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Former national security adviser John Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” sold over 780,000 copies in the first week, its publisher Simon & Schuster said Wednesday.
“We expect it to be at the top of the bestseller lists in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, as well as in the United States,” said Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s chief executive, via WSJ. “The public clearly is fascinated in what Bolton has to say in this election year, and we expect the curiosity to continue.”
The publisher has already ordered an 11th printing of the book, which will bring the number of hardcover copies in print to a million.
For comparison, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” sold around 600,000 copies its first week in April 2018.
The large sales for Bolton’s book come despite full PDF leaks before the book’s release. The memoir is also available on Scribd, a $9.99/month service that gives access to a large selection of ebooks.
The book is harshly critical of President Donald Trump and his administration. Last month, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said Bolton likely “jeopardized national security” in publishing the memoir. However, Lamberth rejected a Justice Department request to block its publication because so many copies had already been distributed. Bolton denied he revealed classified information.
“Well, there are subjects — and — this is obviously an issue of controversy now that involve classified information that I don’t talk about,” Bolton told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. “And, you know, if I had put classified information in the book, it might’ve been 500 pages longer. But I had plenty to talk about without dealing with classified information.