Not a book for the general public, curious as they seem to be about the story behind publishing. This reads- to put it bluntly-like a philosophy thesis on the history of publishing, and indications point to the data being secured from the business records, the official correspondence of publishers, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, trade organizations and official pronouncements. The text concerns itself with the ills of the business or profession or whatever you wish to term it, and singularly enough most of them are the ills which seem perennial:- problems of too many books, too few sales, direct mail on the part of publishers, apathetic outlets, uncertainty as to distribution channels and media, questionable value of advertising, etc. etc. A few basic ills were cured:- an international copyright law went into effect (though we are still battling for improvement) and cut out pirating; and certain standards of retail prices, royalty rates, discounts were approximated. Singularly little is said of one great channel of distribution- public libraries. Almost nothing of anecdotal material relating to the human aspects of publishing. But for those seeking bald facts, there's a lot of groundwork done for them here.