What's an Indie Groundbreaking Publisher?

For the 26 years of this publication's existance, our mission has been "to recognize and encourage the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society, our environment, and our collective spirit." Independent publishers set themselves apart from the corporate publishing world of mergers, multi-media conglomeration, and profit as the bottom line, by dedicating themselves to higher values such as serving community, improved communication and understanding between cultures, and creative writing and publishing techniques. We're dedicating this new feature to publishers that demonstrate this "groundbreaking" spirit and style, and we'll spotlight one publisher each month. If you're a publisher or work with a publisher who deserves the groundbreaking indie spotlight, contact Jim Barnes, Editor, at editor@independentpublisher.com

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Indie Groundbreaking Publisher: Prometheus Books

Dedicated to Telling the Truth
Prometheus Books takes its name from the courageous Greek god who gave fire to humans, lighting the way to reason, intelligence, and independence. Known for publishing books that “light a fire” under readers, Prometheus has established itself as a leading American independent publisher, earning the endorsements of Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan and championing the works of Antony Flew, Martin Gardner, Sidney Hook, and John Dewey.

Prometheus publishes “thoughtful and authoritative works by distinguished authors in many categories including popular science, science and the paranormal, contemporary issues, social science and current events, popular adult and children's fiction and nonfiction, history, religion and politics, humanism, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, biblical criticism, psychology, women's issues, health, self-help, sexuality, audio, reference, and more.”

Prometheus Books was launched in 1969 by Paul Kurtz, who also founded the Council for Secular Humanism and co-founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Some of their books are known for a questioning, skeptical nature. In 1992, Uri Geller sued author Victor J. Stenger and Prometheus, but the suit was dismissed and Geller was required to pay more than $20,000 in court costs.

Prometheus is “committed to testing the boundaries of established thought and paving the way to new frontiers.” Two of those fiery, pioneering books are Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press and Feet to the Fire: The Media After 9/11, both edited by Kristina Borjesson, and both gold medal-winners in our annual Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2005 and 2006. The books explore the changing state of U.S. journalism and expose how our mainstream news coverage is increasingly manipulated by corporate and political influences.

Prometheus maintains a strong backlist that includes hundreds of established classics in literature, philosophy, and the sciences. In March 2005, Prometheus Books launched the science fiction and fantasy imprint Pyr.

Some Prometheus titles that have caught my attention recently are a group of well-written books on the topics of Aging, Death & Dying, and Eldercare -- timely subjects to a fifty-something year-old son of parents who need me to help in decision-making during their final years. And, as much as I believe “rock and roll will never die,” (Neil Young), act like I’m “forever young” (Bob Dylan), and feel I have to “keep on keepin' on…”, (Allman Brothers Band), I must admit that “I’m not the man I used to be” (Fine Young Cannibals), and need to plan ahead for my own “golden years” (David Bowie).

As author Donna M. Reed says in her new book, An Insider's Guide to Better Nursing Home Care: 75 Tips You Should Know (Feb 2009), nursing home care is likely to become a major social problem as the baby-boomer generation ages.


“New residents will put huge strains on already short staffing at a time when funding to government-assisted homes (75 percent of all nursing homes) is lower than ever,” says Reed. Her firsthand knowledge of nursing home care, based on ten years of experience working as a Licensed Practical Nurse, plus her in-depth understanding of the legal requirements that protect residents – she is now an attorney practicing in North Carolina -- offer invaluable information to readers concerned about a loved one in a nursing home.

As life expectancy continues to increase, millions of seniors are living well into their eighties and nineties. With the aging of the baby boomers like me, the population of senior citizens will swell dramatically in the coming decades.

What should middle-aged people expect as we grow older? What should caregivers of the elderly know about normal aging? How can we all stay healthy despite the limitations of age?


These are the questions answered by the authors of The Real Truth about Aging: A Survival Guide for Older Adults and Caregivers. At a time when geriatric medicine is becoming a rare specialty and doctors receive little training in this area, the wealth of information compiled in this outstanding volume is invaluable. They begin with the basic facts of aging, distilling the current research on the underlying molecular mechanisms, organ system changes, and associated disease risks that occur as our bodies get older.

Separate chapters are devoted to preventative medical testing, so-called anti-aging therapies, vitamin and herbal supplements, exercise, and medication problems. Their overview of the American healthcare system covers making the most of a doctor’s visit, an explanation of various healthcare professionals involved in elder care, and guidelines for choosing a nursing home or assisted care facility. They also discuss the health risks of a stay in the hospital, including antibiotic-resistant infections, temporary delirium, and bedsores.

"It is refreshing to find a book that is honest and courageous enough to fly against the ‘happy-talk’ genre of books for the elderly,” says veteran radio talk show host Barry Farber. “I've never seen anything to match the straight-talking authenticity that explodes off of every page."


Finally, here’s another book title that really hits close to home, as I wonder about my latest “midlife moment” memory lapse: Forgetting: When to Worry, What to Do, by Joan Carson Breitung, RN, MSN defines the kinds of memory problems that have straightforward explanations and remedies, as well as those that are more complex and ominous. Memory problems and the accompanying confusion can have any number of causes, and Breitung clarifies the difference between normal brain aging and the onset of dementia. She clarifies some of the myths about dementia and explores some of the preventative measures to offset it, such as nutrition, activities, and medications.

Thanks to Prometheus books and their authors, baby-boomers like me have a valuable resource in the quest for information in these important areas of interest. As much as we’d like to ignore it, “times waits for no one” (The Rolling Stones).

* * * * *
An Insider's Guide to Better Nursing Home Care: 75 Tips You Should Know
by Donna M. Reed
222 page paperback; $17.98
ISBN: 978-1-59102-671-6

The Real Truth about Aging: A Survival Guide for Older Adults and Caregivers
by Neil Shulman, MD, Michael A. Silverman, MD, MPH and Adam G. Golden, MD, MBA
368 page paperback; $21.98
ISBN: 978-1-59102-719-5

Forgetting: When to Worry, What to Do
Joan Carson Breitung, RN, MSN
304 page paperback; $19.98
ISBN: 978-1-59102-617-4.





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