New article from Nimble author this weekend: How Biden Flubbed Town Hall Foreign Policy Question by Nicolas J.S. Davies appearing at CommonDreams.org. Sandy's BLOOD ON OUR HANDS: THE AMERICAN INVASION AND DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ (Nimble, 2010) has stood the test of time as a well-researched account with an emphasis on international law. I take pride in the fact that Nimble Books publishes a wide range of political opinion from far left to far right.

Nimble Books has more than 250 books in print, and about 100 of these are from the public domain. A key challenge for me when I publish such titles is to explain why I have lifted these rough jewels from the ash-heap of history and presented them to the public for purchase in hardcover format. I am confident that they are valuable and interesting, otherwise I wouldn't have picked them out, but the issue is how to articulate that to others in ways that make sense to them, rather than to me. I'm still experimenting with the best ways to do this, which means that today I'm wearing my book marketer hat.

New in the Amazon catalog today from Nimble public domain: Record of Proceedings of SCORPION Inquiry. This is from Nimble's FOIA Reading Room series. Information about the tragic loss of SCORPION in May 1968 is still one of the most frequently requested documents in the Navy's FOIA Reading Room, and for good reason. I've known about this story for decades, but it's still gripping to read the details of the Navy's response to the incident and its initial analyses. Bruce Rule's Why the USS Scorpion (SSN 589) Was Lost: The Death of a Submarine in the North Atlantic has the best available analysis of what happened.

Also new from Nimble public domain: New Research on the Voynich Manuscript: Proceedings of a Seminar from the National Security Agency. The Voynich manuscript is famous among enthusiasts of arcana, rare books, and cryptography as a 200+ page color rare book written in a cipher that has resisted decryption to this day. It is named after a Polish rare book dealer who surfaced the manuscript in 1912. Its history and provenance are uncertain. Many people have been proposed as possible authors, among them Roger Bacon, John Dee or Edward Kelley, Giovanni Fontana, and Voynich himself. So the Voynich manuscript itself is intrinsically interesting for its history, its cryptography, and yes, its kookiness. The Proceedings just republished by Nimble are a separate, secondary work summarizing the results of a seminar on the Voynich manuscript held in 1976. So why bring them forward?

I've alluded to one of the key reasons--the proceedings come from the FOIA Reading Room at the National Security Agency, and many of the presenters were NSA personnel. Why was the NSA deeply interested in the Voynich manuscript in 1976? What were they thinking? This book may give you some of the answers. There is no substitute for looking at primary documents and real-time work product to understand how people's minds were actually working in history.

Another way to look at it is in terms of shared profiles or common points of interest. "If you like X, you will probably like Y." The potential buying audience for this edition of Proceedings is probably rather small, in the hundreds or thousands rather than the millions, but it is probably safe to say that if you enjoyed works like THE DA VINCI CODE, PUZZLE PALACE (the James Bamford book about the NSA), or SNOWDEN (the movie), you may enjoy these Proceedings.