Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Grandjete, thanks for your refuting idea that the one-star reviews suggest there is a "campaign" against THE PRICE OF SILENCE--though there is no doubt that many people keeping up with the Duke-Durham case will speak out when something as contemptible as Cohan's book is published. I had better say that although I could well have been a historian and perhaps would have been happier in a history department, I was in an English department when I was named one of the two Pulitzer finalists for biography in 1997--that year the prize went to a work marketed in the UK and Ireland as fiction, Angela's Ashes! Moriarty [this was a previous commenter], I also won two times the highest award from the Association of American Publishers' Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division. I am a serious scholar who signs his own name to reviews on Amazon. I have thought a lot about the importance of Amazon reviewing, even as I read about some of the problems with gangs of posters praising or damning books and the scandal of “reviewers” who get review copies in return for 5-star reviews. Amazon is so important in the new world of publishing and reviewing that in the 2013 MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE (p. 532) I say: "Even if dishonest publishers hire people to write positive reviews, honest reviewers can still do what [Richard B.] Schwartz do, sign our real names to anything we post as an Amazon review. Along with literary bloggers and litblogs, reviewing in Amazon or any future similar site will go far to make up for the decline in the number and quality of print reviewing." I had Schwartz in mind because we had corresponded, on Amazon, about the importance of signing our names to reviews.