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by Peter Moskos

April 30, 2008


Pulled from the shelves! Indeed, if you don't already have a copy of Cop in the Hood, odds are you're not getting one for a couple of weeks.

No, I didn't fake the whole thing. No, the book isn't a safety hazard. No, there's nothing substantively wrong with the book. But the book is an editing mess. There are errors, little errors, lots of little typos and sloppy mistakes.

How they slipped by me, how they slipped by professional editors, how they slipped by the damn proofreader (he's not getting any fruit cup, that's for sure), is anybody's guess. Ultimately my friends and mother pointed them out.

So Princeton University Press is recalling the book. They’re ashamed and aghast. So am I. It is, after all, my book. Princeton Press is going to correct the mistakes and reprint the book. Unprecedented, they told me. That sounds like good blurb for the back of the book. Too bad it's not good.

They've also offered to replace copies out there, if wanted. But if you've already got a copy, I'd hold on to it. Maybe one day it'll become a collector’s item.

Here’s the official press release:
It has come to our attention that a recently published book, Peter Moskos’ Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District, contains a number of grammatical and spelling errors. As a result, Princeton University Press has decided to recall the book so that the necessary corrections can be made. We hope to release a corrected edition in about 4-5 weeks.
Odds are it will be faster than that.

A suppose in a month things will be fine. But it sure sucks for now.


Anonymous said...

There were a good number of errors, but it wasn't really distracting. Sounds like some folks were just in a rush. It didn't keep the book from being a forceful rebuke of current policies. I'll probably keep my copy. Keep your chin up. Shit happens yo!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I am one of the few who has a copy and SIGNED! haha

PCM said...

When I mentioned my woes to my colleagues here in my department, they said, "That's great! I wish I could have corrected the errors in *my* book!" So maybe it is a blessing in disguise. But it's a damn good disguise.

Louise said...

You're lucky Princeton Press was willing to reprint the book. The delay in release is worth it to have a product you can be proud of.

I had my first magazine article butchered by an incompetent editor. She didn't understand how to remove tracking changes in Word, and so printed everything: strikeouts, paragraph moves, everything. I thought I would be sick when I saw it; after all, this monstrosity had my byline. I told everyone to just look at the photos and skip the text.

I look forward to reading Cop in the Hood in the corrected version.

PCM said...

Louise, now that is a true horror story!

I am slowly coming to peace with this mess, and am thankful that the press is now taking the matter so seriously.

Anonymous said...

There were a couple that I noticed but like another poster made not distracting.

PCM said...

That's good to hear. Because in the back of my mind, I have this thought that everybody who has every read my book is talking behind my back to everybody else who has read my book saying something like, "Oh, my, gahd! Can you believe it?! Horrible. Just don't tell Peter!"

Anonymous said...

At least they are making good and re-printing the book-it sucks it will take 4-5 weeks and it was pulled from the shelves-we are keeping our signed copy. Good Luck

Dave said...

Shocking. Or not. C'mon, you end this post with "A suppose in a month things will be fine."