By Caroline Overington, The Australian

Peterson book triggers teary revolt at publisher

Jordan Peterson has written a new book, and it seems that some staff at his publisher have been reduced to tears of dismay at the idea they will have to release it.

Beyond Order is a sequel of sorts to Peterson’s bestseller Twelve Rules for Life. Its completion had been in grave doubt until this week, given Peterson’s poor health. Besides battling a severe depressant drug addiction, he has had pneumonia, suffered neurological damage and contracted COVID-19 this year.

A video message released on Tuesday to announce he had finished the book shows him looking strained and tired.

The news was apparently greeted with shock by staff at the publisher, Penguin Random House in Canada, who gathered at a “town hall”-style meeting to express their concerns. A Vice report described the meeting as “tense and emotional” as employees “cried and expressed dismay”.

“Dozens (of staff) have now filed anonymous complaints,” the report added.

One anonymous employee told Vice: “ (Peterson) is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him.”

Another discussed how “publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friends.”

In a statement, Penguin Random House said: “We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”

Penguin Random House is Canada’s largest book publisher. The book will be published around the world in February and March next year.

Peterson, who is Canadian born, used his first book to encourage young men, in particular, to take on the responsibilities of work, and family, to lift themselves from depression and indolence. He has been accused of providing solace to the alt-right. He at one point objected to the use of gender-neutral pronouns.

Tens of thousands of Australians turned up to see him speak at the Sydney Opera House and across Australia during his book tour last year.

In the foreword to the new book, Peterson says: “I hope that people find this book as helpful personally, as they seem to have found the first set of 12 Rules.”

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