PublicAffairs Landed on many booksellers' radar in September with its publication of the Starr Report. Now the Perseus imprint has come across the U.S. Navy's transom, and the military establishment has responded by firing a torpedo across its bows.
Blind Man's Bluff by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew with Annette Lawrence Drew, exposes many of the Navy's most dramatic missions, "from the Cold War to the Clinton administration." In a memo sent to naval officers and obtained by PW -- curiously titled "Public Affairs Guidance for Upcoming Release of Submarine Operations Book Blind Man's Bluff" -- Navy rear admiral Tom Jurkowsky explains the rules of engagement with the public.
When asked about the book's veracity, officers should respond: "As a matter of policy, we do not discuss specific submarine operations in the interest of national security. This book d s not represent the views of the United States Navy, and any accounts have been derived strictly through unofficial sources." The controversy has only spurred sales. The book has gone back to press six times, with 142,000 copies now in print. It has landed at #1 on the Ingram list, sailed as high as #2 on Amazon.com's list. "Little did we know that submariners would be The company will continue to promote the book, said PublicAffairs director of publicity Gene Taft, "any place there's water."