July 15, 2015
PRESS RELEASE: Melville House to Crash a Book Version of the Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change
by Julia Fleischaker
Melville House has announced an agreement with the Vatican whereby it will publish a rush edition of the encyclical on climate control and inequality recently released by Pope Francis. The Brooklyn indie publisher expects to have the book printed and in its warehouse, ready for distribution, within two weeks.
While several Catholic publishing houses have announced forthcoming editions of the book, Melville House is the first secular publisher to strike a deal with the Vatican for publication.
“This goes far beyond a strictly Catholic readership,” said publisher Dennis Johnson. “The Pope has galvanized an entire movement, regardless of religious beliefs, partly by citing the overwhelming mass of scientific evidence. A vast, secular readership needed a handbook, and Pope Francis has provided it.”
The Melville House edition will have an introduction by Harvard history of science professor Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the bestselling Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.
According to Oreskes, “Historians looking back often recognize turning points, but ordinary people living through them rarely do. Sometimes, however, a book catalyzes thought into action. Uncle Tom’s Cabin did this, and so did Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Like those works, Pope Francis’s Encyclical is a call to action.”
Pope Francis, who named himself after Saint Francis, patron saint of the poor, is expected to address the impact of climate change on the poor when he visits the US in September for addresses at the UN and the joint houses of Congress at the US Capitol. It will be the first time a pope has ever addressed the US Congress.
Encylical on Climate Change and Equality will be published in trade paperback, digital, and audio versions on August 4, 2015.
Contact: Julia Fleischaker; julia [at] mhpbooks.
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.