The Hoover Hog: My “Open Letter” Concerning the Amazon Blacklist and Freedom of Speech

But you already know this. Since I assume you’re a stakeholder situated somewhere above my marginal niche in the larger world of book culture, I’d wager that your fingerprints are probably on some books that many people – perhaps I? – will find offensive. And when the would-be censors rattle, I’m guessing you know just where you stand. You might write the occasional check to the ACLU, or maybe you attend the annual “Banned Books Week” events at the local library. Or, if you’re of a certain age, you may even have been a signatory when the Association of American Publishers and other groups protested the decision of a once-ubiquitous bookstore chain not to sell copies of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. I thought that was a good move, by the way. A proud moment for the AAP.

And I sincerely believe that those of us who devote our lives to books have had quite a few good moments over the centuries. Whatever our differences, we belong to a tradition that has from the beginning stood for the liberal advancement of knowledge and human understanding. As publishers and as readers, we’re guided by an ethos that runs from the broadsides of Martin Luther to the trials of Henry Miller. If there’s anything to the notion of being on the “right side of history,” publishers have set the odds.

Thus I am addressing this “open letter” to you, my fellow publishers and book mavens. And now that I’ve done my worst to butter you up, I mean to draw your attention to a recent event that has received little above-ground media coverage but that I think should be of profound concern to all publishers, not just naughty pipsqueaks like me.

Specifically, I am referring to the decision of Amazon.com, which is now the world’s largest book retailer, to discontinue the sale of dozens of books that promote, or are said to promote, Holocaust denial. This policy seems to have taken full effect on March 8, 2017, and a bit of Googling convinces me that it was in large part a capitulation to mounting pressure from presumably well-intentioned people who vocally objected to the content – if not the mere the existence – of such literature. In a communication to Castle Hill Publishers, the primary target of the delisting (or ban), Amazon justified its decision with a vague reference to a “content guidelines” violation.

From: The Hoover Hog: My “Open Letter” Concerning the Amazon Blacklist and Freedom of SpeechImage by Lamessen

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

88 thoughts on “The Hoover Hog: My “Open Letter” Concerning the Amazon Blacklist and Freedom of Speech

  1. I have a hard time feeling sympathy for a guy who publishes Holocaust Denial books and is upset that people go against him.

    The First Amendment doesn’t require anything of private businesses. A business has the right to sell whatever product they want or don’t want assuming they can get said product on their shelves and in their warehouses. Now I guess you can argue Amazon does not have the limited self space like a mom and pop book store but the private company issue still applies.

    I would defend the guy if he was being threatened with jail time or some other government sanction but this whole polite tea party thing for political ideas is rather silly. Certain ideas deserve to be met with more than just “People disagree…”

    Report

    • “I have a hard time feeling sympathy for a guy who publishes Holocaust Denial books and is upset that people go against him.”

      Every line in your entire post can be used to argue that it’s OK for YouTube to blacklist videos that discuss LGBTQ issues. Every. Line.

      Report

      • Sure, they could do that.

        Whether they would continue to thrive in the free market for video websites upon that becoming public knowledge is an question of economics that Google management seem uninterested in pursuing.

        Report

      • Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, purchase of a wedding cake at a bakery, . . .

        The basic problem of identity politics is that there are other people in the world.
        There is a cure for that, of course, and, from what I understand, No. Korea has been working on that for awhile.
        Leftist Utopia.

        Report

      • This is a weird position you’ve taken up now twice, positioning Holocaust Denial against LGBT issues, as if the latter is a liberal pet issue and the former is the opposite, i.e., a conservative pet issue.

        Report

        • Blocking access to LGBT content is a thing that YouTube just did.

          You’re really gonna reply to that with “well I guess it’s OK, they can do whatever they like, private company and all, I’m sure there are other sources for that sort of thing”? You, the mighty Ally, will say that it’s okay for the primary provider of user-created online streaming video to not provide LGBTQ content?

          And if so, congratulations, you agree with me that private entities should not be forced to facilitate actions and speech they consider morally questionable. Square that with Leegin v. Masterpiece and we’re done.

          Report

          • Blocking access to LGBT content is a thing that YouTube just did.

            From reading your linky above, they’ve included LGBTQ content in a filter people can choose to employ, not that they’re blocking content. Youi know, they’re giving people the choice to not see it.

            Even then, I get where you’re going with all this.

            Report

            • This is one of the tricks I saw a lot during the gay marriage debate.

              I said something like “I find that the people opposed to gay marriage sound a lot like the people opposed to inter-racial marriage” and people would puff up and ask me if I really thought that being gay was like being Black or something.

              No. Being gay and being Black are very different.

              But the people who are opposed to gay marriage sound a lot like the people who were opposed to inter-racial marriage.

              It’s not about Holocaust denial is analogous to content made by or including LGBTQ folks.

              It’s about whether censorship/suppression of Holocaust denial is analogous to censorship/suppression of content made by or including LGBTQ folks.

              Don’t jump from there to “Oh, so being Black is just like being gay, then?!?!?”

              Report

              • I guess what feels a little queasy about the whole thing is that often when people take that tack, the mindset is, “If the argument is about suppressing something from my side, I’ll counter by asking how you’d feel about something being suppressed from your side.” Which sort of puts the person in the position of claiming Holocaust denial.

                That certainly isn’t the only way to interpret such statement. But that is OFTEN what seems to motivate them. Which is why when Duck went to that well not once but twice, it stood out to me.

                If his questioning is more principled then I’m giving him credit for, I’m happy to apologize. But I’d still advise perhaps a tack that doesn’t seem to be itching for a flame war.

                As to my personal take? I suppose I’d rather Amazon not engage in any censorship or suppression but I’m also not really sure how to square that with a general sense that businesses can choose what wares to sell.

                Without knowing much about how Amazon actually works, to the people who are uncomfortable with this, I’d want to know what discretion we do offer Amazon and companies like it. Is Amazon obligated to sell all the books I’ve written that I’ve got stacked up under my bed?

                Report

                • As to my personal take? I suppose I’d rather Amazon not engage in any censorship or suppression but I’m also not really sure how to square that with a general sense that businesses can choose what wares to sell.

                  Sure.
                  But then we swing back to YouTube and it’s restricted content curtains protecting, among others, The Children.

                  Report

                  • And, for the record, I am pretty sure that nobody outside of a few of the affected parties disagrees with the premise that YouTube has the right to put accounts behind a restricted content curtain nor that they have the right to pull advertising from certain content creators.

                    Report

                    • I seem to think that nobody disagrees that YouTube is a private company and it can put whatever it wants behind a restricted content opt-in curtain.

                      Surely you don’t disagree that YouTube is a private company that can do whatever it wants, right?

                      Report

                • As to my personal take? I suppose I’d rather Amazon not engage in any censorship or suppression but I’m also not really sure how to square that with a general sense that businesses can choose what wares to sell.

                  For the record, that’s pretty much my take on this, too. Amazon’s action potentially affects how I look at it as a business, but I believe its decision is within its prerogative. And if the slope doesn’t slip very far, then I’m pretty much okay with it.

                  Report

                • Kazzy, this is a pattern that I have noticed when it comes to issues like this.

                  Whenever someone makes the observation that many self professed liberals are often inconsistent about how they respond to private companies and the expressive services they provide for their client, instead of addressing that claim, you instead try to tar the person making that claim as defending the content of the expression that was restricted. There are principled reasons (good liberal principles we all, I assume accept) to be worried about cases like this even if we abhor the content of the stuff that was restricted. And the way you always go about trying to tar DD in this case and in the past me as well as Jaybird doesn’t acknowledge this worry.

                  Report

                • “I guess what feels a little queasy about the whole thing is that often when people take that tack, the mindset is, “If the argument is about suppressing something from my side, I’ll counter by asking how you’d feel about something being suppressed from your side.” ”

                  Yes, exactly. Because when someone says “hey, content was suppressed and that’s a bad thing”, I see a lot of objective, neutral, Strong Principled Stances in favor of media companies being allowed to pick and choose what content they provide to users; a lot of very firm judgements that these are private companies and so they can do as they please; plenty of snark about how that particular content deserved to be roundfiled anyway so neener neener.

                  And then we see YouTube block general access to LGBTQ content, we see Twitter censor search terms for certain words, and the Strong Principled Stances about them being private companies go out the window because everyone agrees that of course blocking content is bad and of course nobody should do that.

                  And I’m left with, okay, so, the only thing you’ve got left is how the other content was icky and it’s funny that they blocked it, and now we’re getting into Jaybird’s thing about “turning matters of taste into matters of morality”.

                  “I suppose I’d rather Amazon not engage in any censorship or suppression but I’m also not really sure how to square that with a general sense that businesses can choose what wares to sell.”

                  I actually don’t mind them choosing what they want to sell, or to whom.

                  I do mind people telling me that it both is and isn’t problematic when they choose to not sell things, and in a way that is strongly (and consistently) dependent on what things are chosen to not be sold.

                  Report

                  • I believe some legal mandates on what private parties must or must not sell are OK. I believe other mandates are bad. For example, I don’t think a bakery should be forced to bake and sell a cake celebrating a gay marriage. Thats a close call, for me. One i’ve waffled on previously. I don’t think Amazon should be forced to sell any book it doesn’t want to. I do believe the McDonalds should be forced to serve non-white people. Neither of those are close calls, to me.

                    And your response seems to be, that the only acceptable opinion is both anyone can sell anything to anyone, and no one can be forced to sell anything to anyone. And anyone who thinks legal mandates are ok sometimes, and not OK other times, is wrong for no reason other than inconsistency. Is that your position?

                    Report

                    • “And your response seems to be, that the only acceptable opinion is both anyone can sell anything to anyone, and no one can be forced to sell anything to anyone.”

                      Saying “acceptable” suggests that I think it’s an opinion that can be legitimately arrived at but I disagree. I’d rather say it’s the only defensible opinion–if we actually believe the objective, neutral, “private companies have all the rights”, “this is for the good of society” rhetoric.

                      “And anyone who thinks legal mandates are ok sometimes, and not OK other times, is wrong for no reason other than inconsistency.”

                      We aren’t talking about legal mandates here, which have their own set of problems.

                      And what I find wrong, here, is people acting as though “banning things for society’s own good” is something that stops at Holocaust denial. Because there’s always someone out there who has the idea that, say, banning LGBTQ discussion is best for society, or that hellbanning people who talk about marijuana is best for society. You can justify a lot of very interesting things when you off-load the guilt onto All Of Society.

                      Report

  2. Meh. If you don’t like what the guy is saying, or alleging, you don’t have to buy. is this stuff illegal? Nope. Then STFU and let him sell it. The people who feel threatened can buy the book and find ways to attack him on the arguments in the books, refuting facts, etc. You don’t address issues like this with less speech, but more.

    Report

    • This is exactly my view on this; from Spinoza’s definition of finite of its own kind:

      A thing is called finite after its kind, when it can be limited by another thing of the same nature; for instance, a body is called finite because we always conceive another greater body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a body is not limited by thought, nor a thought by body.

      (fr. Project Gutenberg)

      A thought is defeated by another thought which is greater.

      I’ve often wondered about this in the context of whether my school would permit some skinhead neo-nazi to speak.
      I hope that they would, but I doubt that they will.

      I would prefer for such things to be exposed to scrutiny rather than sequestered from any legitimate enquiry.

      Hinckley certainly has a case for taking Reagan out.
      Foster is pretty hot.
      I just happen to disagree with the chosen means for getting a date.
      But that’s just me.
      Some people think I will be swayed by that if I ever hear of it.
      But that’s just them.

      Report

    • Yep – Thats right. And amazon has decided not to buy his stuff. I suppose, just like my local christian book store decided not buy and stock playboy as a way to start a conversation about the ills of pornography. Can I assume this offends you too.

      And I get why this could end up being an issue, but we are currently very far from a place where Amazon has some monopoly on delivery of written works. I mean, if holocaust deniers want to spread their message, its not like Amazon telling them to pound sand leaves them no other distribution options.

      The bottom line is retailers, including Amazon, have been making decisions just like this since the beginning of retail. There is nothing to see here.

      Report

      • I wasn’t arguing that Amazon should or shouldn’t have stopped carrying the books. I was pointing out that their actions don’t “solve” the problem, it just hides it. But where are they going to draw the line? The number of people bitching about a title? The number of people on one political side bitching about a title?

        What a waste of effort.

        Report

      • “my local christian book store decided not buy and stock playboy as a way to start a conversation about the ills of pornography.”

        That would carry more weight if your Christian bookstore had run all the other bookstores out of town through venture-capital-backed price-cutting.

        “we are currently very far from a place where Amazon has some monopoly on delivery of written works.”

        Although they’re certainly trying quite hard. Have you looked at the contract for Kindle Selects or Amazon Unlimited authors? You’re pretty much not allowed to sell your stuff anywhere else!

        Report

        • DD,
          To be fair, Amazon is providing copyediting services. With the current quality of those books, they aren’t the authors anymore after the automated fixing of ‘ohmygod how bad is this??’

          Report

        • Just want to make sure i am keeping my principles straight. So we can’t force small unsuccessful companies to sell what we want, but if you get big enough, and put enough small companies out of business, then we get to start dictating what stores stock. Ok, how about….. WalMart. Can we insist that they sell playboy, maybe even penthouse. They’re big. They’ve put people out of business. Can we insist they sell anything? Or just stuff related to free speech?

          And for the second principle, it sounds like, If a company tries to be as successful as possible or tries to become a monopolistic juggernaut (really two ways to say the same thing), then we can assume they have done or will do so, and dictate their behavior as if they had? Not sure that works either.

          Every company that sells stuff is trying quite hard. That fact typically ensures that none succeed to the extent they wish, because they have to compete with the others who are also trying to take over the world. The idea that Amazon can keep anyone from distributing holocaust denying text is ridiculous.

          Report

          • “So we can’t force small unsuccessful companies to sell what we want, but if you get big enough, and put enough small companies out of business, then we get to start dictating what stores stock.”

            I am entirely on board with your argument that private entities can pick and choose what things they sell and who they sell them to. Although I wonder if you are.

            “The idea that Amazon can keep anyone from distributing holocaust denying text is ridiculous.”

            As is the idea that there’s only one cake shop in the entire town, but we still got Leegin v. Masterpiece.

            “If a company tries to be as successful as possible or tries to become a monopolistic juggernaut (really two ways to say the same thing), then we can assume they have done or will do so, and dictate their behavior as if they had?”

            Asked and answered; see United States v. AT&T.

            Report

            • “Is anybody saying that Amazon shouldn’t legally be able to do what it’s doing?”

              They are entirely able to do what they’re doing; legally, morally, economically, any other justification you care to name.

              They’re also entirely able to say that, e.g., “thinking you’re transgender” is a controversial topic with a strong scent of immorality about it that advocates real harm to people and therefore nothing that discusses or acknowledges transgender topics will be stocked or sold by Amazon.com.

              Report

            • How dominant is Amazon in retail book marketing? At some point they may become big enough that the antitrust laws kick in, constraining their actions. A couple of years ago I got store credit from Barnes & Noble as a result of they, Apple, and Amazon being convicted of price fixing. If Apple and B&N have also refused to carry/show these titles there might be an interesting case in it.

              Report

              • I very much doubt Amazon controlled the relevant market (sales of holocaust denialism). Without market control you’re in rule-of-reason land and there’s NO WAY this decision is unreasonable as a matter of law.

                Your second point only works if there’s evidence of collusion. If all the major booksellers have a meeting and decide to exclude someone from the market, you could well have a Section 1 claim. But if another bookseller sees this and decides to follow suit, Section 1 doesn’t apply. (This is why it isn’t an antitrust violation for every gas station in town to sell at the same price)

                Report

  3. I could genuinely go either way with this. I don’t have a problem saying Holocaust Denial is off-limits, but there isn’t a magical line between that and other things and once it is established that Amazon chooses what they will and what they won’t sell based on the objectionability of the content, someone can reasonably ask why they’re selling The Bell Curve. But… Holocaust Denial (and free enterprise and all that).

    Report

    • Has horrible as Murray is, I haven’t seem him advocate for the whole sale extermination of a people or claim that the extermination of six million plus people did not happen.

      There is a certain kind of too clever by half thing on going with the argumentation here like everything is a basic game of gotcha against liberals instead of arguing “Gee, what is the value in selling books that promote Holocaust Denial?”

      There seems to be a certain kind of person that is more attracted to being clever than being decent.

      Report

      • forgive me for caring more about current genocide than revisionist history.
        Every story told is revisionist, after all. Even the ones that are only dollars and cents, and thus have more credibility than others. What Killed Kennedy? Dollars and cents.

        Report

      • I haven’t seen Murray do that, either. But even if everybody agrees that Murray is not as bad as a Holocaust Denial, it’s not intuitively clear why, if Amazon is going to exert content acceptability parameters, they shouldn’t both be out of bounds. If Amazon sells his book, does that mean they approve of or see value in the content? After all, we know that if they objected enough they would pull it. Why don’t they object enough?

        This isn’t being clever. It’s asking a question for which there is no clear answer. (It’s a question that OT editors have to ask outselves a lot.)

        Report

        • Murray is an idiot whose research is questionable and founded on self-selection, among other things.
          Facts that exist in America, in particular, are most definitely not universal phenomena.

          Actual research about genetics and intelligence and other stuff like that is incredibly useful. It’s also unpopular as hell, and doesn’t make it into the refined stratosphere of the Ivory Tower.

          It’s been used on you now, as we speak.

          Enjoy your day!

          Report

      • Asking what is the value in X seems to be the wrong way to go about doing things. One reason is that people disagree about value. Second is that people should be allowed to do things even if it has no or even negative value.

        Report

    • How much do you have to deny before it becomes full-fledged Holocaust Denial?
      Does ambiguity count as denial?
      So, if I have six things that I deny, and two are unclear to me, is that enough to be a Holocaust Denier?

      What if I claim some of the dates are inaccurate, and am blacklisted as a Holocaust Denier, then it is later discovered that the dates I identified were indeed inaccurate?
      Does that mean that I am no longer a Holocaust Denier, or does that mean that everyone who accepts the dates I claim are correct are likewise Holocaust Deniers?

      Does the level of effort one expends in Denial account for anything?
      That could hardly be fair.
      Suppose one person vigorously Denied something like the latitude of Auschwitz. while another only half-heartedly Denied the very existence of the H-Man Himself? Which one is the Denier?

      I’m so confused . . .

      Report

      • Hmmm. Perhaps instead of Murray, I should have used climate change denial. Some of the same things apply, and according to some climate change denial will cost millions of lives, the science is as settled as the history of the Holocaust is, and so on.

        Report

        • Climate Change Denial will kill not a soul who isn’t already going to die.
          It didn’t take Climate Change Denial to plot genocide.

          Not with a bang, but a whimper
          The world will end with water. The vast heavy press of water until you poach yourself alive. Or the sea’s rise.
          Civilization’s End, not the world.

          But it doesn’t matter.
          Clinton wouldn’t have fixed it — I can’t find a politician that might have managed it, except maybe Gore, and that was ages ago.

          Nobody cares to think of tommorrow.
          Why rally for yesterday’s truth?

          Report

        • Facts are an ideological construct. Real truth is determined by emotional commitment. Those emotional commitments construct an ideology which determines what constitutes a fact. As a result, facts are an ideological construct… (And round and round it goes.)

          Get off the bus at the first step in that big ole circle unless you’re cool with chasing your own tail.

          Report

          • Wait a second,

            Was ‘Hillary didn’t have a server’ on the same factiness as ‘Trump wasn’t wiretapped’? Or are we talking ‘not having sexual relationship with that woman’ or ‘you can keep your doctor’ factiness?

            Or are we talking Trump is doomed to not get elected type factiness.

            It’s all tail chase bro.

            Report

            • Yeah, for you it is. :) On your view, it’s ALL social constructs, man. Which means that even for you there ain’t no way to break outa your own constructed loop.

              The only way to break outa the ideological loop is with empirical evidence. So if a view doesn’t allow evidence into the evaluative process, or interprets what would otherwise be countervailing evidence according to the principles of the ideology, you’re just chasing your tail.

              Report

                • Yeah there is. Without a distinction between what constitutes a social construct and what doesn’t you’re just chasing your own tail. You’re using an ideological construct to justify your own preferences. And circularly, too.

                  Which is why I’ve been hammering on the distinction between a social construct and the residue remaining behind that. If that can’t be elucidated, then the theory begs its own questions.

                  Report

                    • That’s what I was asking you the other day when we decided to call off the convo.

                      And to be honest here, it’s not for me to answer since we’re talking about your theory. How would you answer that question?

                      Add: and not just for yourself, but with a charitable understanding of other people’s preferences as well.

                      Report

                      • I would say that preferences in and of themselves are individual constructs. Now the preference doesn’t have to remain a individual construct and can manifest as a social construct, seems to be how you were developing some pragmatism in considering norms or normalized social constructs.

                        Report

                        • Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that a bit, but my quick and dirty answer is that the pragmatic necessity of The Law doesn’t get past first base before politics (ie., individual self interest of the powerful) doesn’t leverage it’s way into the mix.

                          But Ima think about more since you bring up some good points. (Propaganda as a force determining individual preferences matters too.)

                          Report

          • Well, I suppose you could get to something like “Where Abortion Doctors Live, A Map & Directory”… but I think it’s easier to draw a line between Holocaust Denial and that than it is between Holocaust Denial and Charles Murray, or come up with an even fuzzy criteria that says Turner Diaries is okay but Holocaust Denial is not. (Apart from “People make a large enough ruckus” I mean.)

            Snuff films might be further down the slope, I suppose, and wouldn’t be easy to craft a policy around (that includes snuff films but doesn’t include war footage, for example.)

            Report

  4. If this were a brick-and-mortar book store with finite shelf space (even if that shelf space was vast), would we feel differently? If so, are we right to consider Amazon’s shelf space infinite? I assume their warehouses have limits.

    Whole Foods doesn’t sell Snickers bars. I doubt the Strand sells Playboys. Mortons doesn’t sell Big Macs.

    Report

    • That factors in favor of Hoover’s argument here. Amazon’s shelf space is, if not infinite, pretty close to it. A Brick and Mortar has a much stronger case for “Look, if we carry this crap, that’s shelf space that can’t be used to sell something beneficial to society.”

      That’s a pretty compelling argument, in my view that Amazon lacks. The best argument for Amazon doing this pretty much boils down to “It’s Holocaust Denial.” Which is one of very few things that would have me on the fence here (as it pertains to a company like Amazon).

      Report

      • Do you think particular line of criticism is limited to businesses that engage in selling expressions of speech? Therefore making my analogies to Whole Foods and Mortons false?

        Report

      • And some of it does come down to what sort of place Amazon wants to be. That’s a question to which there is no right answer (though there are some wrong ones!). If they want to be a place that sells a certain kind of book, and not another kind of book, that’s a reasonable position to take. That’s not historically what they’ve been, though, which is more of a clearing house. I’d say the same of eBay.

        Which is not to say that Amazon or eBay must sell everything under the sun, but why they choose to sell something or not to is relevant to the discussion. “We don’t want to sell pornography because then we’d have to do age checks” is one thing with kind of a bright line (“We’re selective about selling things that require additional provisions on our part.”), whereas in this case they’re refusing to sell Holocaust Denial stuff but are selling Turner Diaries… it’s less clear where natural boundaries might exist.

        Report

    • I think “If we allowed that in our marketplace, we would have to do these other things” or “If we allowed that in our marketplace, there would be liability concerns” would both be pretty solid rebuttals. That’s a more bright line.

      I actually had to look up whether they sold pornography or not as that would be an interesting case. That is a variation of what they already sell, though a variation that does may require additional measures. It turns out they do.

      Here’s a list of things they don’t sell. Most seem like selling them would be headaches. The only one that it seems like they’d be able to do relatively easily is second-hand clothes.

      Report

  5. There is no shortage of examples of genies refusing to go back into the bottle.

    I imagine that this genie won’t get back into its bottle either.

    In the short run, however, it will feel good to have this particular wish granted.

    Report

    • Although in situations like this, people always figure that it was a wizard rather than a genie; that is, it was an entity willing to accept reasoning that goes “You Just Have To Understand That This Is Different Than The Other Times”.

      Report

  6. I actually don’t really get the hand wringing over this and I’m about as close to a free speech absolutist as I think possible. Amazon can sell or not sell whatever it wants. If there’s a market for things they won’t sell someone else will step in. They aren’t a public institution, nor does their refusal to carry an item effectively remove it from the market. Wal-Mart refusing to sell albums with explicit lyrics back in the day did nothing to keep anyone from locating unedited versions.

    I don’t even see the negative societal implications I worry about with some of the calls for boycotts of various businesses as a response to the political views of an owner or officer. Now they of course are opening themselves up to charges of hypocracy depending on how they police this, and I think anyone who believes this has anything to do with morality and not marketing is a fool, but that’s not my business.

    Report

  7. As a long time bookman, who worked for both B&N and borders, we absolutely would stock both The Bell Curve and the Turner Diaries. And as someone who lost all his European family to the holocaust, I would stock any book that came up on the denial of it, as I have no idea why anyone would feel it was important to read it. I can think of many good reasons to read this, research etc. I would reserve the right to say that I think its crap though.
    That said, Amazon can do whatever they want, sell or not. Its a free country.

    Report

    • I think Aaron has found it. Anyone that would read a book denying the Holocaust probably has already made up his/her mind, so not stocking it in your bookstore isn’t going to change the world one whit, any more than stocking it would. The decision should be an economic one. Will it sell? Put it on the shelf. Let the reader decide.

      For the record, one can choose from a number of editions of Mein Kampf on Amazon.

      Report

Comments are closed.