As the members of the Iraq Study Group were announcing the results of their inquiry Wednesday morning, Vintage Books, the trade paperback division of Random House, was rushing an authorized edition of "The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward -- A New Approach" into print.
By midafternoon, Vintage had gone back to press for a second printing. Random House does not release numbers on its print runs, but a spokesman said by e-mail that many stores in the Washington, D.C., area had sold out of the book "instantly and ordered more."
The book is the latest -- and, at 142 pages, the shortest -- in a long line of such time-sensitive releases, beginning with "The Warren Report" in 1964 on the assassination of President Kennedy. Perhaps the most famous of these is "The 9/11 Commission Report," which was a bestseller when it came out in 2004 and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Vintage received the manuscript Friday, and had it typeset and proofread by Saturday afternoon. Printed copies, priced at $10.95, began shipping to bookstores Monday in anticipation of Wednesday's publication date.
The report is available for download on the United States Institute for Peace website: www.usip.org.