Email this review


The Truth About Publishing, published in 1926, is still the Western world's standard book on the subject, and this despite the differences between British publishing and that in other countries. To a large extent the personality of the author had impressed itself so firmly on the book world that his revealing book about the inside of the publishing business was, to some extent, a personal story as well. Now comes the almost inevitable sequel in an autobiography that- at one and the same time-expands the ""truth about publishing"" and brings it, too, up to date. For here is the adventure of publishing as experienced by a young man with a vision, a drive, a creative appreciation and a goal. His early years- when he worked for his strange uncle, T. Fisher Unwin, provided a hard apprenticeship. His boyhood had been so happy that the scrimping necessitated by the disaster to the family printing plant was more than offset by the unity of family life and devotion. But his very substantial contribution to the growth of his uncle's publishing firm found its reward only in the value of the experience itself, the contacts made, the knowledge acquired. When he left it was to start- on much less than the proverbial shoestring- a publishing house of his own. The fifty years as a publisher proved to set standards, not only for his own fast growing firm but for the industry at large. Horizons were extended to a practical concept of world publishing. And the ideals that have motivated the best in publishing- in author-publisher relations- in the role of the publisher as a public citizen, all this comes through the pages of a book of intense interest to anyone in the field-and to that wider market that is almost inordinately curious about what goes on behind the scenes. Anecdotes about authors, a great many of whom are familiar to the reading public, enliven the story. And throughout one gets glimpses of a way of life that World War II brought to a close.

Publisher: Macmillan