LEONARD E. READ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC EDUCATION
In May 2002, the book received the first annual Leonard E. Read Book Award for excellence in economic education. At the first annual gala convention of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in Las Vegas, President Mark Skousen presented a trophy and gold medallion to honor the occasion. Commented Mark in the press release:
"Schoolland's story is the perfect choice for the first Read Book Award. Leonard Read, FEE's founder,spent his life writing, publishing, and teaching the basics of liberty and sound economics in a way that every individual could comprehend. The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible is a simple, powerful, and amusing way to illustrate the principles of political economy. It's a combination of the satirists Frédéric Bastiat and Jonathan Swift."
Present at the ceremonies were many of the hundreds of people who have helped on the project over the years. Among these were Fred James, Geo Olsson, Kerry Pearson, Louise Zizka, Ralph Smeed, Vince Miller, Jim Elwood, Andrea Millen Rich, Dick & Lydia Randolph, Raquel Mizrahi, and Mary Lou Gutscher. And we made contacts for future publications in French, Estonian, Swedish, and Arabic.
LEAVEY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FREE ENTERPRISE EDUCATION
The Director of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Russell K. Schulz, announced, "The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible has been selected to receive a Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this special program, endowed by The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, permits Freedoms Foundation to honor educators for their innovative efforts to help young people better understand the function and benefits of America's private enterprise system." The award was given at the special ceremonies in Philadelphia, April 2002.
BOOK OF THE MONTH IN BRAZIL
Margaret Tse, the prolific free market journalist for the Instituto Liberal in Porto Alegre, Brazil, wrote saying, "Dear Ken, If you visit our web site, the book of the month (November) is JG! Every month we suggest a book for the readers of the web site: http://www.il-rs.com.br/ "
PUBLICATIONS: KOREA, MONGOLIA
More translations are expected to come off the press very soon this summer. From K-mee Jung in Korea I just received this announcement: "Dear Ken, Thanks for the email you sent. It really made my day since it come in very timely in connection with the JG novel. After a long wait, my publishers finally sent me an email about a week or so ago, stating that your book will be published sometime in the late part of August. Hafadi!"
And from Bataar in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia, who had some unexpected illness this year, "I want to let you know that everything has been completed for the publication of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible. We are making some advertisements for readers. One of my friends asked me to write a preface on JG and wanted to know your mind on it. My friend is a member of the Mongolian Parliament and her preface would be a nice advertisement for your book...We are glad that the demand for our book is very high as a result of the advertisement. We have received many letters asking for establishing communication with you. For example:
Bataa.S., a member of the Mongolian Youth Federation, wrote: "We always tell youths of Mongolia to make a friend with the book. Because book helps people to be honest and to see the life more real."
Dalkhsuren. G., Director of Dailo Company, wrote: "This book is giving us the chance to look at our own life from another side. It is very important for us who are trying to get out of transitional period. Also it is a surprising coincidence that this book comes right after the Land Utilization Law and the Law Against Corruption."
Byamba. J., Vice President of the Voters' Federation to Protect the Constitution, wrote: "There is only one step between ridiculous incident and great incident. JG traveled by the ridiculous places but the life experiences those are given by people there is great."
Wrapping up, Bataar exclaimed, "We are going to sell the book next week. Please send us the address and we will send you the Mongolian JG."
WEB SITE: ANIMATION, AUDIO, FORUMS, ETC.
Kerry Pearson has created fabulous flashplayer animation to present the Liberty Philosophy from the epilogue of JG. With the advice and help from webmistress Ginger Warbis and numerous others, he has prepared one of the hottest items on the web site, with music accompaniment: http://jonathangullible.com/ I say "hot" because he has attracted numerous inquiries for using this program on various other sites as well.
Through the help of Judy Nagy in Quito, Ecuador, it will soon appear in Spanish as well. All other JG languages are invited. Please contact Kerry at email@example.com And of course, Ginger Warbis earns the highest praise for the miraculous job she has done with putting together a beautiful web site, complete with forum group, announcements, and links to all the various projects. Contact Ginger at WebMistress@Fornits.com
E-PUBLICATIONS: ENGLISH, SPANISH, FRENCH
JG is now available on-line! While not as fun to read at a picnic under a tree, the e-version of JG is certainly very accessible. Sieg Pedde has placed the English edition on-line through the JG web site for $7.99. With the help of translators Louise Zizka and Judy Nagy, Sieg is preparing to offer French and Spanish on-line editions in the near future.
E-PUBLICATIONS: RUSSIAN, ROMANIAN
In March I was fortunate to travel to Minsk, Belarus as the guest of the Privatization and Management Institute of Elena Rakova and the Economic Salon of Jaroslav Romanchuk. These two have done very courageous work in promoting free market ideas in one of the more repressed countries of the world. While there, Jaroslav completed the web installation of JG in the latest Russian version by Kenneth DeGraaf and Elena Mamontova. Reports Jaroslav, "My web master told me that about 15 to 20 persons address your book on my web site a day. It is not such a big number but advertising in the process so I hope there will be many more." Check it out at: http://liberty-belarus.org/school/20020327161825.shtml
Cris Comanescu, Valentina Nicolaie, and Sorin Cucerai have made JG available through the web site of The Ludwig von Mises Institute of Romania: http://www.misesromania.org/carti/gullible/cuprins.htm
Sorin wrote saying, "Ken, I should tell you your little book made quite an impression on me. It's direct and funny, written in a simple style. Abruptly speaking, I have only one word for you: congratulations! Your book is indeed a masterpiece in its own kind, and Jonathan - an unforgivable character. A genuinely free book, written by a genuinely free man. Who can ask for more?" Sorin has proposed some very good ideas for expanding the JG concept into a forum for articles on liberty from around the world. Any who wish to help him with this contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-PUBLICATIONS, THEATER, RADIO: KISWAHILI
The shinning star of cental Africa is the brilliant writer and tireless activist, Shikuku James Shikwati. James is the Founder and Director of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN, www.irenkenya.org) which promotes free market ideas to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Writing in IDEAS ON LIBERTY, Lawrence Reed had this to say about James: "A candle has been lit in east Africa. It shows promise of spreading much light where there is now much darkness. In time it may grow to illuminate an entire continent...The candle is in the form of east Africa's first free-market research and educational organization, or 'think tank,' and the man who lit it is one remarkable 31-year-old Kenyan named James Shikwati." For the whole story see: http://www.mackinac.org/4099
James has taken up JG with a fury and has translated the book into Kiswahili: http://www.irenkenya.org/jg/jonathan_gullible.pdf Wrote James, "Your book is expressing very serious concepts in a humorous way. I had to read the whole of it before leaving to meet a publishing friend at the university of Nairobi. 'So what is the book all about?' he asked I picked two stories about the arrested woman and the tax for tall people. The fellow was beside himself with laughter. He took me to his boss who sampled the book and asked about its content. I will keep you posted. A high school teacher commented, 'Kenya has never seen such literature. Even George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM cannot match it.'"
Best of all, the students of Moreno University have produced a play, "The Trial of Jonathan Gullible," from selected chapters of the book. Says James, "The plot is about JG being tried by the islanders for his free market views. It is meant to make the audience see the injustice of not accepting free market ideas. Plan of action: After my seminar I meet with this team to brief them on free market concepts...[the students] plan that I give a lecture in the daytime and have the play staged in the evening. Thereafter we shall see whether it can be staged all over."
James has been pursuing publishers for the Kiswahili translation and has plans for producing an audio version for radio. Those who are seeking projects to support will find no better outlet than with IREN: http://www.irenkenya.org/
The star of west Africa has to be Agwu Amogu, who is currently battling the worst of government oppression. His recent article begins, "With the return of civil rule in Nigeria on 29th of May 1999, Nigerians hoped for a better and freer society where the anguish of the gross abuse of individual rights is no more and the tyrannical economic policies associated with military dictatorship are set aside. An overview of the socio-economic situation in the country today shows that no progress has been made so far...With vigilante and militia groups operating as law enforcement agents that are empowered to conduct extra-judicial killings, the government has finally and openly admitted its failure to discharge its primary duty of providing security and safeguarding liberty."
In the midst of such rampant abuse of power, it is truly inspiring to know a courageous person like Agwu who writes and speaks out about the horrors of the current regime. At the same time, he has tried to find ways of promoting ideas of liberty that will circumvent the censors and reach the general populace. Writes Agwu, "The JG project is still on. The publisher has agreed to start work on it by August. The agreement is that he takes charge of the sales and marketing, so he can be able to recover the money he is going to put in the project. For now, that's the best we can get here. The most important thing for is is to let the book come out, so it can get to so many people here."
STUDENTS IN FREE ENTERPRISE: FGSP, KRYGYZSTAN, BOTSWANA
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international organization founded by Sam Walton and now supported by hundreds of corporations to promote free enterprise education in hundreds of universities around the world. The team at Hawaii Pacific University (SIFE@HPU) placed in the top Sensational Sixteen in the nation at the May competition at Kansas City. http://starbulletin.com/2002/06/11/business/engle.html
One of their many projects over the years has been to use JG to help teach economics in the university classroom. This past year SIFE@HPU went beyond this and founded FGSP, the First Global SIFE Project, linking SIFE teams internationally. One of the first projects to take hold was the introduction of JG to other SIFE teams in such diverse places as Kyrgyzstan, Botswana, and Australia.
Zarina Osmonalieva, the head of SIFE at the American University of Kyrgyzstan (AUK), reported that the translation has been completed and publication is in progress. The book is expected to be unveiled in September. Reports Zarina:
"Our team is going to cooperate with local companies in order to make the project widespread in the Kyrgyz Republic. There is already one company that is ready to invest money in this project. We plan to advertise JG by brochures, posters, and radio, in schools and other organizations that aim to educate schoolchildren. Beginning in December SIFE AUK will work on the next stage of JG. We will organize some contests on understanding the principles of th free market economy among Kyrgyz high schools. We hope that this book will be useful for Kyrgyz schoolchildren in learning the principles of free enterprise and the market economy."
Another FGSP contact has been Dennis Bushy Green in Botswana. Wrote Dennis, "I have been in touch with James from Kenya and he has forwarded me the play they had in Kenya. It gave me a lot of insight into what I could do. I have decided to start an annual drama contest based on a play I intend to develop for all tertiary institutions here in Botswana. I have penned a letter to prospective funders and I am awaiting their response. With regard to the translation of JG into Setswana, the other official language of Botswana, I have identified a Setswana expert who is willing to do the job. I am working on the proposal right now."
From Ms. Priyanka Chauhan of India I received this fascinating news: "Dear Prof Schoolland: Warm wishes! This comes to you from a keen interest in your amazing work 'The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible'. I am the Publications Co-ordinator with the Centre for Civil Society, a New Delhi based independent research and educational organization engaged in disseminating free market ideas in India. As a part of our annual student outreach activities we organize a nationwide Liberty & Society Seminar, during which we display many free market publications from across the world along with our in-house publications.
"You'll be happy to know that 'The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible' has been a huge hit with the students across the country, many of whom have expressed an interest in working for a dramatic interpretation of the same. I have been working on converting your book into a preliminary screenplay, which we plan to enact sometime this year. I would appreciate it greatly if you could help me in my endeavour. I believe the book began as a radio series. If you could please help me get a copy of the script for the same, it would help me immensely."
From Lahore, Pakistan I received an exhilarating report from Dr. Khalil Ahmad that the Urdu translation is now complete and that he is preparing the next steps toward publication. Dr. Ahmad sent this message on the afternoon that he finished reading JG. "[JG] is at the same time so traditional and so modern. It is positive, instructive, penetrating, sharp, satirical, and frightening; and so zealously written. Jonathan's gullibility has an air of gloom and helplessness since it's everybody's gullibility who thinks he is free while he is not. Only a Jonathan back from Corrumpo could be free! And for that matter, we are all living in a Corrumpo; and how could we be back from our Corrumpo, this book shows the way out."
EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTION: SOUTH AFRICA
Surely the most comprehensive production of JG is being undertaken by Janette Eldridge, the star of liberty in South Africa. It is almost impossible to do justice to the analysis and expansion of the project that Janette has undertaken. Not only has she visited literary conferences to find new contacts in Ghana, Indonesia, India, a dozen other countries, but she is developing a full-fledged educational project in the many languages of South Africa.
Each of the chapters will have accompanying notes and extensive commentaries relating issues in the book to the local scene. Says Janette, "I will then take the next step towards having it published in English and Afrikaans. After which I will look into having it serialized in a Zulu language paper or magazine. And if that is successful then I will look into serializing it in the other languages!"
Ruminating about the reasons that she has decided on such an explanatory approach, Janette wrote, "The concepts [of liberty] are probably not understood because we have never known individual freedom--there has always been a local headman, tribal elders chief, or colonial power apartheid government that must be obeyed. Even when our forefathers tried to flee from the north, or from Europe, or up from the south, a governing power caught up and took away individual freedom."
"I read [Bastiat's] THE LAW, then chuckled as I recognized it in JG. I then read FREE TO CHOOSE and chuckled as I could visualize JG there. But what if I had never considered individual freedom, never even entertained the thought of not having someone of authority rule my daily life--would I have seen the message in JG? If my small sampling of various people (some of whom I consider extremely intelligent and worldly) is anything to go by, then the answer is 'probably not'."
A NEW SCHOOL IN THE PHILIPPINES: CEBUANO
This year I received a surprise greeting from Ivo Cerckel, an old friend who has left his European law practice to live in his newfound paradise. Wrote Ivo, "Dear Ken, I'm living since April 2000 in the Philippines. I married January 2001 and had my first child, Roxanne, at the end of June. At the end of July I moved to my wife's island, Siquijor, which is the most backward island in the Philippines, the island of witches, it consists only of six villages but is a province on its own with 60,000 people. As my own upbringing was rather eventful, I want to make sure that Roxanne's will not be. On the nearest island, Negros, 45 minutes away by fast ferry, there's a town called Dumaguete-City where there are some serious schools. Since a week, I have been in contact with Marshall Fritz in order to find out how to start my own school...In my wildest dreams I'm thinking of translating Jonathan into Cebuano/Visayan."
TRANSLATION & SERIALIZATION: SOMALI
Faisal Ahmed Hassan has been working very hard on a Somali translation for those living in Canada as well as Somalia. Wrote Faisal, "JG's tranlation in Somali is progressing very well. There is the possibility that Gacal, a Somali literature magazine, which focuses on Somali literature is planning to serialise JG. I have already started a dialogue with the editor and publisher. I am hopeful that they will make possible to a larger audience, that is, their readers to JG."
At the FEE convention in May, I met Paul Vahur, a great promoter of liberty in Estonia. Writing about the new organization, Paul said, "This has grown out of the Estonian Liberal Club 'Nahtamatu Kasi' (invisible hand in Estonian), which I founded a year ago. We are growing slowly but steadily. We are in the early stages of creating a non-profit organization with the aim to translate 'easier' books about capitalism and free market into Estonian. The first book would be JG, then probably Mary Ruwart's 'Healing our world', Johan Nordberg's 'In Defense of Global Capitalism', and Bastiat's 'The Law'. I hope that we have the organization formed by end of the summer and that we will have raised some money to start with the pilot project - JG."
CARTOON VERSION: ITALY
While I haven't corresponded directly with the man in charge yet, I have heard this from Mauro Tosco: "I have forwarded your message about a prospective interest in the cartoon version of JG to the guy who is working on the Italian cartoon version, to show him that THERE IS an interest, and to encourage him. If you want to write him, his name is Davide Sacco, he lives here in Genova, and his e-mailaddress is simply:email@example.com"
Mauro is also working on the Piedmontese edition of JG.
Speaking of the cartoon version, I'd say we're just about ready for the MTV version of JG since Ryan Sagawa and Ron Corpus produced the JG Rap for my economics class. Here's a teaser, for the full version go to the JG web site.
This is a rap bout a really short book.
Bout a random day I decided to look.
Required by the teach in a class I took.
Hit it Ron, give us the hook.
He's on a free market odyssey.
Come and kick it with Jonathan G.
Learn bout monetary policy.
To Corrumpo we go just'a you and me...
DISTRIBUTION & SCARCITY: US, ALBANIA Hawaii Reporter has been serializing the book weekly, http://www.hawaiireporter.com/ for the Hawaii readers. Hawaii Reporter is an internet newspaper that was founded last February by Malia Zimmerman and Jay McWilliams and this month will celebrate its one millionth hit.
Thanks to Jane Orendt, occasional chapters are also appearing on the web site of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, http://www.AAPSonline.org/.
JG is being well received in many countries, so much so that we sometimes just run out of copies. Such news is mixed. It is a sign of the value of the books and of the desperately impoverished conditions. Here is a report from Kozeta Cuadari, the translator of the Albanian edition of JG:
"The copies we published 4 years ago, were already distributed by ACER, [The Albanian Center for Economic Research] and I was given only a few copies, which I distributed among my students of economics at that time. I have made some attempts to republish it, after the request of my new students, but it was unsuccessful, because we lack funds.
"You see, the situation in Albania is still difficult and unsteady, due to continuous political changes. Everyone is concentrated on political news, corruption is at a very high scale and each thinks how to profit. No one cares about publications. If you go to libraries you will rarely see any decent books, especially good professional ones.
"As a translator and teacher of English at Economics Faculty, I can see from near this lack of books. Literature that the students use in their classes is mainly old economics books, and most of them are translated by the students themselves as course texts.
"What I see is that Albania needs education, especially Albanian students, and the best way to fill this gap is various publications. People read very little. Most of them spend their free time in cafes and bars, mainly young people. The cultural level is very low, even among highly educated people."
FIRST INTERNATIONAL ESSAY CONTEST WINNER: MEXICO
In June, Edgar Pina, Jr, announced the results of a Spanish language essay contest across Latin America. Reported Edgar, "After careful analysis of the essays presented by the contestants of the First International Essay Contest on Liberalism and Free Market, the Jury of ISIL & Foro Libre Board of Directors are pleased to announce the following results: Carlos Francisco Mendoza is the winner of the Gold Award. His essay in the Jonathan Gullible category was entitled: 'Ensayo sobre el libro Las Aventuras de Jonathan Gullible, by Ken Schoolland.'
"Mendoza is a 22 year-old student at CESUES (Centro de Estudios Superiores del Estado de Sonora), in Mexico, where he is studying Licenciatura on International Business. The Essay Contest Gold Award consists of airplane round trip tickets to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, registration fees at the 21st World Conference of the International Society for Individual Liberty, first class accommodations and all meals for four nights at the Hotel Iguana Mismaloya, and a 1 ounce US Gold Eagle coin."
We have more than a hundred people who have been working on various versions around the world. Additional translations have been completed and we are seeking publishers for other editions, i.e. French, Swedish, Norwegian, Bengali, and Chinese. Translations are under way in Finnish and Bulgarian. Ideas for new projects range among audio tapes, comic books, games, theater, radio, and film.
This year will also mark the fifth year that JG has been used at the Liberty English Camp in Lithuania. This is an annual event hosted by Virgis Daukas, Stephen and Monika Browne, and the Lithuanian Free Market Institute as a means of simultaneously teaching English, economics, and philosophy through the use of skits and debate.
Most of the books have been publisher supported projects, most notable is the original publisher of the English editions by Sam Slom of Small Business Hawaii http://www.hotspotshawaii.com/smallbusinesshawaii/
In several other countries editions have been made possible with the assistance of sponsoring contributors, especially those with the International Society for Individual Liberty http://www.isil.org/.
Anyone who wishes to participate in any way on the JG adventure in worldwide free market education, reaching a classroom of tens of thousands of students, is encouraged to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Aloha, Ken