Monday, November 21, 2005

Hard-To-Believe Stories

Talk about trampling free speech.

Read this fascinating Washington Post piece on how the head of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus hijacked the career of an author who wrote unflatteringly about his father.

Kenneth Feld paid $2.3 million to a former CIA agent to divert Jan Pottker from writing a book that would reveal his father’s closeted homosexuality. Feld even went so far as to pay a spy to pose as Pottker’s business partner and divert her attention from the book she wanted to write about the circus. Feld then set up a company to pay a $25,000 advance to Pottker two write a different book. Now the two are battling in court. (via Shaken and Stirred)

Here’s another interesting tale of the author of Dear Zoe who couldn’t find a publisher for his book. After repeated rejections from New York publishers he decided to prink the book himself. A day before it went to press, Viking called. Now the book is a big hit.

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