Moby Lives has some background on one of the weirder and more disturbing publishing stories in a long time. What do you call it when the government buys out the entire first printing of a book –in this case Anthony Shaffer’s Operation Dark Heart—in return for the publisher’s agreement to destroy every one of the copies? Munificent censorship, maybe? A particularly ugly but perfectly legal bit of capitalist monkeyshines?
It sure sounds like a cut-and-dry case of censorship to me, but this attempt at an explanation from Thomas Dunne, publisher of St. Martin’s Press, is pretty curious, to say the least:
Source: Moby Lives