Ken Auletta

George Packer’s epic 12,000-word piece on Amazon and the publishing industry in the current issue of The New Yorker is full of memorable reported bits—the culture clash between Amazon’s editorial staffers and its programmers, insider accounts of the company’s hiring process, the story of an Amazon employee who was handed a printout of a Slate article about Amazon’s stingy philanthropy with the words “Fix This” scrawled at the top in Bezos’s hand. But for a wide-ranging survey of the new publishing landscape, its cast of characters is a notably familiar one.

In the mushrooming controversy over e-books, it’s easy to understand the publishers’ motives. But what about Apple? ( NSDQ: AAPL ) Did the company want to raise book prices in order to protect its iPad and blunt the rise of Amazon? These questions will...

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