Bush-bashing book beats ban

Victory for US satirist Moore

American satirst and anti-corporate activist Michael Moore is to finally release his book, despite pressure to have it pulped.

His publishers wanted the book, Stupid White Men, scrapped because they thought its savage criticism of George W. Bush would not be acceptable to US readers after September 11.

The presses were halfway through the 100,000 print run when terroists attacked New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, so publication was put back.

But a few months later HarperCollins told him that there were 'problems' with the content - and asked to rewrite large chunks, change the title and pay the $100,000 cost of trashing the books already printed.

On his website, Moore wrote: "I refused to rewrite a single word. I was proud of everything I had written. In my opinion, Stupid White Men seemed even more relevant than before. Enron, Kenneth Lay, Arthur Andersen - it's all there - and I wrote those passages last spring."

"But I was told that 'the political climate has changed in America' and that my attacks on Bush and his cronies would not be met with open arms by a Bush-adoring public."

After long legal wranglings, the publishers have now agreed for the book to be published in the US on February 19, four months late.

Moore said he is happy with the eventual outcome, writing: "They [HarperCollins] did the right thing, and I appreciated and admired their courage to do so when I know this was not an easy decision for them to make, considering the pressure they must have been under."

Published: 9 Feb 2002

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