Odonian Press was founded in the early 1990s by Arthur Naiman, who was struck by how much more accessible leftist ideas tend to be in speeches and interviews than in books or articles. Using money he made from computer books like The Macintosh Bible, he set out to produce short, readable, radical political books, usually based on spoken sources, that were as well-written and jargon-free as possible.
Because these books aimed to give readers the real story on what was happening in the world, they were called The Real Story Series. The idea was to preach to the congregation rather than to the (already converted) choir.
The first Real Story book, Who Killed JFK?, came out in early 1992; the last, Noam Chomsky's The Common
Good, in late 1998. Odonian published a total of eighteen books, all but three of them in the Real Story series. There are now more than
875,000 copies of these books in print.
Where does the name Odonian come from?
Odonian Press gets its name from science fiction author
Ursula Le Guin's
The Dispossessed, which certainly must be the best novel ever written about anarchism.
The last story in her wonderful collection The Wind's Twelve Quarters also features the Odonians, and Odo herself.
Why doesn't Odonian still publish books?
Its editor/publisher, Arthur Naiman, wanted to concentrate on his own writing, and on other aspects of his life that he'd been neglecting.