Subscribers have so far come up with these suggestions for our pulped books list after Judy Moran’s book was withdrawn due to legal threat from Melbourne’s best police reporter, John Silvester.

It was always a controversial project but Random House must now be seriously regretting getting into bed with Judy Moran for her supposedly tell-all book about life in Melbourne’s criminal underworld.

The woman who lost two husbands and two sons to violent deaths has now come across another formidable foe in Sly of the Underworld, aka The Age’s legendary police roundsman John Silvester.

Crikey called Sly yesterday and he confirmed that Random House had been good enough to withdraw the book after he had “some conversations” with them about slanderous material concerning his father, a former Victorian copper, and himself.

Alas, that’s 20,000 books to be pulped and another controversial Harry M Miller client who hasn’t exactly delivered the goods, although as you an see from this link, it was Judy who approached Harry.

Books that have been pulped for legal reasons include:

  • Joe D’Alo, One Down, One Missing, Inside the Hunt For The Killers of Silk and Miller

Joe D’Alo was part of the taskforce investigating the shootings of police officers Rod Miller and Gary Silk at Cochranes Road, Moorabbin and wrote the inside story of the investigation. The book was withdrawn from sale, but has possibly been republished with changes.

  • Bob Ellis, Goodbye Babylon

A history of elections he had watched, covered and participated in, Goodbye Babylon was pulped for the sake of eight words about the Snowtown murder case, he had to pulp that book as well, after then SA DPP Paul Rofe went in hard.

  • Bob Ellis,Goodbye Jerusalem (Random House)

Was withdrawn following Abbott and Costello’s legal action.

  • Ross Fitzgerald, A History of Queensland: From 1945 to the early 1980s

The first edition of Queensland academic Prof Ross Fitzgerald’s book was ordered to be pulped after action by Joh. Interestingly it’s currently being offered for sale on internet for $30 (the description reads; University of Queensland Press. St Lucia, Brisbane. 1984. First Edition; 653; 111 b/w photographs; hardcover in dust jacket; fine condition. Scarce. Contains political and economic history and an examination of how this has affected Queensland’s flora, fauna and civil liberties. This edition was withdrawn by the publisher and pulped after just a few copies were circulated).

  • Ross Fitzgerald, History of Queensland (second edition, 1985)

Was withdrawn after it allegedly defamed the then Chief Justice Sir Walter Campbell in its account of his appointment to that office. It was reissued with the offending pages were removed.

  • David Harcourt, Everyone Wants to be Fuehrer – National Socialism in Australia and New Zealand

Published by Angus & Robertson in 1972, it was pulped because of a reference to Jim Killen MP’s support for Croatian fascists. When it was hastily reprinted without the offending reference to Killen, the publisher forgot to remove Killen from the index.

  • Raymond Hoser, Victoria Police Corruption, and Victoria Police Corruption – 2

Hoser was cited for contempt in relation to two books he’d written on Victoria Police corruption. The books were suppressed for legal reasons.

  • Amanda Lohrey, The Reading Group

There was a libel action by Tasmanian Senator Terry Aulich, in 1989, the year after the book was published, subsequently settled out of court, including the pulping of 1,000 unsold copies.

  • Avon Lovell, The Mickleberg Stitch

Was ordered to be removed from the bookshelves of WA because it contained allegations (subsequently shown to have more than an element of truth to them) about the WA Police Force which they vociferously objected.

  • Sandra McGrath, Brett Whiteley

Just after the death of Brett Whiteley, Tom Thompson reprinted (with an additional chapter) Sandra McGrath’s book on him. Although Thompson claimed to have Whiteley’s permission for the new edition, the estate took managed to get it withdrawn from sale.

  • Frank Monte, The Spying Game

The truly awful autobiography by Aussie private eye Frank Monte had to be pulped thanks to his fantasies about life with Gianni Versace. Publisher Pan Macmillan had to frantically asked all reviewers to chuck their copies in the bin. I wonder if they did.

  • Tony Morphett, Fitzgerald

Published by Jacaranda in 1965, Fitzgerald was a novel about a fictionalised artist named Fitzgerald. Unfortunately there was a real (fairly minor) artist named Fitzgerald who took umbrage at the book and sent his lawyers to have it pulped. Interestingly, the State Library of Victoria lists Fitzgerald by Morphett on its catalogue in its rare book collection.

  • George Munster, Documents in Australian Defence and Foreign Policy

The book on Australia’s relations with Indonesia was pulped in 1980 or so and the presses of The Age (and possibly the SMH) were stopped in the middle of the night as they were printing extracts, while the next morning, the federal cops raided the bookshops and took all copies of the books away.

  • Kevin Perkins,The Gambling Man

The book about the Fine Cotton Affair, AJC and other Australian racing clubs, well known racing identities and of course the Waterhouse Dynasty didn’t miss too many people and for legal reasons it was withdrawn from sale….It’s a pretty good read now about 15 years after withdrawal.

  • Colleen Ryan and Glenn Burge, Corporate Cannibals, 1992

Was pulped after complaints from Malcolm Turnbull and Trevor Kennedy. The reprint included nine extra footnotes giving alternative views of events from Turnbull and Kennedy’s points of view.

  • Helen Trinca and Anne Davies, Waterfront: The Battle that Changed Australia (Random House)

Was withdrawn following Abbott and Costello’s legal action.

  • Michael Warby, Bob Ellis and the Art of Celebrity

The biography of Bob Ellis was withdrawn, due to what Ellis called a litany of lies and errors.


The pulped books keep coming

A subscriber writes:

As I remember it, The Mickleberg Stitch by Avon Lovell was ordered to be removed from the bookshelves of WA because it contained allegations (subsequently shown to have more than an element of truth to them) about the WA Police Force which they vociferously objected to up hill and down dale until they got their way and the book was pulped. Of course, their side of the story was believed until events through the courts proved otherwise.

A wannabe book publisher writes:

Then, of course, we have other examples – of books that were pulped or should have been – include such not-so-true stories as:

  • Norma Khouri’s Muslim-bashing exercise, Forbidden Love, was withdrawn from circulation.
  • Helen Demidenko/Darville’s The Hand that Signed the Paper wasn’t pulped though her ethnic identity proved to be fraudulent and she was accused of plagiarism (it was, however, openly a work of fiction).
  • Tom Carew’s Jihad!, an account of his supposed commando activities in Afghanistan, which made him a minor media commentator, was still being sold in Australia well after revelations that he never made it into the SAS.

CRIKEY: And keep the suggestions coming in to boss