Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike's Letter

February 13th, 2002 12:00 AM

It Was Headed to the Shredder, Now They Say It's a Bestseller. Go Figure.

Dear friends,

Thanks for all the letters since my email to you last week about the struggle I've been through trying to get my book released. And thanks for ordering it. The response has been overwhelming. Two months ago, it looked like 50,000 copies of Stupid White Men might head straight from the printing press and into the pulper. Now the wizards at Amazon.com say it's one of the bestsellers in America. What a country.

Amazon.com Bestsellers

The only thing more surprising than Stupid White Men being on that list for the past 8 days is that it still hasn't been released to the public! All their other bestsellers are in the stores; Stupid White Men is still under embargo until next Tuesday.

It is encouraging that so many of you have sent such a strong message about a book that was possibly going to disappear -- because it was deemed "inappropriate" and "too critical" of the "president" in these post-9-11 days. I have not believed those "80%" approval ratings of Bush, and this confirms, for me at least, that quite a few Americans are ready to hear different or dissenting opinions on all the craziness coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This has been one of the few bright days I've had in months. I know it is, after all, "just" a book, but I can't thank you enough for helping me out. I hope you won't be disappointed when it's time for your "interview" with the Justice Department.

I am sorry I can't answer each of your letters personally -- they were all so heartfelt and I am truly appreciative. There were even letters from people who don't exactly agree with the way I see things, but they wanted to take a stand for freedom of expression. Here's what Mr. Trenton Webster of Tallahassee wrote to the publisher:

"To HarperCollins: "I write this after reading Michael Moore's letter on the problems he faced getting his book to print. "First, let me say that I don't agree with most of what Michael Moore says. Some, but not most. Nor do I think he has a particular good grasp of how economics and wealth creation works. My politics are in the center with a slight leaning to the right, so I'm not one of his typical followers. (I do believe, however, that when he's on, he's the single funniest man in America.) I have also been a big supporter of Bush's policy in Afghanistan. "Having said all that, let me say that I am very happy you have decided to release his new book. I am very, very disturbed that a large book publisher in America would even consider not publishing a book merely because it might offend the sensibilities of a nation. I had friends in the World Trade Center. I almost went to work in the World Trade Center. I'm glad we bombed the hell out of the Taliban. But this is America. WE DO NOT BAN BOOKS! Companies such as HarperCollins are critical in the distribution of ideas. Michael Moore is a nationally recognized figure. We must hear him out, even if we vehemently disagree with him." Trenton Webster Tallahassee FL

Gives ya some sort of hope, doesn't it?Please allow me to take a moment to address some of the questions many of you raised in your letters, and to ask you for some help in getting this book out to the general public:

1. THE BOOK TOUR

Although I am excited about what is sure to be an emotionally-charged book tour, I want you to know that I did not pick most of the cities. The tour is set up by the publisher. It initially included only three cities: New York, L.A., and Denver. Then a few more were added. Then I told them that my sisters, who live in California, would set up some dates and I'd get "Politically Incorrect" to fly me out there. Then I offered to drive my own car around Michigan. I know, I know; you're wondering, why am I having to go through all this when my last hardcover, Downsize This, spent a month on the New York Times list? Can't the publisher afford the gasoline? Yes, and that's the point -- give 'em a break and be happy the petro wasn't used in another way!

So, for the thousand or so of you from the Northwest who have written to me, dumbfounded that such great cities as Portland and Seattle have not been included on the tour, please know that that is the decision of HarperCollins, not me. I am hoping to get out there (perhaps under the auspices of some university). As for all the rest of you -- from Buffalo, St. Louis, Austin, Arizona, Indianapolis, all over the South -- if it's possible, I'll make it your way, too. If you are part of a local college or organization that brings in authors, then let me know and maybe it will work out!

2. CANADA

The largest response has been from Canada. You have not been left out of this tour. HarperCollins in Canada has said that I'll be up there, probably later in March or April.

3. UK, AUSTRALIA, FRANCE, KABUL

Right now, there are no plans to publish the book in other countries, though I hope it will happen in the near future. In the meantime, you can order the English language version from Amazon.com.

4. NEW ADDITIONS/CHANGES TO TOUR

-- I have added Detroit on March 12 at 9pm at St. Andrew's Hall. My appearance there will be part of a larger peace benefit that night (which will begin around 7:30pm).

-- I will also be speaking at UCLA at noon on March 8.

-- Grass Valley, CA: time has been changed to 3:00pm; the day remains the same, on March 3.

-- Cal-State, Hayward remains on March 4, but the time has been moved to 3:30pm.

5. SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR GROUPS TO RECEIVE DONATIONS FROM MY BOOK SALES ON THE TOUR

In each city I visit on the tour, I will be donating 100% of my royalties from each book sold at the booksigning events. If you live in any of the cities that are already confirmed on the tour then I would like to ask if you know of a deserving group that is working hard in your community to shake things up and/or help those who are struggling to survive.

Please send your nominees to: Mike@MichaelMoore.com. Include the names and numbers of contact people and a good description of what they do and why they are in need of help. In the subject line say "Group Nominees" so we can sort out your emails.

6. NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE "STUPID WHITE MAN!"

I will put up on my site a list of your favorite stupid white men and let everyone who visits the site in the next few months vote for who the top stupid white guy is. Your nomination should be a public, political or corporate figure. Send us, in 100 words or less, who your favorite Stupid White Man is, and we will put up the Top 20 and let the people decide. Remember -- no slander, keep it clean, and email us a photo of the bastard if you have one! Send all nominees to our office manager at: Maureen@unitedtv.com

7. MY WEBSITE

Can anybody out there lend me a hand? My buddy, Ray Simon, and I have been trying to cobble this thing together and keep it going. When we had our TV series (i.e., money from a big network), we could do a decent job. But now... well, we do our best. Ray has his own business, Mischief Marketing, and that's what he does -- he uses the medium to help others create mischief (or vice versa). You can check out his site here.

We don't have the money to do the site properly and have considered shutting it down (which we'd rather not do). For instance, I would love to post a daily journal from my book tour. How do you do that?

But, if any of you know HTML and have a little time to spare to teach me or help me make this site a better site for people to use, then I would love to hear from you. Write me at mmflint@aol.com.

Again, thanks for all the wonderful, inspired letters from those of you who sent them. Thanks for buying the book. Phone your family and friends and tell them to do likewise.

15 years ago this week, I began shooting my first film, Roger & Me. Today, Roger Smith sits in sunny Florida, collecting his million dollar a year pension -- and the people of Flint prepare to have the state take over their/our city as it heads toward bankruptcy. Me? I'm just waiting for Kenny Boy to show up, get down on all fours, and bark like a dog.

Still Enjoying My Martha Stewart Sheets from K-Mart While on High Alert,

Yours,
Michael Moore
Author
Warlord
mmflint@aol.com
http://www.michaelmoore.com/

Michael Moore's Homepage
Write to Mike

TO ORDER STUPID WHITE MEN, GO TO...
Stupid White Men

... or here ...

Getting Stupid White Men

TO ORDER SEASON TWO OF THE AWFUL TRUTH," GO TO...
The Awful Truth - 2nd Season

TO SEND AN E-MAIL TO GEORGE W. BUSH ASKING HIM WHY HE'S STILL IN THE WHITE HOUSE, GO TO...
Write to George Bush

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