June 28, 2006

Lyle Stuart, 'Anarchist Cookbook' publisher

Lyle Stuart, who published one of the modern book business' greatest hoaxes in "Naked Came the Stranger" and the controversial "The Anarchist Cookbook," died Saturday after a heart attack, his wife reported. He was 83.

Stuart, born in Manhattan, N.Y., became a muckraking journalist in the 1940s, founding publications such as Expose and The Independent.

In 1969, he published "Naked Came the Stranger," a sex novel whose dust jacket claimed it was written by a Long Island housewife. In fact, the book was the work of more than two dozen reporters at Newsday — and Stuart was in on the joke. The novel was a best-seller both before and after the hoax was exposed.

The next year, Stuart went against the wishes of the staff at his publishing house, Lyle Stuart Inc., and published William Powell's "The Anarchist Cookbook," a notorious tome with instructions on how to make homemade bombs.


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