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S&S US book deal with right-wing journalist ignites debate

Simon & Schuster US’s decision to publish an autobiographical book by Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist and tech editor for the far-right website Breitbart, has attracted criticism within the publishing industry and ignited a debate over freedom of speech, reports Publishing Perspectives. Yiannopoulos, whose book Dangerous is due to be published in the US on 14 March, was permanently banned from Twitter last year after allegedly organising an online harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones. According to a press release from Yiannopoulos, the book will seek to clarify the rise of the ‘populist, nationalist Trump phenomenon’. ‘Readers can expect a string of waspish one-liners and bitchy put-downs from America’s favorite mischievous homosexual conservative,’ said the release. Many in the publishing industry have criticised S&S US for its decision to publish the book, which they say is helping to spread hate speech. The Chicago Review of Books said on Twitter that it would not review any Simon & Schuster books next year. S&S US has defended its decision, saying the book is about free speech and that it does ‘not condone discrimination or hate speech’. ‘We have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions,’ said the publisher. Dangerous will be published on S&S’s conservative imprint Threshold Editions, which was founded in 2006  to ‘provide a forum for the creative people, bedrock principles, and innovative ideas of contemporary conservatism’. A spokesperson for S&S Australia told Books+Publishing it will not be stocking or distributing physical copies of Dangerous in Australia and New Zealand. S&S UK told the Bookseller that it has no plans to publish the book.


Category: International news