Commentary by Harold Weisberg
Lack of popular interest was, far and away, the reason most commonly given by publishers for rejection of Whitewash, probably the world's most rejected book. It was not true, as the subsequent best-selling first underground edition proved beyond doubt. But what a commentary it is on publishability in the era of political assassination when a President can be killed, that assassination is investigated by a Presidential Commission, and the first book analyzing the work of that Commission is "unpublishable"!
By the time the first part of this book was completed, and it was several times rejected for the same alleged reason, it still was not true that there was no interest in the subject. By the time the last part was done, however, it may well have been the fact that the market-place prospects of any serious work on the subject were, indeed, dim by normal publishing standards. After Whitewash, there were several serious works. One, that by Sylvia Meagher, is an exceptional work. There was also an outpouring of junk and literary thievery on the anti-Commission side; and many insupportable and incompetent works of open or disguised sycophancy in favor of the government. It is tragic that no single publisher had the interest or concern to commission a work plumbing the literary morass of what was officially hidden. Many competent investigative reporters engaged in newspaper, magazine and book writing were available. The wealthy houses fight for cheap sensation. Several offered advances against royalties that went into six figures for literary scrimshaw in support of the official mythology on political assassinations.
The glut was enough to convince concerned publishers, of whom there remain a few, that books on this subject can no longer pay their own way. There seems to be none willing to risk financial loss in order to bring to light officially suppressed facts about how and why the President was killed and about how his murder was investigated.
Indeed, there is reasonable ground for suspecting that some of the most disreputable works were designed to kill interest. One is an extravagant work of unprecedented libel, meticulous in its pseudoscholarship, expertly written and edited, put together in an operation so vast and costly that I have traced those engaged in it to eight different countries. There is no doubt that those connected with intelligence operations of the United States and France at the very least were behind Farewell America and a movie of the same title, the aborting of which I was able to help in a small way. It was the book to end the credibility of all books on assassinations.
Incredibly, its excesses fascinate the intelligent but unthinking marginal paranoids among those genuinely concerned about these assassinations, even though the book itself cannot survive consideration of its content.
From Harold Weisberg, Post Mortem
(Frederick, Maryland: Harold Weisberg, 1975), p. 370
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