No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
The descendant of a distinguished publishing family, Schiffrin has been the gadfly of American publishing ever since he quit his post as head of Random House's Pantheon imprint in a blaze of publicity 10 years ago, complaining that the publisher's new management wanted to trim his list severely, removing from it many of the socially conscious titles he was proud to publish. He went on to found and run the New Press, which, with strong foundation support, has continued to do many of the kinds of books that Schiffrin insists should be published, but which he claims have increasingly been abandoned by big commercial houses. In this brief but pithy treatise, some of which has already appeared in Europe, Schiffrin forcefully argues that publishing only for immediate commercial return is not only economically shortsighted but culturally disastrous. Without being unduly nostalgic for the "good old days," he insists that big American publishers used to offer lists that were much better balanced between popular entertainment and necessary social and political commentary than they are today. He further argues that the attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste, which has, he says, led network television and movies in such depressing directions, has dumbed down publishing to an alarming degree, robbing it of much of its standing as a vehicle for the expression of significant ideas and outlooks that may not have instant appeal. Whether the increasing use of the Internet for publishing will prove to expand this more enlightened mission remains to be seen, but based on past experience with the urgencies of the profit motive, Schiffrin is not optimistic. His book is a salutary and sensibly written reminder of the ideals that drew so many into publishing, and that, if he is right, are so seldom reflected in it today. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Andre Schiffrin is an old-fashioned New York publisher, the sort that loves and believes in books. Not just best-sellers, but little books with big ideas.”—The Times [London]
“André Schiffrin presents a somber portrait of American publishing where the pursuit of profit has strangled all creativity.”—Nouvel Observateur
“Newsworthy and important, eloquent, smart, thoughtful, and well-presented.”—The Nation
“An absorbing account of the revolution in publishing during the last decade.”—Financial Times
“Forceful evidence that corporate insistence on higher profits has been cultural and business folly.”—Business Week
I enjoyed the book very much. The story telling was enjoyable. As to the "whine", I work in a completly different industry that suffers from the money only direction of... Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2002 by G Seath
Schiffrin's book is provocative and well written. There is a little too much "And then I published...." along with a lot of name dropping. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002 by Rick Beyer
I think that all reviewers have some points here.
The book is a bit whiny. There isn't any documented research. Read more
Many of the other reviewers have done a fine job pointing out the merits and flaws of this book, so I will only add a quote that I find significant from Hardy Green, Business... Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2002 by Louisa H. Chiang
I learned a lot from this book. Everyone concerned about consolidation in the publishing industry should read this book. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2001 by Harry S. Pariser
If you seem to have fond memories of the well-stocked bookstores of twenty or twenty-five years ago, it may not be all false nostalgia or a curmudgeonly disgust with modern... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2000 by Richard A. Ellis
One of the most important functions of publishers for the last 400 years has been to discover and develop new authors who have something important to say about their culture. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2000 by Peter Kline
The premise here is that because of a number of changes in the business of publishing, fewer works of merit are being published today than was the case yesteryear. Hmmm. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2000
Mr. Schiffrin offers his thesis that there is no intellectual competition in publishing. Only right wing books are being sold! The government must intervene! Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2000 by Dan Heath