A children’s picture book about Dr. Anthony Fauci is set to publish June, chronicling his rise from inquisitive kid to working alongside 7 US presidents

fauci niaid
Dr. Anthony Fauci in Washington DC on February 25, 2021.

  • A children’s picture book about the life of Anthony Fauci, the US’s top doctor, is set to publish June.
  • It is written by Kate Messner and based on interviews with Fauci. Simon & Schuster is the publisher.
  • It tells Fauci’s life story, from his Brooklyn childhood to working with seven US presidents, Messner said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A children’s book about the life of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-diseases expert, is set to be published June 29, publisher Simon & Schuster said Sunday.

The book, titled “How a boy from Brooklyn became America’s doctor,” will detail Fauci’s life from his childhood in New York through medical school, to ultimately working alongside seven US presidents, including President Joe Biden, the publisher said.

“His father and immigrant grandfather taught Anthony to ask questions, consider all the data, and never give up – and Anthony’s ability to stay curious and to communicate with people would serve him his entire life,” the book description says.

Kate Messner, the book’s author, told CNN Business that “before Tony Fauci was America’s doctor, he was a kid with a million questions, about everything from the tropical fish in his bedroom to the things he was taught in Sunday school.”

The book is based on Messner’s interviews with Fauci, as well as Fauci’s public appearances, she said. It’s illustrated by Alexandra Bye, a freelance illustrator. Messner revealed the book’s front cover on Twitter Sunday.

“I was aware that I was asking for time from someone who was literally one of the busiest people in America as he provided public health guidance during the worst of the pandemic, but I also knew that Dr. Fauci understands how essential education is in public health,” Messner told CNN Business.

The book includes facts about how COVID-19 vaccines work, and Fauci’s tips for future scientists, according to its description.

“I’m really hopeful that curious kids who read this book – those we’re counting on to solve tomorrow’s scientific challenges – will see themselves in the pages of Dr. Fauci’s story and set their goals just as high,” Messner added.

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A potential Trump memoir is being opposed by hundreds of editors, writers, and agents – who have signed an open letter against it

donald trump book signing
Donald Trump signs copies of his book, “Crippled America: How to Make Our Country Great Again”, at Trump Tower on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in New York.

Hundreds of authors, editors, and agents signed an open letter asking the world’s publishers to skip a post-presidency memoir from Donald Trump. 

The letter, “No Book Deals for Traitors,” was created by novelist Barry Lyga, as The Los Angeles Times and Publisher’s Weekly reported. Lyga’s letter opposed any book from members of Trump’s administration. 

In part, it read: “As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.”

Among the growing list of co-signers were staffers from each of the five biggest publishing houses, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan.  

Lyga told Insider on Sunday he’d been “noodling” with a version of the letter for a while, but the Capitol riots on January 6 “really crystallized” the idea. Afterwards, he began emailing people he knew in publishing, asking them to sign on.

The letter read: “And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.”

When Lyga started tweeting about it last week, co-signers began flooding in. 

“That’s all it took – it grew organically. A lot of people feel passionately about this,” Lyga said. 

Read more: How Silicon Valley banished Donald Trump in 48 hours

On Friday, The Los Angeles Times and Publisher’s Weekly wrote about the letter, which had about 250 signatures at the time.

Since then, the number of co-signers doubled, Lyga said. He said he planned to update the list every few days, as more names flowed in.

Gower Street Waterstones Store Barack Obama Book
Waterstones on Gower Street in London on Wednesday.

Trump hasn’t said publicly whether he plans to write a memoir, but doing so has become a usual milestone for ex-presidents. Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” sold about 887,000 copies in its first 24 hours. An instant best seller, boxes of the 768-page book filled the aisle and stockrooms of indie bookstores around the world. 

The prospect of a Trump memoir has been filling the publishing world with dread, as Insider reported in December.

Insider also reported in November that the first Lady, Melania Trump, was also reportedly trying to secure a book deal

 

Lyga said he had heard from critics, who accused him of censorship.

“There is no promise or guarantee of a book deal in the Constitution, and the people we are talking about still have the option of going on TV or radio, of writing op-eds, of self-publishing, of posting their own blogs, of shouting in the town square,” he said on Sunday. 

He said he doesn’t know if publishers will listen. But he took it as a good sign that Simon & Schuster canceled “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” a book by Senator Josh Hawley, who opposed certifying the November election results.

“We believe publishers want to do the right thing, but as in almost any industry, memories can be short and profit can be persuasive. We are serving as a reminder of what the market will and will not accept from publishers,” Lyga said.  

 

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Amazon hit with class action antitrust lawsuit claiming it colluded with major publishers to illegally drive up ebook prices by 30%

GettyImages 151364869 SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Kindle Fire HD reading device in two sizes during a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HD in 7 and 8.9-inch sizes, with prices starting at $199. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds two Kindle Fire HD devices during a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California.

  • Amazon is facing fresh antitrust scrutiny after consumers filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the company of illegally colluding with major book publishers to drive up prices for ebooks.
  • The lawsuit claimed that Amazon negotiated anticompetitive deals in 2015 with the “big five” publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster — that allowed them to “inflate” prices by up to 30%.
  • Amazon, which controlled nearly 90% of the ebook market as of 2018, was able to benefit immensely from the higher prices by charging consumers more, according to the lawsuit.
  • Apple was found guilty in 2013 of colluding with the same five publishers — using a similar pricing practice — to illegally fix ebook prices, and lawmakers in the US and EU have previously criticized Amazon’s alleged use of the so-called “most favored nations” clauses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Several ebook customers on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing it of violating antitrust laws by illegally colluding with the “big five” publishing houses to drive up the prices of ebooks.

The lawsuit alleged that Amazon entered into anticompetitive pricing agreements in 2015 with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster that allowed the companies to artificially increase prices by as much as 30%.

Amazon, which controlled 89% of the ebook market as of 2018, according to a Bloomberg analysis cited in the suit, then used its dominance to benefit from those prices hikes by charging consumers more.

“Time and again, Amazon’s response to competition is not to compete on a level playing field, but to try to eliminate the competition – and that’s not how things are supposed to work,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm that brought the suit, told Business Insider in a press release.

Amazon and Hachette declined to comment. The other publishers did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit alleged that Amazon illegally inflated prices using a tactic called as “pricing parity,” which relies on “most-favored-nation” clauses. MFNs are, in the business context, agreements between buyers and sellers that ensure a buyer gets as good of a deal on that seller’s products as any other buyer in the market.

But the lawsuit – similar to previous investigations by lawmakers in the US and EU – accused Amazon of using MFNs to instead prevent publishers from selling their ebooks to consumers at a lower price on websites that compete with Amazon.

“Amazon’s behavior is astonishingly brazen, especially in light of past litigation and recent government actions in the US and abroad,” Berman said.

The EU reached an agreement with Amazon in 2015 over its use of MFNs, saying at the time that the practice “may have made it more difficult for other e-book platforms to innovate and compete effectively with Amazon.” That agreement barred the practice for five years, but only in the EU.

In its landmark antitrust report in October 2020, the House Judiciary Committee also slammed Amazon over the issue, saying: “Amazon has a history of using MFN clauses to ensure that none of its suppliers or third-party sellers can collaborate with an existing or potential competitor to make lower-priced or innovative product offerings available to consumers.”

Amazon previously used a similar pricing tactic to prevent other third-party sellers on its online marketplace from charging customers more on competing sites, ending the practice in March 2019 amid heightened antitrust scrutiny.

The scheme Amazon and the big five publishers are accused of employing isn’t new to the ebook industry, either.

In 2013, a federal court ruled that Apple illegally colluded with the same publishers to raise the prices of ebooks, sending the price skyrocketing virtually overnight, and the company eventually had to pay a $450 million penalty.

The court also barred publishers from colluding with each other or using MFNs for five years. According to Thursday’s lawsuit, that led to lower ebook prices in 2013 and 2014, before Amazon’s renegotiated deals in 2015 caused prices to surge again.

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An analysis of Amazon ebook prices included in the lawsuit that claims prices spiked after Amazon signed contracts with “big five” publishers.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, is seeking class-action status, and the plaintiffs are asking the court to reimburse consumers who were overcharged by Amazon competitors as a result of the alleged price-fixing as well as force Amazon and the publishers to abandon the practice.

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