As overlord of HarperCollins, Rupert Murdoch's most infamous editorial directive was his decision to kill a book by Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last British governor. Despite a contract, Patten's book was axed to curry favor with the Chinese government. Judging from reviews of the politically advantageous titles Murdoch has seen fit to print, currying favor with readers is not as high a priority.
|Deng Xiaoping: My Father by Deng Maomao (1995). Advance: a reported $1 million. "[An] unrestrainedly adulatory piece of hagiography.... [She] bores her readers.... Were the publishers in such a rush to produce a scoop that they did not even bother to edit the 500-page manuscript? There is no end of mistakes of grammar and usage." --Rene Goldman, Toronto Star|