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Julian Assange’s $1.5M Memoir Being Rushed to Press by Publisher

WikiLeaks founder’s book to be published in April

Julian Assange’s memoir — part of a $1.5 million book deal the WikiLeaks founder inked two weeks ago — already has a release date: April. As in 2011.

Assange’s U.K.-based publisher Canongate announced on Friday that his first book will come out sometime that month. Knopf, Assange’s North American publisher, will release the book in April, too.

“I hope this book will become one of the unifying documents of our generation,” Assange said in a statement. “In this highly personal work, I explain our global struggle to force a new relationship between the people and their governments.”

Canongate has already sold rights to publishers in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Catalonia, Brazil, Norway, Assange’s homeland of Australia, and Sweden, where Assange is wanted for questioning in a highly-publicized sex crimes case. Canongate says all will be “part of an internationally coordinated launch.” (Hey, kind of like a WikiLeak!)

More on the book from the release:

WikiLeaks has helped redefine our idea of investigative journalism and our understanding of how information should be disseminated.  Assange, the visionary creator of and driving force behind this new publishing phenomenon, has a unique perspective on how WikiLeaks has evolved into one of today’s most influential and fearless news organisations.  

In this revelatory account, Assange expands on the philosophies that underpin his stateless, ground-breaking media company.  He draws on his own fascinating life story and offers compelling insights into the mercurial and highly driven man who has forced us to radically rethink such basic ideas as transparency, democracy and power.  

Which all sounds great, but isn’t April a little soon? There’s a good chance Assange’s fight against the sex crime allegations — and extradition to Sweden — may not even be resolved by then.

A representative for Canongate did not immediately return a request seeking comment.

I understand a publisher for wanting to strike while the WikiIron is hot, but it sounds like they’re a bit anxious to get this book out. Perhaps they fear Assange may ultimately go to prison, or back into hiding. Or perhaps Assange needs to fulfill the book to get the bulk of that $1.5 million to pay his legal fees and keep WikiLeaks afloat. ("I don't want to write this book," Assange told the London Times last month. “But I have to.”)

Still, any those scenarios would be great free publicity for Canongate and Knopf — and an even better story for the memoir.