Anthrax, the book

David Willman, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2000 investigation into the FDA's approval of some deadly drugs, is one of the solid reporters to recently leave the former Los Angeles Times Washington bureau. But he's got a book deal to expand on his trail-blazing reporting on the anthrax threat and the government's focus on scientist Steven J. Hatfill. From Publishers Lunch:

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Willman's FEAR INC., getting deep inside the FBI investigation of the nationwide anthrax scare that followed 9/11 and going behind the scenes to show how the public's fear was manipulated to reap billions of dollars and impose policy decisions that have had major global impact, to John Flicker at Bantam Dell, by David Halpern at The Robbins Office (NA).

Willman came close to leaving the Times earlier in the year, but now is gone along with heavy hitters on the Washington journalism scene such as Richard Serrano, James Gerstenzang, Johanna Neuman and others. While at the LAT, Willman's investigations exposed — among other things — the dangers of Rezulin, defects in the Los Angeles subway tunnels and the welding on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the risks of bioterrorism. No room at Sam Zell's LAT for that!

Also from Publishers Lunch: USC professor and author of "The Warhol Economy," Elizabeth Currid, has sold "Star Power" to Faber. It's called "a systematic exploration of the nature of celebrity, showing how the same dynamics that work for film stars, athletes, politicians and musicians power the society around us, using the tools of economics, social network analysis, geocoding and interviews with celebrity powerbrokers to uncover the hidden patterns and principles behind celebrity."

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