathtub!
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voxprincipalis
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Has potentially infinite removable wallets


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 3:14:10 pm »

It's happened to the Bible, too:

http://www.amazon.com/Revolve-The-Complete-New-Testament/dp/0718003586

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"If you find yourself speaking with a person who does not make sense, in all likelihood that person is not real."

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gaeta
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 3:33:12 pm »

Heck, if you are even considering an "alternative" textbook for American Government, you may want to take a peek at this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Show-Stewart-Presents-America/dp/0446532681

We love The Daily Show.
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Vox clamantis in deserto.
mintyfresh
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2008, 3:37:35 pm »

I just had a textbook rep stop by with a new magazine-style textbook. It really does look like a magazine, except maybe for the $50 pricetag and lack of commercial advertising. Apparently, according to the rep, research shows that students are more likely to be willing to read about American Government if it's packaged to look like Cosmo. I'm very skeptical...




I spoke with a rep at AHA about the magazine version for US history surveys.  Do you remember the name of the publisher?

FWIW, I was repulsed by the idea.  I believe that students need to learn to read books, with long-ish paragraphs that develop and sustain arguments.  But that's just me, I suppose.
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bibliothecula
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like Bunnicula, only with books


« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2008, 3:53:19 pm »

When I was in textbook publishing, we were all pushed to develop stuff like this. Most of my authors agreed with onion that
Quote
I believe that students need to learn to read books, with long-ish paragraphs that develop and sustain arguments.  But that's just me, I suppose.
, but the publishing scoundrels kept on stuffing the idea of magazine-style textbooks and their like at us.

I'm so glad I quit.
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I came. I saw. I cited.
not_a_gradstudent1
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2008, 4:14:55 pm »

I spoke with a rep at AHA about the magazine version for US history surveys.  Do you remember the name of the publisher?
McGraw-Hill. The book is called "AM GOV," but with a star in the O. See here: http://catalogs.mhhe.com/mhhe/viewProductDetails.do?isbn=0072965479
Quote
FWIW, I was repulsed by the idea.  I believe that students need to learn to read books, with long-ish paragraphs that develop and sustain arguments.  But that's just me, I suppose.
I'm marginally intrigued by it - not enough to ever consider using this book, but enough to perhaps run it by my current students and see what their reaction is. Also enough to wonder why they didn't solicit commercial ads to subsidize production costs and make it an even more realistic magazine experience. In fact, if they could manage to keep the content as is but drive the cost down to something much closer to newstand mag prices (say 4.95 instead of 49.95), I might even consider adopting it for future semesters instead of abandoning the whole textbook thing altogether (which is my current plan).

Coincidentally, just the other day I dug up my father's American government textbook, also published by McGraw-Hill, from when he took this course back in the late 1960s. It's about 750 pages of black-and-white, small-font text, with very little white space, very occasional unembellished political cartoons and graphs, and a $5.95* price-tag.

*Inflation calculator tells me that's just under $40 today -- less than half the price of the textbook I'm using this semester.
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goldenapple
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2008, 4:33:08 pm »

The ad copy on the McGraw-Hill website is nauseating. The book is: "is the first student-centered American government text. It provides .  . unmatched currency; and a magazine format that engages students and motivates active participation in our democracy. All this, and at a price that students prefer."
 
The mixture of hackneyed educational buzzwords and advertising hype gives me a headache.

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mintyfresh
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 4:46:14 pm »

I spoke with a rep at AHA about the magazine version for US history surveys.  Do you remember the name of the publisher?
McGraw-Hill. The book is called "AM GOV," but with a star in the O. See here: http://catalogs.mhhe.com/mhhe/viewProductDetails.do?isbn=0072965479


Thanks for the link.  Cengage (formerly Thomson-Wadsworth) is the company that's doing this for US History.  I don't see them up on their website, but I'm sure they'll be pushing them at the OAH.

My other objection to the magazine was that it was only a couple bucks cheaper than the abridged 2 color version of the text I'm using now.  I also wonder about the "resale value" of the magazine-style book; this is very important to my students.
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yemaya
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 6:12:20 pm »

I spoke with a rep at AHA about the magazine version for US history surveys.  Do you remember the name of the publisher?

FWIW, I was repulsed by the idea.  I believe that students need to learn to read books, with long-ish paragraphs that develop and sustain arguments.  But that's just me, I suppose.

Ewwwww....and just when I thought that textbooks couldn't evolve into worst sh!te.  What next, are they going to resurrect Dr. Seuss to start writing college textbooks? 
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Historians are gossips who tease the dead.  ~Voltaire
magistra
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discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.


« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2008, 8:58:28 pm »

The ad copy on the McGraw-Hill website is nauseating. The book is: "is the first student-centered American government text. It provides .  . unmatched currency; and a magazine format that engages students and motivates active participation in our democracy. All this, and at a price that students prefer."
 
The mixture of hackneyed educational buzzwords and advertising hype gives me a headache.


Onion: I believe that answers your question.  They not only make them to be obsolete, they advertise it!
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First it was Wolfram and Hart, now it's Blackboard.  There's not much moral difference, if you ask me. -- Malcha

Grammar is the chocolate in the buttery croissant of life.  -- Yellowtractor

Okay, so that was petty.  Today, I feel like embracing pettiness.  -- Mended Drum
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