Publisher pulls second Lehrer book

The Daily Beast | The New York Times

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will stop selling Jonah Lehrer’s 2010 book “How We Decide,” Michael Moynihan reports.

After an internal review uncovered significant problems with the book, the publisher is “taking How We Decide off-sale” and has “no plans to reissue it in the future,” HMH senior vice president Bruce Nichols said in an email.

Moynihan discovered Lehrer had fabricated quotes by Bob Dylan in his 2012 book “Imagine,” which Harcourt pulled last summer.

Moynihan says Nichols didn’t enumerate the issues the publisher had with “How We Decide” but notes that an interview Lehrer claimed to have conducted with United Capt. Al Haynes was nearly identical to a speech Haynes gave in 1991.

Even after the Dylan fiasco, after Imagine had been pulped, and after he publicly declared that the “lies were over now,” Lehrer told me via email that he had indeed interviewed Haynes—providing an email thread of their initial communication—and that the pilot had said the exact same thing, in the exact same language, to him 20 years later.

In what Leslie Kaufman describes as a “terse e-mail,” a Harcourt spokesperson told her “We do plan to continue to sell [Lehrer's 2008 book] ‘Proust Was a Neuroscientist.’ ”

Previously: Why Jonah Lehrer’s ‘Imagine’ is worth reading, despite the problems | Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker after fabricating Bob Dylan quotes in ‘Imagine’ | Plagiarism, more fake interviews in Jonah Lehrer’s books | Jonah Lehrer earns $20,000 honorarium for talking about plagiarism at Knight lunch | Jonah Lehrer apologizes, makes everyone angrier

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  • dbuck12

    In Moyinhan’s Daily Beast post, he implies that Lehrer plagiarized an airline pilot’s quote from some years ago. Lehrer provided Moynihan with an email thread with the pilot, indicating he had been in touch with him recently. Moynihan did not contact the pilot, which might cleared the matter up. Instead, he posted a half-reported story. Dan