Princeton University Press has recalled all copies of one of its spring titles after discovering more than 90 spelling and grammar errors in the 245-page work. The book, Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District, by Peter Moskos, was published on Thursday in an initial press run of 4,000 copies.
In what appears to be a first, the press plans to reprint the book and have it back in stores later this month, after the errors have been corrected.
Mr. Moskos is an assistant professor of law, police science, and criminal-justice administration at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. From 1999 to 2001, as part of his graduate work in sociology at Harvard University, he worked as a police officer in Baltimore.
No one alleges any wrongdoing by Mr. Moskos, nor has the book’s factual substance been impugned. The errors came to light when the author’s friends and family members began sending him lists of the numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes they had noticed.
“I was flabbergasted and embarrassed,” said Peter Dougherty, the press’s director. “This is a terribly embarrassing matter for Princeton University Press.”
He added, “We’re very proud of the book, which makes the embarrassment all the greater.”
He said that Mr. Moskos’s manuscript had been given to an inexperienced copy editor who failed to do the job properly. “We take a lot of pride in the quality of our copy editing,” he said, citing the publisher’s 103-year track record. “In this case, we messed up very, very badly.”
Asked how much the recall would cost, Mr. Dougherty replied, “a lot.”
Mr. Moskos has been writing about the episode on his blog. In an interview, he said that he suspected the errors appeared in the original manuscript and slipped by the copy editor. The press’s response, he said, showed “a lot of professionalism.” He added, “Colleagues I’ve spoken to have said, ‘Man, I wish my publisher would correct my errors!’” —Jennifer Howard