Books: It's an Emotional Business

Why are publishers paying millions for political memoirs?

As David Stockman sits and scrawls on his yellow legal pad all his tart recollections of how things really work in the Reagan White House, he is earning about $2,200 an hour. Figuring, that is, that the departing Budget Director is toiling away eight hours every day to produce by his Dec. 1 deadline the blockbuster book for which Harper & Row has just given him a prodigious advance of $2 million plus. A handsome sum indeed, enough to pay about five minutes' worth of the deficit in the Administration's own federal budget for this year. It would have taken Stockman...

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