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"Privishing" books: how much the truth hurts, and costs

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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:20 AM
Original message
"Privishing" books: how much the truth hurts, and costs
Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 11:25 AM by Minstrel Boy
From Gerald Colby's essay in Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press:

"In the thirty years I have been a freelance investigative journalist, I've seen books suppressed in varying ways, sometimes by the subjects of books, sometimes by publishers, and sometimes by authors succumbing to self-censorship out of fear of repercussions for telling the truth. In the 1970s, a new term came into the vernacular of industry-wise writers: privishing.

"According to the sworn testimony in federal court of a twenty-year Viking Press editor, William Decker, the term was used in the industry to describe how publishers killed off books without authors' awareness or consent. Privishing is a portmanteau meaning to privately publish, as opposed to true publishing that is open to the public. It is usually employed in the following context: 'We privished the book so that it sank without a trace.' The mechanism used is simple: cut off the book's life-support system by reducing the initial print run so that the book 'cannot price profitably according to any conceivable formula,' refuse to do reprints, drastically slash the book's advertising budget, and all but cancel the promotional tour. The publisher's purpose is to kill off a book that, for one reason or another, is considered 'troublesome' or potentially so.'"

Privishing helps keep America's secret history secret.

Gerald Colby's expose of the Duponts, The Dupont Dynasty, which was removed from press run under pressure from the Duponts, is out of print with used copies fetching $70 on Amazon. Colby's 1995 Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil is out of print, with used copies going for $99. Respected assassinations researcher Lisa Pease says "This book contains a history of many of the CIA's blackest moments. Crucial for the historical context."

The Trail of the Octopus, by Donald Goddard, detailing DIA's complicity in permitting the Lockerbie bombing in order to kill whistleblowers returning to expose officially-sanctioned US drug smuggling through Beirut, is not even available in an American edition. But there are two used paperback copies available at Amazon, starting at $378.18.

Linda Hunt's Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990, listed at $19.95, is now going for $99. As is esteemed investigative journalist Robert Parry's Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery. And used copies of Webster Tarpley's Unauthorized Biography of George HW Bush can be had for $120.

Thankfully, Thunder's Mouth Press reprinted William Turner's The Assassination of Robert Kennedy ten years ago. Until then, copies of the single edition Random House printed in the mid-70s was fetching $250. Random House had incinerated its stock because it feared a lawsuit by one of the parties named. Pete Brewton's masterful The Mafia, CIA & George Bush was signed by Simon & Shuster, which then refused to print it. It finally was published by S.P.I. Books.

Serious research into America's hidden history is not big business. Most big publishing houses, for one reason or another, will either reject a title altogether or privish the run. Hard truths are often left to the alternative presses, as with alternative media, which keeps them hidden from most Americans. And when they're not, they're often privished and priced out of reach.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. WOW
:wow:

Why does this not surprise me, though?
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barbaraann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. At least the Tarpley book is online.
http://tarpley.net/bushb.htm

And actually, I think there are so many anti-Bush books coming out this year that some of the info from the others will make its way into the consciousness of Americans. :-)





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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. If anyone wants to
buy something for me off my Amazon wish list, just IM me. :evilgrin:
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kick
:kick:
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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. "Into the Buzzsaw" a must read IMHO
Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 05:20 PM by gandalf
It is a thrilling book, and it gives you a lot of arguments if you have a discussion with someone who still believes in the corrective power of the media.

I just started reading "Deep Cover" by Levine who wrote another essay in Into the Buzzsaw, extremely interesting (on the war on drugs that "was never intended to be won"; reminds of the war on terror...)
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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-04 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sorry, post doubled
Edited on Sun Jan-11-04 05:20 PM by gandalf
It is a thrilling book, and it gives you a lot of arguments if you have a discussion with someone who still believes in the corrective power of the media.

I just started reading "Deep Cover" by Levine who wrote another essay in Into the Buzzsaw, extremely interesting (on the war on drugs that "was never intended to be won"; reminds of the war on terror...)
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