Publisher Yanks Unabomber Book Deal
NEW YORK (AP) - Unable to handle Theodore Kaczynski’s increasingly strident demands for handling his manuscript, a Manhattan publisher has pulled the plug on the Unabomber’s planned book.
“Toward the end, it wasn’t a pleasant exchange at all,” said Context Books publisher Beau Friedlander, who spiked Kaczynski’s 548-page “Truth Versus Lies.”
A flurry of letters between the publisher and Kaczynski led to Thursday’s announcement that the book deal _ first revealed in February _ was off. Kaczynski had tried to terminate the deal several days before Context reached the same conclusion, Friedlander said.
“Kaczynski was uncooperative and expressed himself in ways that made it impossible for the book to be published by Context, or by anyone else,” Friedlander said in a statement Thursday.
The book already was at the printer when Context opted to yank it on Wednesday, Friedlander said.
“It would be irresponsible and unethical to force the author’s hand by publishing the work against his will,” said Friedlander, adding that he had specific legal concerns about the book that Kaczynski refused to address.
Excerpts of the book, published by The New York Times in March, indicated that it contained little information about Kaczynski’s crimes. The book instead focused on Kaczynski’s relationship with his brother, who turned him in.
In the manuscript, Kaczynski calls his brother, David, “a Judas Iscariot (who) ... doesn’t even have enough courage to go hang himself.”
Several other publishers had previously rejected the manuscript.
Kaczynski is serving a life sentence for 16 bombings that killed three people and wounded 29. He pleaded guilty last year in Sacramento, Calif., in a deal that spared him the death penalty.
Under that agreement, Kaczynski also agreed to give any of his future earnings to the victims’ families.