Zenosbooks

1859847633The Business Of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing & Changed The Way We Read by Andre Schiffrin. New York. 2000. Verso. hardcover. 181 pages. 1859847633.

 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Postwar American publishing has been ruthlessly transformed since André Schiffrin joined its ranks in 1956. Gone is a plethora of small but prestigious houses that often put ideas before profit in their publishing decisions, sometimes even deliberately. Now six behemoths share 80% of the market and profit margin is all. André Schiffrin can write about these changes with authority because he witnessed them from inside a conglomerate, as head of Pantheon, co-founded by his father bought (and sold) by Random House. And he can write about them with candor because he is no longer on the inside, having quit corporate publishing in disgust to setup a flourishing independent house, the New Press. Schiffrin’s evident affection for his authors sparkles throughout a story woven around publishing the work of those such as Studs Terkel, Noam Chomsky, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Juliet Mitchell, R.D.Laing, Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson. Part-memoir, part-history, here is an account of the collapsing standards of contemporary publishing that is irascible, acute and passionate. An engaging counterpoint to recent, celebratory memoirs of the industry written by those with more stock options and fewer scruples than Schiffrin, The Business of Books warns of the danger to adventurous, intelligent publishing in the bullring of today’s marketplace.

 

 

Schiffrin Andre André Schiffrin was, for thirty years, Publisher at Pantheon. He was also the Director of the New Press, which he founded in 1993. He contributed a regular column on publishing to the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Search

Zeno's Picks

Neglectedbooks.com

The Neglected Books Page

15 October 2019

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Memoirs of a Ghost, by G. W. Stonier (1947)

    One of the pleasures of being back in college after almost forty years is having access to a good university library. I first developed my love of neglected books from wandering through the stacks of Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington in Seattle, not looking for anything in particular, pulling down whatever seemed interesting.... Read more

    The post

    ...
  • On Wooden Wings, by Rosemary Tonks (1948)

    Out of a perhaps questionable quest for completeness, I have been working my way Rosemary Tonks’ oeuvre. Tonks was perhaps one of the better-known of “forgotten” writers — “The Poet Who Vanished,” as a 2009 BBC Radio 4 documentary was titled. As John Hartley Williams wrote in a 1996 piece for The Poetry Review, “She... Read

    ...
  • Life Comes to Seathorpe, by Neil Bell (1946)

    I’m not sure how I managed to consider myself an expert in neglected books and remain ignorant of Neil Bell and his massive oeuvre until recently, but it was only the sight of the striking cover of one of his posthumous story collections, The Ninth Earl of Whitby in a local bookstore that led me... Read more

    The post ...

  • Not Tonight, by Kathleen Sully (1966)

    Not Tonight brings me to the end of my journey through the oeuvre of the forgotten English novelist Kathleen Sully. After 16 other Sullys, most of its ingredients are familiar: a village on the southern coast of England; a woman of uncertain middle age; a robust young mother with an assortment of children by an... Read more

    The post ...

  • Gaëtan, or The Stock-Taking, by Edith de Born (1950)

    “Gaëtan consists of a 100-page discussion between the wife and the mistress of a Frenchman who has been killed in a car accident,” wrote Julian Symons in his terse review of Edith de Born’s first novel. It’s an accurate description, but also a spoiler, for through much of the book, we only know we are... Read more

    The post ...

  • Chapters 1 and 2 from In Our Metropolis, by Phyllis Livingstone (1940)

    Back in March, I posted a short item about two forgotten novels I’d come across in an advertisement in the Times Literary Supplement. Neither received much attention and both quickly disappeared from sight. I was interested in knowing more about both books, so when I had the chance to visit the British Library for a... Read more

    The

    ...
  • Businessmen as Lovers, by Rosemary Tonks (1969)

    Businessmen as Lovers was Rosemary Tonks’ fourth novel and, to be honest, the first in which she seems to relax and not be relentlessly straining to be clever. It’s her only novel not set in London: the whole story takes place on a train through France and an island off Italy, and perhaps the setting... Read more

    The post ...

  • Actors and Directors: Two Anecdotes from Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    Ralph Richardson and Basil Dean Some thirty years ago, Richardson was rehearsing a play directed by Basil Dean. The latter was the last of the old-time directors on the British side of the Atlantic. By “old-time,” I mean abusive, cruel, sarcastic, and contemptuous of actors. His American equivalent, albeit far younger, would be Jed Harris.... ...

  • Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    In 1964, Sir John Gielgud convinced Richard Burton to star in a Broadway production of Hamlet. Still smoking hot from his big-screen romance with Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Burton was looking to solidify his street cred as a serious actor after a few Hollywood duds. Gielgud’s motivation is a little less clear, as gradually becomes... Read more

    The

    ...
  • The Long Sunday, by Peter Fletcher (1958)

    Church, prayer, going to Sunday services and weekday evening meetings remains the center of life for some families and communities. One hundred years ago, they were the frameworks of the rituals and values of many English people, particularly those of the class of shopkeepers and lesser professions. Each denomination and sect identified itself through its... Read

    ...
Copyright © 2019 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.