Publishers shuffle their post-terror lineups
Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden
COMING TO PRINT In the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, publishers are scrambling for books that Americans say they want — specifically, ones that help put the tragedy into historical or sociological context. Some publishers have been delving into their backlists for relevant titles; others are able to pluck books from their 2002 lineups. The Free Press senior editor Rachel Klayman has been working overtime to have ”Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden” by Peter Bergen — originally scheduled for next summer — ready to ship by late October. Random House has slated its best-selling ”Alienist” author (and military historian) Caleb Carr to write ”The Conquest of Terror,” a history of terrorism, for release in December. Farrar, Straus and Giroux was already talking to ”A Portrait of Egypt” author Mary Anne Weaver about a book on Pakistan, so executive editor John Glusman immediately signed her to write ”In the Shadow of Jihad: Pakistan, Islamic Militancy and the Taliban,” to be published next fall. It will discuss ”what we did wrong” in aiding bin Laden and his group during Afghanistan’s war with the Soviet Union, ”and what we can do now,” says Glusman.
And Regnery Publishing may go to press with ”The Final Days: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House,” written by lawyer and commentator Barbara Olson, who died in the Pentagon crash. ”Right now, everyone’s telling us what we’re feeling, which is very important, but we’re looking to find people who can tell us what we don’t know,” says Dan Simon, publisher of Seven Stories Press, which is bringing out a new edition of ”Acts of Aggression,” a pamphlet of essays critical of U.S. foreign policy. But possibly the highest-profile book will be the not-yet-written memoir by New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. ”I think his words…will be enormously interesting,” says Jonathan Burnham, editor in chief of Talk Miramax, which last January paid the mayor $3 million for two books, including a business text. The deal, which seemed costly at the time, may well have been a bargain.