January 15, 2004

'Not My Book... Honest'

"This is Ron Suskind's book," Mr. O'Neill told Katie Couric Tuesday morning. "This is not my book." Not his book? I'm not sure I follow that. Mr. O'Neill gave Ron Suskind CD-ROMs containing 19,000 documents for the book. Mr. Suskind then turned over these 19,000 documents to a 23-year-old former college newspaper editor who he says "dove into the documents . . . and then began the process of assessing the worth of each." Mr. Suskind wrote what he calls "a work of narrative nonfiction" that "relies on the power of story." The primary source for this "story" is Paul O'Neill, whose picture is on the cover with the blind president, but who is now at pains to put distance between himself and the product.


Amazon.com's remarkable software has the ability to herd together like-minded readers and point them at each other. It reveals that the book Mr. O'Neill says isn't his is being bought by people who've also purchased "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception" by David Corn, "Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth" by Joe Conason, "The Clinton Wars" by Sidney Blumenthal, and "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush" by Kevin Phillips. Among the multitude of apparently unanticipated consequences Mr. O'Neill is just now discovering, falling in among this group must be the one that hurts the most.

-- Daniel Henninger, WSJ

Posted by Vanderleun at January 15, 2004 11:29 PM | TrackBack
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