Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: Back in the
spotlight…again via Michael Gross by Michael Gross on 1/18/09
New York’s Daily News and England’s Guardian both peeked past the
doormen at 740 Park today. The News focused on Ezra Merkin, the
whipping boy du jour for the Great Recession. The Guardian piece
fascinates me more because back when 740 Park was first published, no
British publisher would take it on. Their reason? Or at least the one
they told me? It was “too New York.” I told myself that was just as
well because publishing “investigative” non-fiction there is a hairy
business thanks to England’s status as the favorite destination for
what are called libel tourists–people who use its Alice-in-Wonderland
libel laws to try and punish writers otherwise protected by American
press freedoms. And thanks to the Web anyone almost anywhere can get
any book. But I am gratified that at least some Brits have now realized
how the behavior and morality (public and private) of New York’s most
powerful can affect the entire world. Better late than never, I guess.
Just as I’m glad that some people are now picking up on a theme I saw
emerging as I wrote 740 and realized the building had ben conceived in
a bubble economy and opened just as it popped and went flat. History
repeats itself and those who don’t recall it, or choose to ignore it,
are usually condemned to repeat it, often to their detriment. That’s
not a local phenomenon. Neither, come to think of it, are the forces
that create and shape art museums. So maybe the British won’t be forced
to order my new book, Rogues’ Gallery, from overseas.

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