Mueller mania is officially charting: three Mueller Report books are ranked in the top 10 of Amazon’s best sellers list at the time of publication. The books vary in features from an annotated version with a list of VIPs (Roger Stone has his moment in the sun, out from the shadows of redactions) to a minimalist print sans commentary. Despite differences in treatment of the material, there is an agreement among the publishers that the report will remain a timeless read in American history. “This is a country that has always tied democracy and books together,” says Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson. “This is kind of a tradition in a way, and I find that kind of stirring. It’s a very kind of patriotic impulse people have.”
Publisher: Scribner, with annotations by the Washington Post
Price: $10.32 paperback; $7.99 on Kindle
Colin Harrison, Scribner’s editor in chief, has a succinct goal for the book: “first and best.” Harrison can claim success on the first front, currently holding the number one spot on the Amazon best seller list. The edition includes annotations by Washington Post reporters, a timeline starting with the appointment of Mueller, a list of characters, and key documents. Harrison also stresses efforts to be as up-to-date as possible, noting Julian Assange’s April 11th arrest is featured in the WikiLeaks founder’s bio. Prior to publication, Scribner and the Post already had a Trump era connection: the publishing house worked with reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher on the biography Trump Revealed.
The Mueller Report: The Final Report of the Special Counsel into Donald Trump, Russia, and Collusion
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Price: $9.20 paperback; $7.99 on Kindle
This version of the report kicks off with a 15 page introduction by legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a frequent Donald Trump defender. The publishers recruited Dershowitz in late fall, according to an email statement by Tony Lyons, Skyhorse Publishing’s president. Customer reviews have both praised and vilified the choice to include words by the Harvard law professor: while one customer referred to Dershowitz’s commentary as “insightful,” multiple echoed the sentiment that, had they known his involvement in the book, they would have purchased a different version. Lyons rejects characterizations of Dershowitz’s introduction as biased. “He applies the same principles to both Democrats and Republicans, to people who share his general political views and those who don’t. Unfortunately, in the current polarized political atmosphere most people say ‘you’re either with us or against us.’ Dershowitz believes that, in order to protect the principles upon which this country was founded, we have to stand against result-oriented thinking,” writes Lyons.
The Mueller Report: Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election
Publisher: Melville House
Price: $7.33 paperback; $39.99 hardcover; $1.99 on Kindle
Melville House made a name for itself by publishing government documents like the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture in the wake of 9/11. The publishing house has been planning a book release of the Mueller Report for the past two years. Unlike the other books, Melville House’s version stands alone, with no introductions or annotations. Dennis Johnson calls it the “people’s edition,” allowing readers to contextualize the report on their own in a more practical format than the Justice Department’s PDF. “There’s one version that has an introduction by Alan Dershowitz who is a Trump supporter, so that’s kind of a clear bias. The other is coming from Jeff Bezos‘ Washington Post. Some would say that’s a left kind of bias,” says Johnson. “I think that’s really disrespecting the reader. Taxpayers should get what they paid for and be respected to make of it what they will.”
Prefer to listen to the report? Audible has an audiobook version available for free.