My New Book (For Just $3.19)!

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I’ve been waiting a long time to make this announcement, but after writing one book on new media and another on the New Evangelization, I’m about to launch my third book!

(Here’s the TL;DR version: the book is about saints and Catholic social teaching, and for a limited time you can pre-order the eBook version for just $3.19!)
 
Saints and Social Justice

Five years ago, I taught a multi-part course at our parish on Catholic social teaching, which is the Church’s wisdom about building a just society. I was so excited about the topic since it had deeply affected me. A few years earlier, as a Protestant college-student bent on changing the world, I discovered these teachings and they blew me away. I read the relevant encyclicals, studied the principles, and saw them lived out in people like Mother Teresa, John Paul II, and Dorothy Day. They ended up playing a crucial role in my conversion to Catholicism.

Yet since becoming Catholic, I’ve discovered just how controversial Catholic social teaching can be. Whenever I express excitement about these teachings I’m often met with nervous glances or heavy sighs. Thanks to years of distortion and confusion, many Catholics literally cringe at their mention.

Part of the problem is that certain groups have hijacked them for their own political or social purposes. Some have co-opted key terms like “social justice” and assigned them new meanings far different than the Church’s. These distortions have understandably made people wary. One popular TV commentator actually told his millions of viewers:
 

“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!…If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them, ‘Excuse me are you down with this whole social justice thing?’ I don’t care what the church is…[I]f they say, ‘Yeah, we’re all in that social justice thing,’ I’m in the wrong place.”

 
This puts Catholics in a very difficult position since that exact phrase, “social justice,” appears no less than 116 times in the Church’s official, magisterial teachings. It appears the Catholic Church is “down with this whole social justice thing,” and if that’s the case, we need to know what she means when she says it.

Another problem I discovered was that there just aren’t a lot of solid, practical resources available on Catholic social teaching. Most books are either too academic or too abstract (or sometimes both), but few explain how ordinary Catholics can apply this wisdom to their own lives.

So with these problems in mind, I followed a principle that Peter Kreeft operates by: I wrote the book I wanted to read, but that didn’t yet exist. I craved a book that would rehabilitate Catholic social teaching, present it clearly and authentically, illuminate it with our great Tradition, and reveal simple, practical ways to live it out. But since it didn’t exist, I set out to write it.

Saints and Social JusticeAfter a year of researching and writing, I’m thrilled to announce the result. In early 2014, Our Sunday Visitor will publish my next book:

Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World.

The book aims to reclaim Catholic social teaching and unveil it through the lives of the saints. It’s framed using the seven major themes of Catholic social teaching, as defined by the U.S. bishops, and for each theme I highlight two saints who especially embodied it.

The resulting book is a narrative packed with stories, from those saints and others in the sidebars, of people putting these teachings into action.

My hope is that the book imitates stained glass windows throughout the world, using the saints as conduits of light, allowing these brilliant social teachings to shine through them with new vividness, splendor, and truth.

Here’s the book’s outline:

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
    • CH 1 – Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
    • CH 2 – St. Peter Claver
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
    • CH 3 – St. Frances of Rome
    • CH 4 – Bl. Anne-Marie Javouhey
  • Rights and Responsibilities
    • CH 5 - St. Roque Gonzalez
    • CH 6 – St. Thomas More
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
    • CH 7 – Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
    • CH 8 – St. Vincent de Paul
  • Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
    • CH 9 – St. Benedict of Nursia
    • CH 10 – Servant of God Dorothy Day
  • Solidarity
    • CH 11 – Pope St. John Paul II
    • CH 12 – St. Damien of Molokai
  • Care for Creation
    • CH 13 - St. Giles
    • CH 14 – St. Isidore the Farmer

 
But here’s the really big news: the book just went live on Amazon.com, and for a limited time you can pre-order the eBook version for just $3.19. That’s cheaper than a Big Mac, a Starbucks latte, or a movie ticket. From what I know, it’s the best book deal Our Sunday Visitor has ever offered in its hundred year history.

However, this crazy-good bargain will only be available for a short time. You’ll want to pre-order the eBook now before it jumps back to $9.99. You won’t be charged until the book actually launches, but you’ll lock in the low price. When it does launch, you’ll automatically receive the eBook on your device within seconds.

(You don’t necessarily need a Kindle to read the eBook. Amazon provides free software which lets you view Kindle eBooks on your PC, Mac, smartphone, iPhone, iPad, or other device.)

Of course, you can always pre-order the paperback version, if you prefer. But you’ll never find a deal as good as the eBook pre-order.

Since Amazon officially “counts” pre-orders on a book’s release date, our goal is to drum up tons of pre-orders so that when the book launches it will arrive with lots of buzz and shoot up the Amazon bestseller ranks. That will help get it noticed by more people and thus get Catholic social teaching into the hands (and e-readers) of more people.

Here’s the book’s official description:
 

Catholic social teaching has explosive power for changing not just individuals, but whole societies. And it’s the saints who light the fuse.

The value of human life. The call to family and community. Serving the poor. The rights of workers. Care for creation.

The church has always taught certain undeniable truths that can and should affect our society. But over the years, these teachings have been distorted, misunderstood, and forgotten.

With the help of fourteen saints, it’s time we reclaim Catholic social teaching and rediscover it through the lives of those who best lived it out. Follow in the saints’ footsteps, learn from their example, and become the spark of authentic social justice that sets the world on fire.

 
So click here to pre-order your copy for the absurdly low price of $3.19, and please help spread the word by sharing the link (http://bvogt.us/saintsbook) through your blog, email, Facebook, or Twitter page.
 
Saints and Social Justice

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  • David Ancell

    I tried to go to that link, and it’s now charging $12.99 for the Kindle edition. Did it take me to the wrong page.

  • Marthe Lépine

    For a number of reasons such as: I don’t have credit cards and I absolutely do not want to put my debit card number on line and I do not have the time to figure out all the other modes of payment since postal services are still in existence, I will have to wait until I order your book. However I am very, very interested in the Church social teaching, for the moment I am responsible for and trying to get to function my parish’s social justice committee, and my training as an economist was in a Canadian university that included Catholic social teaching in its teaching, I am interested to purchase the book when it comes out, but obviously not on line. And I would also very much like to see your teaching notes from the course you gave in your parish (because I would like to start one here), and would even be prepared to pay something for them. So: When the book comes out on paper, is there a mailing address I would be able to use in order to send a “paper” money order?

  • Victor

    I guess until your book comes out Brandon Vogt, I’m going to have to survive on the spiritual love that I’ve obtained from having read The Anchoress first born and by the way, YA must stop putting so much butter on Elizabeth’s bread if YA get my drift now? :(
    I hear YA Anchoress! He’s Young Victor :)
    God Bless Peace

  • Lydia

    Finally! I am so excited about this topic. I too read the commenter who said if your church is into the “whole social justice thing” run fast. And I agreed with him because I knew exactly what he meant. But I was also sad because we as Christians are called to help others and it is supposed to be a big part of our faith and these people who are watering down the faith co-opted it. I was so happy when Pope Francis started talking about how important it is to help our fellow man and at the same time spread the TRUE unwatered down gospel but spread it with joy and kindness and compassion. Can’t wait to read your book when it comes out.

  • Walter Twachtman

    Brandon, these are wonderful saints, but couldn’t you find room for Francis of Assisi?

    • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

      Funny you should mention St. Francis, Walter. I intentionally chose not to feature him or St. Kateri because 1) they’ve almost become cliche when representing care for creation and 2) neither really embodies the theme. We have a warped picture of St. Francis thanks to movies, art, and (especially) garden statues. And Kateri unfairly gets put in this book just because she was a Native American.

      I explain all this in the book and show why the two saints I *did* choose–St. Giles and St. Isidore–are better representatives.

  • MeanLizzie

    Per-ordered my e-book, Brandon and can’t wait to read this. What perfect timing!

  • Timothy Black

    Bought it…but not out til March 2014? Or is that accurate? I know Amazon is kinda goofy on release dates sometimes.

    • http://www.brandonvogt.com/ Brandon Vogt

      That’s probably right, Timothy. It’s looking like an early-March release date.

      • Timothy Black

        I will have to patiently wait then. :)

  • "There is only one tragedy in the end, not to have been a saint." - Léon Bloy