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Preaching to the . . . unconverted


This week's Seven Days food section features an interview I did with Russell Roberts, an economics prof from George Mason University in Virginia. Roberts, a critic of the "buy local" movement, is debating local eco-celeb Bill McKibben on October 29 at the University of Vermont -- and he knows his argument may sound like treason to some Vermont localvores. For that reason, he's asking fans to help subsidize the cost of his recent economics-themed novel, The Price of Everything.

"I'll be speaking later this month and early next at the University of Vermont (a debate with Bill McKibben on buying local), and to an AP teachers conference in Richmond, Virginia," Roberts wrote recently on his blog, Cafe Hayek."I'd like to sell my book, The Price of Everything, at both places. But it's hard to sell books. So I'd like to subsidize them and sell them cheap, for $5."

Membership to this "book club" costs $10. "For your $10," Roberts writes, "you have the pleasure of knowing that someone like a teacher of economics or a fan of Bill McKibben (probably the model member of the audience at UV) will have a chance to read the book."

A $100 donation gets "club" members an autographed copy of The Price, according to Roberts' blog. Each additional Benjamin earns signed copies of Roberts' other econ-novels, The Invisible Heart and The Choice.