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Citing Role In Capitol Attack, Sen. Josh Hawley's Publisher Dropped His Upcoming Book. Its New Publisher Explains Why They Picked It Up

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) looks on in the House Chamber during a reconvening of a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) looks on in the House Chamber during a reconvening of a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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After his original publisher, Simon & Schuster, announced in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol that it would no longer be publishing his upcoming book “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley has a new home with conservative publisher Regnery Publishing, who announced on Monday that it would be picking the senator’s book up.

Hawley has been widely condemned for his encouragement of the Jan. 6 protest that ended with a violent mob rampaging through the Capitol. Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify Joe Biden's win over Trump. Hawley joined other senators that day in formally objecting in the Senate to the Electoral College. The following day, Simon & Schuster released a statement that it would not be publishing Hawley’s book, citing his role in “what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom” as its reason. In Monday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, Regnery President and Publisher Thomas Spence wrote an op-ed entitled “Blacklists Are The Rage In Publishing” in which he explains why he decided to publish the book and what he feels the consequences of not doing so might be to the publishing industry and the public exchange of ideas. “We don’t have to agree with everything—or anything—Mr. Hawley does,” Spence writes. “We ask only if his book is well-crafted and has something true and worthwhile to say. The answer is yes.”

Today on AirTalk, we’ll hear from the president and publisher at Regnery about why his publishing house decided to take on the book and explore how publishing houses make these decisions, the things that factor into those decisions, and what the role of a publishing house ultimately is in deciding whose works get published.

With files from the Associated Press.

We invited Simon & Schuster to join us for our discussion but they declined our request. You can see the company’s official statement here.


Thomas Spence, president and publisher of Regnery Publishing, the publishing company that will be printing the upcoming book from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) “The Tyranny of Big Tech”

Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press, an independent publisher of women’s books; she is a publishing expert, writing coach and consultant with 22 years of experience in the publishing industry; her former roles include executive editor of Seal Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group focusing on feminist literature; she tweets @brooke_warner