Bergdahl’s mates can’t publish book for political reasons

| August 14, 2014

This story has been bouncing around for a few days, but it seems that Simon & Schuster has refused to publish a book written by platoon mates of recently-returned guest of the Haqqani Bowe Bergdahl. The reason they’ve given is fairly ridiculous;

Here is an excerpt of Simon and Schuster’s reasons for refusal of the Bergdahl book, as reported via The Washington Free Beacon:

“I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.

“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’”

If that’s the reason, I can’t imagine S&S using the same excuse for rejecting a potential money-making book about the president during the Bush years. Just because the book may reflect badly on the president, that doesn’t make it less truthful or less valuable for the public debate.

Besides, S&S passed on an opportunity to make a lot of money – conservatives who would buy the book, unlike the hippies who like books which support President Obama, have money.

Ms. Durand also accidentally used the term “Swift Boat” correctly in a sentence – it means to tell the truth about a veterans’ career when that veteran won’t tell the truth about his career – as in John Kerry’s case. The book seems to be out of Ms. Durand’s area of expertise – the books that she has worked with in the past are boring fluff – clearly not books that made any significant money for the company. I’m sure the crew will find a publisher and Ms. Durand will have egg on her face, along with other gooey stuff she has on her face now.

Bergdahl and his lawyer had a nice little talk last week with investigators about the circumstances surrounding his vacation with the Haqqani. I’m curious why we haven’t heard from General Dahl yet.

Category: Military issues

Comments (41)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Tell them to contact Sentinel, Regnary, or Crown. I think they might get a different answer from one of those.

    • David says:

      Why haven’t you heard from the Deputy Commanding General of I Corps? Is is perhaps because the investigation isn’t complete…and that releasing findings of a 15-6 outside of the command before complete basically forces the command to start over?

  2. Climb to Glory says:

    Jesus Christ. Good thing she’s not letting her politics get in the way of doing her fucking job. Just like Hollywood, S&S could make a bundle if they produced shit people want to watch/read, but it’s better to be a partisan hack than make money. After all, they’ll just ask the government for more money for the “arts.”

  3. Farflung Wanderer says:


    • LittleRed1 says:

      Seriously. This has been going on in the fiction world for quit a while. The difference is someone put it in writing where it could be distributed, and then got sacked. But publishers block books for political and “social” reasons on a regular basis. There’s a reason Baen (fiction), Regnery, and other small publishing houses find so many good, non-progressive books tucked under their doormats, so to speak.

  4. Sparks says:

    I have to believe there are many publishers out there who are licking their lips to publish this book. Keep trying troops. Keep trying.

  5. Pinto Nag says:

    So much for the First Amendment.

    This is why I don’t hold out any hope at all for the 2016 elections. The fix is in. The left has absolutely no problem with the idea of holding on to power, no matter what it takes. They are very obviously marginalizing the conservatives, and making no bones about it. If they won’t be honest in this matter, what makes anybody think they will be honest with the election ballots?

    • Hondo says:

      Not a first amendment issue, Pinto Nag. Publishers don’t work for the Federal government.

      • Pinto Nag says:

        My take on this was very simplistic, Hondo. A book was written that expressed the views of the writers. A publisher refused to publish the book because she disagreed with the content. That is a denial of the right to free speech, through denial of access to one of the vehicles we use to make our views public, and that is the written word.

        • Just an Old Dog says:

          Its not like thats the only publisher in town. They arent saying the book can’t be published, they are saying they arent going to be the ones that do it.
          Granted, its a business decision based on politics, but its not violating 1st ammendmendment rights.
          Its going to bite them in the ass when the book sells a few million copies.

        • gitarcarver says:

          While you view is simplistic, it is also wrong.

          Hondo is correct. The First Amendment applies to a restriction of speech by the government – not a private company.

          By your reasoning, a newspaper must print all of the letters to the editors they receive otherwise they are violating the First Amendment.

          Sorry, but that dog don’t hunt.

          • Pinto Nag says:

            Alright, alright.

            FORMAL RETRACTION HERE: I formally withdraw my reference to the First Amendment concerning the actions of the publisher who refused to publish the book concerning Bergdahl. I clearly ruined the comment I attempted to make by the reference.

            Uncle, Uncle, goddam UNCLE ALREADY.

            • gitarcarver says:

              Sorry Pinto.

              I was writing as Just an Old Dog was. Otherwise I never would have “piled on.”

              I didn’t see his comment until after I had posted mine.

              Please accept my apologies.

              • Pinto Nag says:

                Apology accepted, of course.

                I’ll discuss anything under the sun with you guys, but I won’t argue with you at all, and this was quickly shaping up to be an argument.

                I bellowed because my feelers got stepped on. If I didn’t think so highly of your opinions on things, it wouldn’t matter, but I do. So I back out quick if it looks like we’ll end up arguing. I don’t want to do that with you guys.

  6. John D says:

    I have space reserved on my Kindle

  7. CCO says:

    Shoot, they could just self-publish. Ask Sarah Hoyt about it; she’s doing it with some of her stuff. See

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      Bingo. Then contact Jonn or TSO and post the purchase info here. Easy-peasy.

    • Isnala says:

      Completely agree. Amazon has an okay self publishing program for their e-books and if it catches on. I’m darn sure a print publisher will pick it up.

  8. montana_man says:

    “I’m sure the crew will find a publisher and Ms. Durand will have egg on her face, along with other gooey stuff she has on her face now.”

    Was the insinuation about oral sex really necessary? Ad hominem attacks only weaken your argument. She made a stupid mistake. Got it. No need to say she blows dudes and gets cum on her face.

    • Green Thumb says:

      It was not stupid.

      It was intentional.

      Stupid is just not knowing; intentional is with purpose.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Since Ms Durand’s other books are about seduction, and Kirstie Alley’s penchant for Al Dente males it’s a safe bet her area of expertise does in fact lie with getting splooge on her face….

      You are known by your work, if your work is about how women like the male penis one could safely surmise you like dick and its’ contents.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Not that there is anything wrong with that of course, it’s just an honest assessment of the woman’s inimitable talents.

    • OWB says:

      Hmmm. It would have been just as easy for you to assume Jonn was talking about a milk moustache, or any number of other things. Yours, however, was not nearly as classy a remark. But, gee, thanks for contributing less than nothing to the conversation, m_m.

    • E-6 type, 1 ea says:

      Sarah Durand blows dudes and gets cum on her face.


  9. David says:

    Do a quick search for books on Bush and you wind up at Wikipedia’s list of books and films on Bush, divided into the categories pro, anti, and neutral. The list of anti-Bush books is longer than the others combined, with the vast majority released between 2001-2008. Anyone want to bet how many were published by Simon and Schuster?

    (Full disclosure – I did not take time to count but I suspect that S&S have at least a few in there – it’s a long list.)

  10. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    The book seems to be out of Ms. Durand’s area of expertise

    Are you saying a book telling the truth about a rat bastard traitor like Bergdahl is somehow different than Shania Twain’s book or Kirstie Alley’s treatise on how hard she likes her men?

    Indeed we have become a nation of morons if S&S books are the definition of appropriate reading material.

    • David says:

      “if”? This is the country that made ‘Laverne and Shirley’ and ‘Roseanne’ number one shows for over a decade… “if”?

  11. John "Faker 6" Giduck says:

    Funny. “They” let me publish my book. It sure as heck wasn’t because the content was truthful

    Perhaps it could be because I am an anorexia survivor? Dunno…


    John “Faker 6” Giduck

    • Green Thumb says:

      But did you not publish through the All-Points Logistics Press?

      You know, the same one who’s legal and public relations department (and “detective agency”)propagated, published and enthusiastically supported and upheld their Commander’s (Phil Monkress of All-Points Logistics) claims of being a Navy SEAL Officer, Law Enforcement Officer and Native American?

      All to garner Congressional sympathy and by extension, taxpayer funding?

      Ag great organization for fakers, criminals and imposters, indeed.

      • John "Faker 6" Giduck says:

        Mr. Thumb

        It’s curtains for those fakers…curtains, I tell you. Lacy, gently wafting curtains with a sunday afternoon fall breeze in the air.


        John “Faker 6′ Giduck

  12. gitarcarver says:

    And then there is this:

    “Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books imprint went through a round of layoffs on Monday. Although the company did not respond to inquiries about the downsizing, PW has learned that at least two editors were let go.

    The layoffs came to light in a post on which questioned whether editor Sarah Durand was fired for rejecting a book proposal by the platoon mates of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl based on political bias. Atria spokesperson Paul Olsewski told WND that the imprint dos not make editorial decisions based on political leanings, and that Durand’s dismissal “was part of a planned editorial downsizing.” Olsewski added: “To say otherwise is categorically wrong.”

    PW has also confirmed that Malaika Adero, v-p, senior editor at Atria, was laid off as well.”


  13. rustypaladin says:

    Screw all those Publishers. Get together with your buddies and pool some cash to hire someone to edit for you. Write your book and self publish on You’ll make 70% royalties as opposed to the 25% you’d make through traditional publishing (Which translates to about 17.5% if you’re lucky after the funky accounting they like to do.)

    • CommonSense says:

      Exactly my thought too. Publishers can no longer censor books. Besides Amazon, which also has its own publishing house, there is Smashwords.

      Look what it did for the author of 50 Shades of Grey.

    • OldCorpsTanker72 says:

      “You’ll make 70% royalties as opposed to the 25% you’d make through traditional publishing (Which translates to about 17.5% if you’re lucky after the funky accounting they like to do.)”

      I wish!! Publish with a university press and you’ll get 5% of the net. And when you ask how they calculate the net, the folks you deal with will honestly tell you, “We have no idea.”

  14. Ex--PH2 says:

    Simon & Shuster is one of the bigger ripoff publishers the industry has to offer. S&S’s management people have their heads up their butts, anyway. They have no idea what people REALLY want to read.

    They’d be better off going with Amazon’s own imprint, which would not only offer a far wider distribution, but a wider visibility.

    Or these guys could self-publish through CreateSpace and get higher royalties out of it.

    Just saying.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Now, if some disgruntled old fart who is afraid of shrubbery would find himself a new hobby like dog walking or collecting evergreen needles and sawdust samples at logging camps, I could post my shit here, too, but what heck?

      Those golden moments are coming in due time. 😉

  15. Azygos says:

    “[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’”

    Hmm, I didn’t realize Obama was running for a third term?

  16. ajshannon says:

    I’m a right leaning D and I would like to use the book against Bergdahl.