According to PW Daily, publishers are hoping to “join the debate” with books on the potential war with Iraq:
- this year, houses are taking fewer chances. Anticipating a war on Iraq – or at least a long debate over the need for one – some are coming out with books that look to join the discussion instead of fighting to be heard over it.
As you might expect, most take a contrarian position attitude on the war. Verso’s War Plan Iraq, by Noam Chomsky scholar Milan Rai, argues that a war is illegal and inspection is the only tactical and ethical solution. It will come out in November.
Beau Friedlander, publisher of Context Books, has just signed up activist William Rivers Pitt’s War on Iraq. The title also argues vehemently against attacking Saddam; Friedlander says the book opposes a “really ill-conceived war that could end in Armageddon.” The micropress has printed what is for it an unprecedented number of copies, 125,000, and is selling it directly to schools as well as giving away books to commuters. Friedlander hopes the 96-page volume will stoke public activism.
In a less overtly political vein, Simon & Schuster will soon release a paperback edition of former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter’s Endgame, a journalistic look at Iraq’s political system that also serves as a strategic treatise on how to neutralize Saddam. The book first came out as a hardcover in 1999.
The books take a new approach – acknowledging the headlines and seeking to become part of them, instead of excavating the subject many months after they might have held interest (henceforth known as “committing a Toobin,” after the New Yorker writer who, when everyone was mourning 9/11, watched as his exegesis of dimple chads and butterfly ballots hit shelves)…