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Publisher Suddenly Drops Plans for 'the Best of Gary Hart'

May 29, 1987|ELIZABETH MEHREN | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — A planned collection of speeches and campaign strategies from former Democratic presidential aspirant Gary Hart has been canceled, his publisher has announced.

The book was to have been "the best of Gary Hart's sayings," his editor at William Morrow & Co., Maria Guarnaschelli, said by telephone from New York.

But in the wake of the scandal over Hart's extramarital activities and the abrupt termination of his presidential bid, the book, originally scheduled for publication this fall, was hastily scotched.

"He doesn't particularly want to do it now and it doesn't make sense to do it now," Guarnaschelli said.

Guarnaschelli has worked with Hart for "four or five years," she said. In 1983, Morrow published "A New Democracy," a nonfiction policy book by Hart, and two years later issued "The Double Man," the novel Hart co-wrote with Sen. William Cohen (R-Me.). Hart's latest novel, "The Strategies of Zeus," came out in February from Morrow.

Editor Calls Him 'a Good Writer'

"He's a good writer," his editor said. "He's responsive to criticisms and open. He wants to learn."

The new book, largely "excerpted from his speeches and his talks in the Senate, organized thematically around the issues he stood for," was untitled when it was canceled, Guarnaschelli said, and no manuscript had been received.

"We hadn't really decided on a title," she said. "It doesn't matter now."

"It really wasn't a book that he wrote; it was more a book his staff had assembled," she said. "The staff had a lot more work to do."

Had Hart's campaign continued and had the book been published "if everything had gone well," Guarnaschelli said, "we would have done well with it, and it would have served its purpose: to let the average voter have some quick thumbnail guide to him and his views.

"The large majority of voters out there want something that's easy and accessible," Guarnaschelli said of books by and about presidential candidates.

She called Hart's advance on the book "extremely modest, utterly modest--so modest that it's not worth mentioning." None of the advance money had yet been paid to Hart, she said, "because of tax things."

Guarnaschelli said she would look forward to working with Hart on a future book, "depending on what he wants to say."

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