Random House may have lavished a $6 million advance on Colin L. Powell for his just- published memoirs, "My American Journey." But it looks as if the publishing house skimped on fact-checkers.
In the 950,000 copies of the book that hit the stores Friday, Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is referred to, in the text and the index, as Carl Schmoke.
"I'm looking forward to reading the book regardless of whether they spelled my first name right or not," Mr. Schmoke said yesterday after the error was pointed out to him. "Hopefully, it can be corrected in the second printing."
Random House publicity director Ivan Held, who was in McLean, Va., yesterday for the launch of the Powell book tour, grimaced when told of the error. He said he would check it out when he returned to New York this week.
Mr. Schmoke is mentioned in the 613-page book as among those who were with General Powell on a plane to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's inauguration in May 1994.
Others on the trip included the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, former New York Mayor David N. Dinkins and Maryland Rep. Kweisi Mfume (spelled correctly).
"I knew most of them all already," General Powell writes on Page 596, "and we had always gotten along well."
The mix-up notwithstanding, a Schmoke spokesman said, the two men do, indeed, know each other and have dined together.