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NDA: Nonfiction Defense Association
Updated November 30, 2007

Because the world we live in is real
and the future depends only on us!

Searching for nuggets of truth, reason and empowerment in a land of fiction, fantasy, habit, culture, confusion, bias, disinformation, ignorance, apathy, machiavellianism, tradition, misology, overextension, religion, anxiety, hyperbole, politics, xenophobia, emotion, patriotism, competition, phobias, careers, economics, globalization, specialization, superstition, supernaturalism... and opportunity.

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

Charles Darwin

There is great pleasure in clarity.
Steve Waller

Thomas Jefferson
Looking for
"diamonds in the dung"

-Thomas Jefferson-

Fiction entertains. Nonfiction EMPOWERS!
It is easier to not learn than to learn. The majority will lag the knowledgeable!
Steve Waller

Why a Nonfiction Defense Association? TOP

Start to consciously consider which is promoted most heavily and which is most available; fiction or nonfiction.

  • Look at your TV guide. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • Surf all your TV's cable stations. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • When books are read on the radio, are they mostly fiction or nonfiction?
  • Count the number of "books on tape" available in your local library, are they mostly fiction or nonfiction?
  • View the latest Nielson ratings. This is what people REALLY watch on TV (despite what they SAY they watch). Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • View the Top 10 USA Box Office Returns for the week. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • View the Top 335 All-Time USA Box Office Sales. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • View the Top 50 United States Video Rentals for the week. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • View the OVERALL Bestseller Books. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • When the book video/DVD catalog comes in the mail. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
    I counted the number of promotional photos in the Columbia House DVD Catalog (I used the paper mail catalog). Total photos = 720 (705 promoting fiction DVDs, 15 nonfiction (I included music concerts and exercise DVDs as nonfiction.) for a nonfiction exposure of only 2%. It promoted 98% fiction!
  • I recently stopped at a Borders bookstore and visited the DVD section. There were many nonfiction DVDs there for sale (History Channel, Standard Deviants, etc.). They are EXPENSIVE! Why are these nonfiction videos NOT available for rental at my local video rental store? Why is the complete collection NOT at my local library? Why is it that I can rent or borrow fiction but have to buy nonfiction?
  • There are many excellent documentaries and other nonfiction works produced each year. Go to the Apple - Movie Trailers website. What percentage of the previews are nonfiction?
  • Test: How long does it take you to get to the nonfiction section from the Amazon.com home page? Try it!
  • When you view the titles for upcoming theatrical performance. Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction?
  • When you think of the "Classics". Which dominates, fiction or nonfiction? Why is that?
  • How many nonfiction "Classics" can you think of? Why is that?
  • Is your personal discretionary reading dominated by fiction or nonfiction? Why is that?
  • Quick, consider the number of fiction sources. Compare that to the number of nonfiction sources.
  • In general, which is easier to find, fiction or nonfiction?
  • If you spent as much time watching or reading about important personal local and national situations as you do about sports or entertainment and entertainers, how would your life be different?
  • View the Top Selling Music Albums What is their contribution?
  • How much fiction is enough? I'm serious. Just exactly where should the line be?
  • What would be the consequence of reading too much fiction?
  • Should/could you become educated on fiction alone?
  • What would be the consequence of reading more nonfiction?
  • Why do we often confine learning to schools or work?
  • Is nonfiction under utilized? I think so.

Nonfiction books, videos, DVDs and documentaries TOP

Buy from here or get these nonfiction materials from your local library

  • Bookstores and Libraries are Nonfiction Friendly!
    • While TV, catalogs, and other popular promotional and entertainment media seem to favor fiction heavily, book stores tend to have LOTS of nonfiction on their shelves, ready for your hungry eyes. Visit your local library and bookstores often to discover the titles that popular entertainment-only ads are denying you!
  • Acres USA
    • Acres is a magazine for farmers, gardeners and landowners. It is very diverse and offers many hard to find books videos and audio tapes and is strong on land education, land management, and organic titles. It has a few pseudo science and spiritual titles, but they are a minority and of course, you can easily identify those. Right?
  • A&E Video / DVD Store
    • The official store of A&E Television Networks, including History Channel and Biography documentaries. Use the search engine!
    • Check out their "Best Sellers" (even this nonfiction site is dominated by fiction!). Who the heck is Horatio Hornblower anyway?
  • Amazon.com Award Winning Books
  • Amazon.com Nonfiction Bestsellers
  • Amazon.com Nonfiction Recommendations
    • Be sure to check other categories on the left side of the page
  • BasicBooks.com
    • Since its founding in 1952, Basic Books has made innumerable contributions in subject areas ranging from psychology, science and sociology to politics, public policy and history.
  • BookTV.Org
    • Reviews nonfiction books and offers interviews with authors
  • Bullfrog Films
    • The leading US publisher of independently-produced, environmental videos. Nice videos but almost impossible to access.
  • Countryside Magazine Bookstore
    • Offers nonfiction books for homesteaders
  • Crimson Bird Book Shoppe Documentary Movie List
    • A long list of documentaries.
  • Documentary Movie List
    • Lists favorite documentaries voted by members
  • Docurama
    • A list of great documentary DVDs
  • Educational DVD Rentals
    • For a monthly fee and no late charges, get educational DVDs in the mail
  • Educational Video Network
    • EVN produces curriculum-based educational videos and DVDs. They are pricey so you might want to see if they are available from your local library or especially your college library. This is a great list of titles.
  • Films for the Humanities and Sciences
    • For more than 25 years, Films for the Humanities and Sciences chooses each program on the basis of the importance of its subject, the quality of its production, and its relevance as an instructional aid. More than 7,000 video, CD-ROM, and videodisc programs cover a broad range of subject areas appropriate for schools, colleges, and public libraries. Find titles on their web page, but look for the films at your local or college library since they are too expensive for individuals to buy. You probably won't find these titles anywhere else. Check out these special collections.
  • Florentine Films
    • Since its founding in 1976, Florentine Films has produced some of the most honored documentaries ever made.
  • Great Minds of Science
    • This series is available but for some reason has not got its own website! Check your local library for copies.
  • Hillsdale Educational Publishers
    • Hillsdale publishes great informative books, tapes and CDs about Michigan and Michigan people. These are apparently NOT available in bookstores or online at Amazon. You must order through the publisher only. Be sure to check out all the links on the left side of the page, especially the "Awesome Supplemental". References to MEAP requirements are provided for each title.
  • History Channel
    • One of the few TV programs mostly dedicated to nonfiction. The History Channel Store has a great collection of titles to buy. Why can't I rent them at my local video store? Why is the entire collection not at my local library.
  • International Documentary Association
    • IDA is a nonprofit member service organization, providing publications, benefits, and a public forum to our membership for issues regarding nonfiction film/video/multimedia. They host festivals and award the best nonfiction Their list of award winners is available for your viewing.
  • Justice Talking
    • An archive of excellent free radio debates that cover a WIDE range of subjects. Just click the links and listen! Perfect to listen to while reading email or working on the computer for long periods of time.
  • Just the Facts Video
    • Great videos for all ages.
  • Knowledge Products
    • Knowledge Products is a leading publisher of educational books-on-tapes, in business since 1985. Tapes focus on the great ideas and events of history. While listening to the audiotapes or CDs, you will be exposed to areas of thought that you may have missed in your formal education. However, the treatment of the subject matter is both educational and entertaining.
  • Library of America
    • Classic non-fictions (a few fictions too) in attractive bindings
  • NPR National Public Radio
  • PBS (Public Broadcasting System) Video
    • Great videos for adults and kids. Includes MANY series including NOVA, NOW, Sesame Street, Scientific American, Hands-On History and much more! Check it out.
    • Bestselling PBS DVDs - An excellent list
  • Pearson Best Nonfiction Books for Young Readers
    • Pearson Learning Group has it all with a powerhouse selection of supplemental products for grades PreK-12! Our family of imprints--including Modern Curriculum Press, Celebration Press, Dale Seymour Publications, Good Year Books, and Globe Fear on -- provides you with exceptional NSF-funded products, bilingual products, phonics and assessment materials, accessible programs for special needs and ESL students, and much more. Visit their online catalog (use the links on the left).
  • Standard Deviants Educational Videos and DVDs
    • Educational topics in an entertaining format on video and DVD at a college freshman level
      (includes college freshman humor). Excellent!
  • "Tell Me Why" Books and Videos
    • This series may be one of the video industry's best resources for supplementing a child's education." (actually, it is great for grown-ups too)

Research sites TOP

Web sites TOP
(Click the links to check them out.)

Nonfiction gift ideas for all ages TOP

Self-taught Famous TOP

A short list of people who never stopped learning (on their own, without college). They were voracious learners and the world is a better place because of it.

For a much longer list, check out Education-Reform.net and Noted High School and Elementary School Dropouts (you will be surprised by the names on these lists!).

Tidbits (interesting observations from everyday life) TOP

Have you experienced any bias or prejudice against nonfiction or gross imbalance in favor of fiction over nonfiction. Let me know. I'd be happy to add your tidbit to this list.

  • I was searching for a specific DVD title on Amazon.com, The Greatest Good, an awesome program on forestry and forests. I entered the exact title. Amazon's search engine returned a long list of Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible, a bible cartoon series on DVD.
  • I was in a Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop at Mequon Pavilions, 12 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The wallpaper inside the store's bathroom was made to look like a bookshelf filled with books - all fiction. The only possible exception was a dictionary. How does a dictionary fit into the nonfiction category? How about poetry? Hummm, interesting...
  • I bought a couple titles at Barnes and Noble Books the other day (nonfiction of course). My books were put in a Barnes and Noble bag. In the car I noticed that the front of the bag had images of books printed on it, all "fiction classics": Gone with the Wind, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch 22, Of Mice and Men, The Bell Jar, Go Tell It on the Mountain. The bag has two sides. In fairness, might the other side have nonfiction titles? I flipped it over. Wrong! (Invisible Man, The Maltese Falcon, This Side of Paradise, Grapes of Wrath, The Old Man and the Sea, The Sound and the Fury, Death of a Salesman, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn). NOT ONE NONFICTION TITLE! I thought that maybe they would have treated fiction/nonfiction evenly, but oh well...
  • As I returned from a business trip, my hotel for the night offered a free guest reading rack loaded with about 400 paperbacks, probably left behind by former guests. I searched the rack thoroughly... all fiction.
  • We homeschool our kids. A English workbook we are using, titled English for the Thoughtful Child was recently reviewed. The reviewer called the workbook "My least favorite homeschooling book" because "there are many specific science questions in this book for which you need to know the answers and will have to do some advance research. If you want to combine unorganized science topics with your grammar lessons, this book will be great for you. I already have another organized science program I am using, so I find this irritating. I would prefer a grammar program that would concentrate on the grammar/language aspects." What is wrong with using science for grammar? What should be substituted? Fiction? The science in the workbook is very basic and offers topics for language that students can relate to... REAL LIFE!

About Belief

The Ethics of Belief
This awesome essay was written in 1877 by William Kingdon Clifford. It explains the difference between opinions and beliefs using simple logical examples. Clifford explains that you do not have the right to express an opinion as a belief unless you can support its truthfulness. If it can't be supported, it is merely your opinion, not your belief.

An excerpt from EOB:
"In like manner, if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself credulous. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery."

Clifford's essay is available in print, possibly from your local or college library. It is a must read. (Merely my... opinion, of course!)

  • Epistemology (the philosophical theory of knowledge) There are lots of ways to believe. Visit this page and learn what flavor you and those you know have accepted.