I wrote about Charles Pellegrino's Last Train From Hiroshima a few weeks ago. Since then, the books publisher has been alerted to several glaring factual errors in the book. In a recent post, Jacket Copy does a great job of detailing what has happened. But it's your typical history book story of "My sources lied!" That seems fair enough, but as the publisher has dug more deeply into the book they've found more and more problems, including the inclusion of someone who doesn't exist (Pellegrino says it was a pseudonym).
An interesting question that Jacket Copy raises is: how much should publishers fact check? Obviously, they can't check everything. There are bound to be errors. But in a book that received so much press and attention, why did it take Henry Holt (the publisher) so long to check it out?
Needless to say, the book is no longer on my to-read shelf. And as far as Pellegrino? He appears to have taken his cue from Major Kong and ridden The Bomb to his own death.