Amnon Free Press
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pitched the book proposal for his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic” last year “that would center on his image as a hero of the pandemic” according to the New York Times which conducted an examination of the book deal. However, “by early last summer, both his book and image had hit a critical juncture” states the Times.
Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, attended video meetings with publishers and helped edit book drafts. “But there was also another, more pressing edit underway at the same time” reports the Times. When a Health Department report “threatened to disclose a far higher number of nursing home deaths related to the coronavirus than the Cuomo administration had previously made public,” his office had to adjust.
After concern from DeRosa and the Cuomo administration about the higher death toll, “the number – which had appeared in the second sentence of the report – was removed from the final version.” According to individuals with knowledge of the book’s bidding process, the edit occurred “as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff: a book deal that ended with a high offer of more than $4 million.”
The Times indicated that the lucrative book deal “overlapped with the move by his most senior aides to reshape a report about nursing home deaths in a way that insulated the governor from criticism and burnished his image.” Not only that, emails obtained by The New York Times “indicate that the governor was writing it as early as mid-June, relying on a cadre of rusted aides and junior staffers…potentially running afoul of state laws prohibiting use of public resources for personal gain.”
“American Crisis” was published by Crown Publishing Group in mid-October, just as a second wave of the novel coronavirus overtook the city. Cuomo has declined to confirm how much he was paid for the book which landed him a brief spot on the best-seller list. Crown also declined to comment on the sale price or confirm that it slightly exceeded $4 million. A sum, which the Times points out is “a large sum for an author whose previous memoir, ‘All Things Possible,’ from 2014, sold fewer than 4,000 hardcover copies.”
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