Moore’s publisher, HarperCollins had scheduled the book for publication on 2 October, 2001. After the 11 September tragedy, however, the decision was made to postpone publication of all HarperCollins titles, even though 50,000 copies of Stupid White Men had already been printed (half of a first printing of 100,000).
By early October, Moore was in the throes of every writer’s worst nightmare: HarperCollins informed him there were “problems” with his work. HarperCollins demanded re-writes of large sections critical of President Bush and a US$100,000 reimbursement from Moore.
After a series of meetings and coverage of the dispute in both Publishers Weekly and Salon.com, HarperCollins regained its sense of responsibility and is releasing Stupid White Men, in Moore’s original form, on 19 February 2002.
While HarperCollins is to be congratulated for eventually doing the right thing, Moore reports that the title is meeting resistance from bookstores not wanting to support his upcoming book tour. I’m pleased that the independent bookstore two blocks down my street is sponsoring Moore’s appearance in the Twin Cities. Do what you can to get your local independent bookseller to support Moore’s appearance in your town.