A book coauthored by Richard Clarke, one of the big trade titles at Frankfurt, won't be published by the trade house that had originally intended to do it. Public Affairs, which had announced at the show a copublication deal for Defeating the Jihadists, has decided not to do the book, despite the agreement. Instead, the book will come out as a report from the Century Foundation, the nonprofit that originally commissioned it.
The book was a packaged version of a report about the global jihadist threat that Clarke had signed up to do with Century several months before he became a bestselling author with Against All Enemies, published by Free Press. The Century book is being written by Clarke along with other foreign-policy experts.
While a few details of how the agreement ended up being nixed remain cloudy, sources said the Frankfurt news was cause for consternation at the Free Press, which was concerned about a star author with whom it still has an option for a nonfiction book publishing with another trade house. The Public Affairs deal also reportedly riled Clarke's agent Len Sherman, who was vocal in an interview and, according to sources, to Public Affairs.
While neither Sherman nor the Free Press would confirm there had been contact with, or pressure on, Public Affairs, sources said that the issues raised by the deal were a factor in its decision to step away. Public Affairs publisher Peter Osnos said only, "I think it's a terrific piece of work, but Richard Clarke and his representatives wanted to see it published solely by the Century Foundation." He noted that the rights to the book would still be available in foreign markets, with Public Affairs' parent company Perseus serving as agent.