Costco removes, then puts back, the book 'America' by conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza

The book accompanies a documentary of the same name, titled 'America: Imagine A World Without Her,' which was recently released in theaters.

Elise Amendola/AP
A shopper pushes a cart outside a Costco location in Danvers, Mass.

Costco faced protests after deciding to take the book “America: Imagine a World Without Her” by Dinesh D’Souza out of its stores.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the retailer recently took the book by D’Souza out of its stores, citing poor sales. However, many, including conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, protested the decision and said they believed the book was taken out of stores because Costco co-founders Jim Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman are supporters of President Obama. (Both had fundraisers for the president at each of their houses in 2012, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer). D’Souza is also the author of the books “Obama’s America” and “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” D’Souza employs what some would view as extreme rhetoric in “Rage,” including writing that he believes that “the most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s… [a] philandering, inebriated African socialist.”

D’Souza is also the director and writer of the documentaries “2016: Obama’s America” and “America: Imagine A World Without Her,” the latter of which was released on July 4. “2016” currently has a score of 28 out of 100 on review aggregator website Metacritic.

Scott Losse, an inventory control specialist in the book department at the Costco Wholesale corporate office, told the conservative website WND on July 7 that the company was telling all of its locations to take “America” off its shelves. Many D’Souza supporters took to the Costco Facebook page to write of their displeasure and on his July 8 show, Limbaugh spoke about the decision.

“Some of the [Costco executives] are going to say, ‘Wait a minute. These are our customers,’ Limbaugh said. “So that would lead to a statement, ‘Wait a minute, this isn't political. Don't say that! No, no, no. We just pulled the book because it's a loser sales-wise.’” 

D’Souza spoke with Fox News about the removal.

“This is absolutely unprecedented and the idea that it’s based upon low sales is preposterous,” he said. “Costco features hundreds of books. They even have book signing for people whose books are 10,000, number 85,000 on the Amazon list. So this is clearly a political decision they made. I think it’s because of their alliance with the Obama administration and now they’re feeling the heat, so they’re trying to figure out how to wiggle out of it.”

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on July 8, Costco announced that it would be putting the book back in its stores, but the company cited an increase in sales of the book because of D’Souza’s movie “America: Imagine A World Without Her.”

The release of the film caused “brisk sales at locations still in stock” of D’Souza’s book, “therefore, we have decided to reorder the book.”

However, the company stated that “Costco is not a bookstore. Our book shelf space is very limited. We exercise discipline in the best utilization of that limited space based solely on what our members are buying. We can’t carry every title that our members are interested in reading. We are constantly monitoring book sales and make decisions to pull books off the shelves frequently based on volume to make room for other titles.  Politics or controversy over content do not influence our decisions.” 

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