More distortions

July 12, 2002

The David Irving trial was not only about Holocaust denial and the nature of historical research, but also about fudging the truth. It also examined in detail the vexed question of how the subtle abuse of documents can create distortion and how disingenuous editing can perpetrate lies. Irving was shown to have done both.

How surprising then was Richard Evans's attack on publishers - "The real cost of free speech" ( THES , June 21). He selectively quotes from a rejection letter that he misattributes to me. Sometimes such mistakes distort meanings. Evans says the letter Profile Books sent his agent suggested we turned his book down because of the legal threat. Our reason was commercial, to quote: "Time has past (sic), there's not much chance of export, we wd (sic) have to publish as a paperback original, some copies have come in via Amazon."

How sad to see the gamekeeper has become a poacher.

Andrew Franklin
Managing director
Profile Books

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