German writer sues Random House

German writer sues Random House

A German author is taking Random House to court for declining to release his book Hostile Takeover: How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society which it originally signed on the basis of a 10-page proposal.

Thilo Sarrazin, a former banker and finance minister, was due to publish his book with Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (DVA), a subsidiary of Random House, next month, after striking a deal with the publisher in November 2016. However, after receiving the manuscript in February this year, the decision was reportedly made in May not to release the book after all.

The work had been billed as a critical close reading of the Kora, but, according to German newspaper Bild, sources at the publisher revealed there had been concerns it could "seize on and amplify anti-Islam sentiments".

In a statement released on Friday (6th July), a spokesperson for Random House said the book hadn't ever been publicly announced and it had "neither the intention of stopping it nor blocking its publication [with other publishers]". "The author is free to publish his book at any time with another house," the spokesperson said.​

Random House had published Sarrazin's past four titles, including the 2010 German bestseller Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Is Abolishing Itself), which controversially argued migrants were making the country "more stupid".  Despite high sales, Sarrazin had to resign from his post at the Federal bank over the strength of public reaction.

Hostile Takeover will now be published in late August with FinanzBuch Verlag, a publisher based in Munich that usually specialises in business titles. The publisher said in a statement: "In his new book, eight years after his bestseller Germany Is Abolishing Itself, Thilo Sarrazin deals fundamentally with questions of Islam and the consequences of the immigration of Muslims to Germany and Europe."