It is rare for a historical study published by an academic to be popular with the public. And it is even rarer that this good fortune hits the door of the historian ten years after publication. It must be said that Randall Hansen, professor of political science at the University of Toronto, owes some of his success to a misunderstanding.
His book, devoted to examining the impact of Allied bombing on Germany between 1942 and 1945 among civilian populations, published in 2008, bears the same title as Michael Wolff’s incendiary book on the campaign and debut at the White House Donald Trump, which has already made a big noise : Fire and Fury ( Fire and Fury in French). Only the subtitles differ: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945 for the Canadian teacher (ie Allied bombing of Germany, 1942-1945 ) and Inside the Trump White House ( Diving in the White House of Trump ) for the cold.
Even though his book was sold as it was sold, Randall Hansen admits in this Guardian article, which traced this story, that he had “not seen such interest in (his) book since it was published.”. He was in Washington last Friday, when Michael Wolff’s book came to American bookstores. He jokes about this publication, so different from his own, but sharing the same title. The same evening, after dinner, he still has a reason to smile but his joy is of another nature. By connecting to the Amazon online sales site, he realizes that his book is one of three lists of best-sellers of the platform.
“My boy, it’s not my fault”
“I was amused.” One part of me thought, ‘Can people be stupid to the point of confusing these two books?’ “A quick review of the comments shows him that the confusion has indeed benefited him: “I had some bitter comments, like a tweet, where a man went up and down and said, ‘I bought this book by accident, and I do not read it,’ I said to myself, ‘It’s not my fault, man.’
The occasion has made other thieves. Some buyers, indeed, come to order the investigation of Michael Wolff, set their sights on his book, finally interested in this subject met by the chance of titraille.
Randall Hansen, however, will wait until next month to know the amount of these quasi-miraculous royalties.