The Insurance Forum: A Memoir

The Insurance Forum: A Memoir

What can one person do when a powerful industry censors the person’s views?

That is the question Joseph M. Belth tries to answer in this memoir about his publication of an independent monthly periodical called The Insurance Forum. He started the periodical with the January 1974 issue after he had experienced 31 incidents of censorship over a period of eight years. The censorship was the work of trade press periodicals, professional journals, professional organizations, insurance companies, and others who wanted to prevent him from expressing his views. He ended the Forum when he published the December 2013 issue after 40 consecutive years of publication. This memoir reveals the inside story of Belth’s victories, partial victories, and defeats. His memoir explains why and how the Forum began and describes significant events that occurred during the four decades of operation, including those relating to life insurance, annuities, company operations, and regulation. Belth also describes his adolescent years and education prior to joining the faculty of Indiana University in 1962, and his long association with the University. The book includes a foreword by Professors S. Travis Pritchett, Joan T. Schmit, and Harold D. Skipper. The book also includes five appendixes, a glossary, and an index. Persons inside and outside the field of insurance should find Belth’s experiences interesting and thought provoking.

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