I heard back from Dr. Kirk Schneider, the author of The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do about It who I discussed in a previous post of mine entitled “Take Me Off Your List of Hate.” Here is what he had to say in response to the press release sent out about his book likening the Tea Party to Nazi Germany and Maoist China:
Dear Dr. Smith,
I read your response to my press release (1/15/14) and I’m sorry I
offended you and others who read the release on your blog. I see how
you could read the release as one-sided and in a way that does not
reflect the central message of my book, which is that destructive
polarization is humanity’s problem not just that of the left or right.
There are assuredly gradations of the polarized mind in elements of
both left leaning and right leaning movements, and I make that clear
in my book. For example, I critique absolutist elements of
technocratic-atheistic perspectives as well as those of religiosity. I
urge you and your fellow bloggers to read the complete book before
forming a judgment based on a press release, which I have since had
revised. The essence of my message is for people to more deeply
understand and take steps to address the polarized mind.
Kirk Schneider, Ph.D.
–Perhaps this can be the basis of a further dialogue.
Press releases often can be exaggerated to make a splash and to get people to buy a book. However, authors need to be aware of what is being sent out in their name and it is their job to make sure that press releases really reflect what their book is about. If you are an author who is working with a publicist, make sure that you review the releases.