Put the swastikas back


Dublin is a UNESCO World City of Literature. Yes, there’s even a website (“http://www.dublincityofliterature.ie/”). And April marks the start of the now annual “One City, One Book” promotion, where the City Council encourages all Dubliners to read the same book. Sadly, there are so few good bookshops left in the city that soon enough we might have “One City, One Bookshop”. But that’s by-the-by.

Last Saturday I wanted to buy The Man in the High Castle for someone. It was sold out in the two bookshops but I got it in a third. And what had they done to it? They’d changed the cover.

Why? My edition is from the early-2000s. Did someone complain about the swastikas on the spangled banner? The cover above means something – it speaks to the book. The new cover says nothing about the book. It’s like an early draft of the better idea. So what made them change?


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