Economics of publishing
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Bill Strachan, the director of Columbia
University Press, talked to me earlier about how things have changed.
[see Archipelago, Vol. 2, no. 4]
Trade houses, as they really could be called once, used to build their
lists from editors recommendations; but now, he said, perhaps
bitterly, that method has changed. Now, in conglomerate publishing,
marketers can have the final say about the list; and in academic
publishing, peer-review committees, rather than editors, can reject
SAM VAUGHAN: Im interested, as you know, in the overlap and
merging of what were once the duties and standards of university presses
with what were once trade standards, and how their borders are as shaky
as the Balkans. It works in different ways in different houses and
among the various kinds of publishers. At Random House, the marketing
people do not have the final say on which books we publish, by and
large. The editor proposes and the Publisher disposes, i.e., says yes or
no. At other houses it works the same way; at still others, the
marketing voice is loud, and in some cases decisive.
Im not against the latter, by the way, depending on what kind of
book is being considered. With a novel, or a book of poetry, the
marketing director should not decide. Where a marketing person becomes
publisher you have quite a different situation, of course. But as
publisher, a marketing person should not be only a marketing mind, but
should take the larger view. If the book at hand is a reference book on
trees, say, or Italian cookery, the marketing voice should well be quite
strong, especially when you know there are dozens of competitive titles
in the marketplace already. Im surprised, in fact, that the marketers
dont come into the act earlier than they do, at least here.
But, a university press has obligations which a privately-held trade
house doesnt have. As Bill said, I believe, some university presses
publish a certain number of regional books to pay their debt to people
of the region. Thats an honorable thing to do, and sometimes makes
money. But much publishing goes unplanned. The irony is that editors, in
the conversations of others in publishing, are usually considered to be
not very businesslike, to be a bit crazy, not to be able to add up a
column of figures. Thats how were stereotyped.
Nonetheless, despite what is said about editors, we take full
responsibility for negotiating contracts; for working out the economics
in advance, projective economics. As for the list itself: unless there
is some directive we will do this kind of book, or we dont do that, which is rare the list represents
the combined interests, contacts, and, sometimes, friendships, of the
editors. I think there could be a bit more planning involved, but I
hesitate to say it, because maybe that day is coming. Many kinds of
publishing you do in a general house, for example, like tending to the
back list, are often honored in conversation, but not given very much
attention. If you have four or five good gardening books, then you ought
to have a couple of gardening books in development at all times, because
if youve begun to publish in that niche, you want to add to it. And
it makes sense to have strength in certain categories, if not in others.
So I do think a measure of planning could be introduced in some houses.
But editors fight organization. Well always think of ourselves as
grossly underpaid, overworked, misunderstood, and downtrodden. Or if not
downtrodden, half-trodden; and yet editors, like authors, like poets,
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Well, poetry is durable. Editing
SAM VAUGHAN: Editors feel constantly under attack but dont
quite get wiped out. They go through convulsions at times, but they are
like the theater: Always dying, never quite dead.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: You said a smart, interesting, amusing
thing in your Daedalus piece, about the conglomeratization of
publishing. You wrote: It seems to me that the real risk when nonbook
people come into publishing is not that they know so little about books,
but that they know so little about money. Would you speak more to
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, an example is Harold Geneen, whom I became
friendly with when he did a book called MANAGING.
Harold Geneen was the principle exponent of conglomeratization. When he
ran IT&T he owned several hundred companies.
He would meet in Switzerland, monthly, with the heads of his companies,
because it was the only way to get them together. He had a brief case
for every company. Hal Geneen said to me that he had sold off his book
publishing company, because he didnt understand it.
Now, I dont know who advised him on the purchase in the first
place; but, when you look at the financial history of many publishing
houses, its no secret that, as we are fond of saying, you can usually
do better by putting your money in the bank. Some of the great owners
have been asked, in the course of their lives, Why do you invest
your money in book publishing? The answer is, Because we want
to invest our money in book publishing.
Thats a statement of a willful, independently wealthy capitalist.
And if such a one of them really wants to be in book publishing
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: he damn well will!
SAM VAUGHAN: I had a boss once, when I was in my 20s.
I got promoted. He took me to lunch. He said, Now, what makes you
think the Doubleday family is going to want to be in books, ten years
from now?: And I said, Because they want to. I was grateful
to him for making me try to think ten years ahead. I was accustomed to
thinking about ten minutes ahead.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: The conventional wisdom is that people dont
think ten years ahead. They think two cycles ahead.
SAM VAUGHAN: That is something Im not terribly cheerful
about. The up-and-at-em, rattle-dazzle publishers who want to produce
a good balance sheet for the next quarter, or the next year, are
thinking short-term. Theyre not thinking about whether theyre
going to leave behind a publishing institution thats worth more than
it was when they found it. And since publishing doesnt usually
respond, even economically, to what you do in a year, or a couple of
years, its a form of short-term thinking in what is, at heart, a
long-term activity. I think theres a dangerous tendency to want to
make this year look good, and next year look good; and not to worry
about the people who may have to tend the garden, five or ten or twenty
years from now. That may be a sea-change in publishing. I think it
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: That people are looking at the short term
rather than the long term.
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes. Not that theyre looking at the bottom
line. There never has been a time when they didnt look at the bottom
line, more or less severely, or more or less myopically. But by putting
seed-money down, it will reward you in some years to come, not in the
next quarter. Partly, the situation is aggravated by publishing
companies going public, where you have to keep an eye on the value of
the stock. And as an author once said to me, the stock market is really
a paranoid schizophrenic.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: A paranoid schizophrenic gambler.
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes, right. A Barthelme.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Two Barthelmes. (laughter) [see
The New Yorker, March 8, 1999]
SAM VAUGHAN: Ive had the luck in working for family
companies, never having to worry about what the stock was doing.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Is that true also of Bertelsmann?
SAM VAUGHAN: It seems so. Families are quirky in their own
way, but, for example, if publishers were as rapacious as we are often
held to be, if we were as money-minded as we are now held to be, books
would be published much more quickly. Because if youre putting out
millions to invest in a new list of books, you would think you would
want your money back as soon as possible. But publishers insist on
taking nine months, or ten months, or twelve months, or five years, to
do a book. Thats not very smart, economically, but its part of the
practice of the business. I cant understand why someone hasnt come
in on that problem: that you can improve the cash flow by getting the
books out sooner. Authors would like it. At least at first. But the
books might get under-published, for there are reasons why the process
takes a long time, and maybe should.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: I think there is a certain pressure in
some quarters. Not long ago, an editor of my acquaintance, who is young,
beautifully educated, smart, publishes very serious books, and runs the
adult trade division of a far-flung conglomerate, told me (because I
asked him), that he could bring a high rate of return I think he
claimed 15% while publishing very good books.
He did indeed publish very good books, many of which I read. However,
the question I didnt ask, and should have asked, was: What
books have you turned down that you would have liked to have to have
taken, because you didnt think they would earn enough money?
I suspect this is a more important question, even, than I think it
is. It is the sort of question that might have to do with the mid-list
authors I hear about so often, whose third or fourth book isnt being
taken by their erstwhile publishers.
SAM VAUGHAN: It is a good question. Im thinking about the
DeLillo novel [UNDERWORLD]. I know an editor who
read it in manuscript. She said, Its really a very ambitious
novel, hes really out to scoop up a whole handful of this society and
culture at this time. You could tell that she really was quite
taken by it. She is one of the very best editors Ive ever known. And
at the end, she decided not to encourage the house to pursue it up the
auction ladder. It wasnt because she was afraid it wouldnt sell:
she was afraid that she might have a lot of trouble selling the book in
the house after we bought it.
You see, in effect, a book gets bought by a house more than once. The
first time is when the contract is offered. Then it goes off everybodys
screen except the editors, for the year, or two years, or five, or
ten, it takes the author to write it. It comes back, and, despite the
fact that you have a contract, and that the contract may be big, it has
to be sold again, in a psychological way. Now, if youve put out a lot
of money for a book, and everybody knows it, it makes the editors
task a bit easier. All the flags fly when the book comes through. But
thats for a very few books. The other books have all cost money. But
whether the book costs $50,000 or $200,000,
that fact, by-and-large, does not persuade anyone in the house. Theyve
got to be persuaded by example, by the manuscript itself, ideally.
Anyhow, she was concerned that the task of selling it a second time
might not work, and she didnt want to go through that. Scribners
bought the DeLillo. I think they made something of a success of it. I
dont know whether they made of it a publication commensurate with
what it cost them.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: And, they dont have a backlist of
DeLillos books. Everything he wrote is in print, but not at Scribner.
SAM VAUGHAN: Thats a very good point. But on the other
hand, it may have been an investment beyond the book itself, to persuade
everybody that Scribner is alive and well. There are, sometimes, those
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Do you think that New York trade
publishing is more oriented toward, more interested in, more attentive
to, the big book than it used to be?
SAM VAUGHAN: I dont think so, Katherine. At least, not for
so as long as Ive been around. Ive just described to you a
publishing list of the early 1950s: I mentioned
four big books. Im a typical publishing animal, so I can remember
that kind of event. I had instructions from my boss; there were two
things I had to do: Get along with the sales manager, and not overspend.
I went into see my boss at the beginning of that year, and I said, There is no way we can do these four books, to say nothing of the
rest of them, and not overspend. So, I just want you to know. He
took that all right, because he knew we couldnt publish a recent
ex-president, or couldnt publish André Malraux, or couldnt
publish a big, important book like the COLUMBIA
HISTORICAL PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK, and he couldnt put the Ruark
novel over without
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Right. Without investing
SAM VAUGHAN: further in publicity, promotion, and
advertising. So, chasing the big books at some risk to the others is far
from over. On the other hand, if you dont do that successfully often
enough, you dont have a publishing house to include the other books.
Its commonly thought that the other books pay for the big books. It
also can be argued that the big books pay for the other books.
Certainly, it can go either way.
In a smaller house, public or private, if they have to put out
several big authors in a hurry, the question is, how much money do they
have to work with? In a bigger house, there is seldom a real shortage of
capital; but there may be constrictions on what you can do in any year.
Fortunately, not every book has to be pursued to the same degree. You
couldnt get most authors to agree about that, of course.
The question implied is: What is publishing, if its not working
hard to make people know about the book? The definition of publishing
Marion Boyars used, and that I use, is: to make known. Its
not, To make better; its not, To make money: its to make known.
But there are ways of making known that dont cost a great
deal of money. They usually cost a lot of time and effort. Because you
know there are books where you can hear the jungle drums beating, and its
not a result of advertising.
Marketing, or selling books
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: When the English publisher said,
arent you market-seeking?, were you? That is to say, I hear the
word marketing and I roll my eyes. Is marketing different
than, say, advertising, or simply selling? Whats the difference, now,
between that, and what you were doing, when you worked for Doubleday
SAM VAUGHAN: Thats splendid. We share the same annoyance at
the word. Its an attempt to make grandiose what was formerly known as
a series of separate functions called selling, promoting, publicizing,
advertising, packaging. The use of the word marketing, I
think, must have been the way, at one point, to get a raise. So, if youre
a marketing manager, you think of yourself as much more than a salesman,
To give it its due: part of the idea behind the word marketing was, in its finest manifestation, to think, not of
what you have, or what you are, but: what does the
customer need, or want, or can be helped by, or provoked into
needing or wanting? Thats a perfectly decent idea; but much nonsense
goes on under the heading of marketing. Its the subduing of
importance, in a funny way, of the salesman. Im using salesman as a narrow term.
I used to know the names of all of our sales reps at Doubleday. When
I started there, we had ten or 12. We went to 30
or 35; we went to 80 or 90.
I dont know how many they have now; but now theyre corporate
sales forces: they sell for the corporations. Therefore, editors have
much less contact directly with the sales reps; from the point of view
of the editor, contact has been cut off, or cut down. We go through what
they call marketing people; and the marketing people speak to the sales
people for us, or for themselves.
The old way had its abuses. In that smaller world, youd go into a
room for a sales conference with your reps, and youd present the
books directly to them. It used to be said that a book could be made, or
killed, in that room. There was some truth in that. Certainly a book
could be made. I saw books made, regularly, by an impassioned
presentation, or by a very good one. Whether a book could be killed: I
suppose that some books were really damaged by the process; but on the
other hand, there was a natural limitation on how negative a sales rep
could be, because if he only opened his mouth to say The book wont
sell, eventually, he wouldnt be selling it, or any others.
Now I will join the chorus of the complainers. Our principal form of
contact with the sales reps is in the form of the written fact-sheet,
which as somebody said, has to be revised four times, and the audio
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: The fact sheet is not the same as the P&L,
the profit-and-loss statement?
SAM VAUGHAN: No, the fact sheet is a basic house description
of the book. Calling it a fact sheet, basically, is to glorify it,
because editors dont deal with facts so much as hopes,
dreams, wishes and lies. Itd make a good movie title, wouldnt it?
That basic house description is circulated to just about everybody.
We also do an audio presentation as a supplement; but thats all.
There are meetings in which we may be in a room with one or two or three
marketing people, of whom a couple may be in direct contact with the
trade. I think something is lost there. It was a two-way education: we
learned from the reps, and they learned from us. They had the smell of
the road on them, they came into the room and slapped the dust off their
chaps and tied up their horses, and said, The books on
such-and-such are not selling. We might or might not accept it,
but we would take it as a piece of important information; and we were
performing the traditional rite of the history of the traveler who would
come back and tell you what was going on in China.
On the other hand, some editors were wizards at presenting. Theres
a perception in publishing, now, that to present a book, they should be
polished and accomplished speakers. Well, there are a few editors who
have leaped through the barriers, to talk directly at the sales
conference. But some of the best presentations Ive ever heard were by
people who werent so terribly good at speaking, but who knew a lot
about the book they were doing. Jason Epstein, an editorial genius, is
in many ways a terrible presenter, but in many ways a wonderful one,
because he knows what hes talking about and he has such strong
I remember when Jason started The Anchor Review at Doubleday,
in an attempt to run a journal along with the new line of paperbacks. He
hired a couple of editors. One of them was Nathan Glazer. I had read THE
LONELY CROWD. Glazer came in with his wild, woolly hair and his
horn-rimmed glasses, and he sat up there and presented a book. He used
phrases like wrought-iron culture. It was like a graduate
seminar, and I was dazzled. He was the prof. I never had. And it was all
part of the ferment. Nathan Glazer wouldnt stand a chance at a sales
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Do you notice that the marketing people
have come from someplace that was not devoted to books?
SAM VAUGHAN: When you work in a place like this, you notice
that the marketing people are really good readers. Theres a
perception that all sales people care about is discounts and commissions
and bonuses. But I dont know many who survive, at least, not in a
house like this, who arent readers, and who dont have some basis
for their opinions. Im not saying that all are well-read: Ill say,
Now, in the old days, sometimes the rep could be negative. But he
couldnt make a living being negative. He might be wrong about the
book, but if theres anyone forgiven for being wrong about the book,
its the editor. Theres no business thats so forgiving of
mistakes as this one.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Why would you say that?
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, how long would you last in television, or
movies, or magazines, if you make as many mistakes as we make over the
course of a year or two?
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Do you mean that in editorial or
SAM VAUGHAN: All kinds. If you make a big, noisy mistake, say,
getting a house to pay too much for the book, thats an obvious
mistake. If you publish ten promising first novels and none of them rise
to the point of ever being more than promising, thats another kind of
mistake. Now this is, or certainly has been, a very forgiving business.
Everybodys worried about profit/loss statements being shown to
editors and lashed over their bare backs. Ive been shown profit/loss
statements about my books, I think, twice. Theyre used a lot; but I
havent had them used on me, so to speak. But many editors will talk
as if they had been routinely beaten.
Now, I dont know about all houses. Ive only worked really, for
two. Ive done some books for other houses, though not from inside. If
anything, publishing is really lax, in that regard. I find it
interesting, if bracing, and a little chilling, to read the profit/loss
statements on the books Ive handled in any given year. Some books you
think have made money, havent; some books you think havent made
money, have. But you get to see the economic components of what went
into publishing the book. Doubleday used to own its own presses, still
does, and, periodically, wed be encouraged to fly down to the plants,
supposedly to see how the books were being printed. The subterranean
motive was to have us see the remainder pile. They used to say, Well, her novel really did pretty well, it sold 5,000
copies, and we only took 3,000 copies back.
If you walk by 3,000 copies of a book, sitting on
skids, you see a lot of paper and glue and press time, to say nothing of
the authors life. Its a chilling experience.
Closely-held corporations in the history of publishing
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Youve spoken about the differences in
working for those three family-held publishing companies that were held,
in fact, by different kinds of families: the Doubledays, the Newhouses [former
owners of Random House, Inc.], and now is Bertelsmann A.G.
[present owner of Random House, Inc] a family-held corporation?
Closely-held, in any case. Ill suggest that, possibly, the
family-held, or the closely-held, corporation is a sort of third entity,
in publishing. There is the non-profit, effectively no-profit, press.
There is the publishing conglomerate. But the third kind of publisher,
the privately-held corporation, is also an interesting kind of entity.
It is larger, lets say, than an independent press; it is a
corporation rather than a small company.
SAM VAUGHAN: I think most of the history of the two or three
centuries of American trade publishing will be spun out in the story of
publishing houses which were privately-held or closely-held. I dont
think publishers became public property to any degree until fairly
recently. Even now, I think theyve become attractive to the investors
because they see us as being part of the media world. While we are, to
an extent, we also are not; we are related to but dont quite blend in
with the other media. The virtue of working for a privately-held company
is that you dont have to pay attention to the day-to-day or
month-to-month vicissitudes of the stock market. This just doesnt
enter into your thinking. But if youre working for a big
publicly-held company and youre watching stock prices every day, or
somebody is, it does get into your thoughts.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Or theyre watching return on
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes. And, as I said to you before, it, if the
acquiring company has done their homework, and theyve really used due
diligence, they could have seen that almost no book publishing has
produced the kind of return on investment that they desire.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: And it doesnt change. No matter what
SAM VAUGHAN: Hasnt for a long time.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: What you say also implies a necessity of a
very good back list.
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes, its a really big part of it. Year after
year, with a good back list, the work of authors and previous publishing
people shows how we go on selling those books, and creating a cash flow
irrespective of what the new books are doing, which help you to weather
the inevitable ups and downs of the charts.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Would you speak about your editorial
relationship with Doubleday? It was a large corporation, wasnt it,
but, also, it was owned by one family?
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes. It was both, in a funny way, a mom-and-pop
shop and a large impersonal corporation. It wasnt
impersonal, but people thought it was. I saw a piece in The New
Yorker recently, about Goldman, Sachs, one of the great Wall Street
houses. A woman said to her boss there, Look at what I sold this
week. He said to her something like, We dont say I
sell things. Thats exactly the way it was at Doubleday. I tried
never to say I published anything, because I didnt really
believe I did. It was a collective act; but it was also part of the
house culture to be respectful of all of the other people involved in
publishing, from the printers to the assistants to the sales reps. It
wasnt just the ownership, or the editors.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Broadly speaking, do you think thats
changed? That is to say, respect is a difficult attitude to come by,
now. The notion of dignity seems to have gone away. Do you have any
thoughts about this?
SAM VAUGHAN: I admire your announced theme, or inquiry, of
institutional memory. Mine is as shaky as most, but I had
lunch last week with Eric Major, who is the director of religious
publishing at Doubleday, which has always been an important part of our
publishing there, as it is not here [at Random House], for
example. Eric came to the States from Hodder & Stoughton in London,
a house once somewhat similar in makeup to Doubleday. I said him, I suppose every evidence of the old Doubleday is gone. He
said, Yes, it has really changed but there are traces of it in
the corridors. You dont eradicate the traces very easily.
I think one of the most profound changes in publishing is, in effect,
the disappearance of family names, the name that meant a family, from
the spine of the book. Usually, when a book said Harper it meant Harper,
and therefore, a kind of book; not a rigid category, but a kind of
standard. Or there was Lippincott, or Scribners, or Doubleday. Lists
had a shape and a coloration. Harper in the Cass Canfield-Mike
Bessie-Evan Thomas heyday had a lock on public affairs books: they
published a lot of the Democrats in office, because Cass was an
important Democrat. Doubleday insisted that it didnt have any
politics, or any religion, meaning any single one, but you could tell
the lists had a certain distinction, along with a great deal of
out-and-out commercial publishing. Nowadays, were all after the same
books. Again, Im over-generalizing.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: You mean youre after the same types of
SAM VAUGHAN: Types of books, and, sometimes, literally the
same books. You cant tell much about who the house is, and much about
the general run of publishers, with distinctive exceptions: New
Directions, Farrar, Strauss, and, to an extent, Knopf, but Im still
not getting at what really counts. With the disappearance of the names
well, the names may remain but the people who bore them are not
there. All of the standards and fancies and prejudices of the people who
owned the name are gone. It used to be that, as I say, a house wouldnt
do a certain kind of book because it wasnt us. These
days, I dont see that happening. Also, there was an air in the
well-known houses of I dont know if noblesse oblige is the
word or not. We felt we had a duty to publish poetry, for instance. We
might or might not have had certain editors who loved poetry, but the
attitude of the house was that we published some poetry; I dont see
that, currently, in many places.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Would you talk about your term, or your
stay, at Doubleday? You were not only an editor, but also
editor-in-chief and publisher. What did you do you, how did you manage,
that triune obligation?
SAM VAUGHAN: I think I told you I worked in several
departments before I got to editing books. I wanted to edit books; but Im
far from sorry I worked in other departments. And, eventually, I was
executive editor, which meant, in those days, number two. I thought in
due course I could become the editor-in-chief. But when the general
manager of the Doubleday division left to go to Houghton Mifflin, a man
named David Replogle (like the globes), I inquired of his superior the
names on the list of candidates. I wanted see whether they included
people I could live with. He showed me the list and asked, Do you
want to be on it? I said I hadnt thought of that. He put my
name on the list, and they offered me a job as publisher.
Nicely enough, the title of publisher had not been used since the
time of the original Frank Nelson Doubleday, who founded the company.
The term publisher was not commonly used in trade publishing
at that point, though its now used everywhere. To be called a
publisher was kind of an honorific; it was something people said about
you, rather than what you said about yourself. But it was so nice of
them that I accepted. It pleased the ham in me. But I said, I will
only do it if I can continue to edit some books every year, because I
dont want to be divorced from editing. I like the craft part of
it. So, that was the deal. I did it for about a dozen years, and
then I did become editor-in-chief, which was really a lateral move, but
they wanted to get me out of the chair I was in. And I did that for a
couple of years, until I decided to leave.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: I will quote to you from something you
wrote: Among the roles of the publisher are to help console the
author during the temper tantrums, to soothe his paranoia, to stimulate
him when he is blocked, and so on.
SAM VAUGHAN: I resisted the title of publisher in part because
I always felt that the publisher was the person who put up the money.
Somebody has to pay for all of this exercise. Then I came to realize
that that power or authority could be delegated to you, so I was really
delegated to spend Mr. Doubledays money, or the familys money, by
investing in several hundred new books each year, and tending to that
big back list I mentioned. The way I saw the role was like how
Fitzgerald, in a wonderful passage in THE LAST TYCOON,
understood the studio system. He said something like this: You can
take Hollywood for granted like I did, or you can dismiss it with the
contempt we reserve for what we dont understand. It can be
understood, too, but only dimly and in flashes. Not half a dozen men
have ever been able to keep the whole equation of pictures in their
And the equation of the publishing business is what I think I
understood, and what the publisher is asked to understand and to deal
with. It is the major elements that the publisher can affect. I liked
all parts of publishing. I like the editorial job; I like the publishing
and promotion, the advertising job; I like the sales jobs. It was
important to me to give everybody a fair shake. I used to have a weekly
publishing meeting, which I was asked to run, because Mr. Doubleday
wanted to be sure that everybodys point of view should be represented
who had a right to be heard. I had no trouble with that. Thats the
way Eisenhower ran his cabinet, and the way I dont think a cabinet
has been run since, which is: everybody has a right to speak on any
aspect they want, but in the end, you know where the buck stops, and
where you say yes or no. I liked the power, if you will, of saying yes
more than anything else about the job. I was willing to use that power
to say no. I tried to say it as rarely as possible, but you had
to, sometimes. I also liked the chance to let everybody be heard.
Because when you have six or seven or eight departments represented, youre
beginning to get a little cross-section of America. As Mr. Clinton would
say, Its inclusive.
The publisher has to have some role in maintaining standards. That
is, is the book good enough of its kind? Now in a big house you cant
know all of the books, so you have to bet on the people rather than the
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: The people meaning, your
SAM VAUGHAN: Right. There were some people, some editors, say,
who were sponsoring books whose word I would take absolutely; and there
were others I might have some question about. But if the house has
We were once confronted with a proposal to publish, or reprint, the
official Nazi Party handbook. It was so banal and so bureaucratic, so
much a run-of-the-the-mill sort of document, that it was chilling. What
really pleased me was that a young editor came into my office after our
meeting. He was steamed! I thought he was going to take my head off. He
said, You cant publish that book! I said, Why
not? And he said, Its a terrible book! If it gets into
the wrong hands it would His name was Mark Haefele. I explained
to Mark that the question of that particular grotesquerie in history had
been much discussed at the time of MEIN KAMPF,
when Houghton Mifflin was offered it. They had decided to do it, but I
think not without a lot of debate. I said, Weve decided not to
publish this Nazi Party handbook, but not for the reason you give. Yes,
it might fall into the wrong hands, but it will also fall into the right
hands, and it will show how bureaucratically, how systematically evil
can be organized.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: And why did you decide not to do it?
SAM VAUGHAN: It was a question of a crowded list, and how much
attention would we have to give it? Youd spend a lot of time
explaining it away, I guess. But I was pleased with him for caring.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Along that line, are there books or
authors you passed on that you later regret having lost, or not having
SAM VAUGHAN: Sure. Im afraid the list would be longer than
I care to remember. One of them was just a simple business decision: I
was friendly with a writer named Jim Fixx. I knew him when he had just
been fired as the editor of Life magazine. I said, What are
you doing? He said, Not much, Ive joined Mensa just for
the hell of it. I said, Whats that like? And he
said, Its not too tough. You dont have to be all that
smart. So I said, You know, Jim, if you have nothing to do,
we have some interesting books on back list involving games. You might
do a book of games for super-intelligent people, who are really smart,
and believe it. He did that. He wrote a little book called GAMES
FOR THE SUPERINTELLIGENT. It sold a lot of copies, and so we did
Next, he sent a proposal for a book about running. His agent wanted
some outrageous sum of money, $25,000 or $35,000.
As it happened, I knew something about running. Now, a publisher should
guard his ignorance; but I had a friend who was an expert in running and
track and field; Id been hearing about running for years; and
therefore, I thought the running wave had come and curled and crashed.
So I decided not to put the money up. The book became a number one
best-seller for Random House. I wrote him a letter saying, It
looks like I goofed. Thats the type of book that you turn down
with no great issue involved. But I think you want something more
profound than that.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: I am thinking for example about Mike
Bessie turning down Frantz Fanons THE WRETCHED OF THE
EARTH, which is still a bit of a scandal, I suppose, in
that household. [See Archipelago, Vol. 1,
No. 4] He also turned down LOLITA.
You didnt turn down LOLITA; or did you?
SAM VAUGHAN: LOLITA was, in effect,
declined but I didnt personally do it. Did I tell you it had been
previewed by Jason Epstein in the Anchor Review? Well, it is
interesting, because it does reflect on that house culture
business. I first heard about LOLITA from Jason; I
think I was in sales then. He gave me the Olympia Press edition. I read
it over a weekend. I thought it was pretty interesting, not very
pornographic, certainly not terribly erotic. But the talk about it was,
it was dirty. Jason was doing a periodical then, a journal called the Anchor
Review, in the Anchorbooks format. He put a piece of it in the Anchor
Review, I think to sort of test-fly it. But it didnt succeed,
because the word had proceeded the book that it was really dirty or
pornographic, so he wasnt allowed to do it.
Now, you take that decision for what it is; but theres also
background. Not many years before, the same house [Doubleday] I wasnt
there then published Edmund Wilsons MEMOIRS OF
HECATE COUNTY, a novel which was also accused of being scandalous
or pornographic. The house defended it in the Supreme Court, I think, or
the Supreme Court of New York State; and lost. They lost in court, and,
I guess, lost on appeal, or couldnt appeal, I dont know which; but
the book couldnt be sold in New York, for quite awhile. I think that
experience soured the chairman, who was himself a lawyer. I think he had
gone to the mat for the earlier book, and he didnt want that
exhaustion and expense, and also, being typecast, again. Now, Im
giving this to you secondhand. So, you see, there was a context for the
declining of LOLITA.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: What comes to mind is that book by John de
St. Jorre about the Olympia Press, VENUS BOUND. A
little sideline: I remember when The New Yorker published the
chapter from that book about Dominique Aury as being the real author of THE
STORY OF O. My husband [Lee Goerner, late editor and publisher
of Atheneum] and I were having dinner with an Italian publisher, who
said, Why did they publish that chapter? We all knew she was the
one. Lee and I looked at each other and looked away. We
SAM VAUGHAN: I loved working with St. Jorre on his book
because it was written in so cheerful a manner. It was great fun; it was
full of publishing lore. I didnt think it would sell very well,
because the number of people interested in the backstage lore of
publishing did not seem to be enormous.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: I notice that readers do seem to follow
this series in Archipelago of conversations with publishers; so I
think, yes, there is some sort of interest. I cant put my finger on
it, except that people want to know how things work. Not necessarily
technically they want to know who these people are.
SAM VAUGHAN: I think youre right. Its become much more
so as publishing people get to be much more visible. It used to be part
of the compact that you stayed out of sight, that the gentlemanly publishers didnt care to be identified. You
were publishing your authors; they were the ones who went public. But
that has all gone by the board. The celebrity editor is a feature of the
current scene. Michael Kordas book [ANOTHER LIFE]
is coming out here [at Random House], and the expectation is that
he will sell very well, because hes a good storyteller.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: He is, in a certain way, a popular writer.
SAM VAUGHAN: Yes I think thats true, and I dont think he
is striving for any more than that.
The editor, retired
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Would you repeat what Jason Epstein said
SAM VAUGHAN: The reason we were chuckling about Jason was, he
said in retirement he only wanted to do about eight or ten
books a year. Well, if you want to have eight or ten published books a
year, you have to be working with 30 or 40
or 50 authors, because they dont all deliver at
the same time. Some authors take a year to write a book, and some take a
lifetime. Your network, or your stable, or whatever unlovely image you
use, has to be fairly sizable. This has nothing to do with the things
that come in under the heading of serendipity.
Throughout most of my working life as an editor, I felt I should
produce between ten and 20 published books a year.
Some years more, some years less. Increasingly, its become a matter
of doing less, partly because the amount of preparation time each book
takes is much more than it used to take. You want to produce enough
books to pay your way; but you also cannot produce as many books as you
might, say, edit, because editing is not the sum total of what you do.
You have to reserve part of your time and energy for the promotion of
that book, and the author of that book, within the house, and then a
certain amount of it outside the house. At the moment, Im only
working on three or four books actively, which are in some stage of
publication or other. Ordinarily, it would be many more.
I had a book a couple of years ago by a super photographer, on pickup
trucks. If the agent had sent it to me six weeks before, I would have
sent it right back. But in the intervening six weeks, I had been West
with my sons, and my youngest son was crazy to have a pickup truck, and
that dialed me into the American love of that particular kind of
vehicle. And so we did a book which was a-typical for me, and it sold
extremely well, which is a-typical for me. Thats strictly
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: This is worth saying, too: youve talked
about how authors really dont like to know that their editor is
working with other writers.
SAM VAUGHAN: Ideally, not. The writer wants to think that he
or she is the editors
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: the editors only love!
SAM VAUGHAN: He might have a couple of others, in principle.
But, as one of my authors, Fannie Flagg, says: Dont tell me
about the others! You may have other people, but I dont want to hear
about them, or their work! Thats understandable. A writer wants
almost exclusivity. The writer wants prompt response, which Ive never
been good at, but the editor who reads the manuscript overnight is
beloved by his author. There are some, like Bob Gottlieb and others, who
will do that, or will do it on occasion.
What I try to practice is what I call the slap-and-pat theory
of editing. Almost everything thats written needs some criticism.
Almost everything thats written needs some praise, or deserves some
praise. So you try to mix praise with criticism. Ideally, you do it
sincerely. That is, you dont praise what you really dont like; but
you praise what you really do like. You dont write 12
pages of things that are wrong, without remembering to find something
else you like, that is already right. Theres a theory of editing that
says you should read with a pencil in your hand; and theres an
opposing theory which says you should put the pencil away. I do it
sometimes one way, and sometimes the other.
Occasionally, there is a manuscript which doesnt need a thing.
That has happened, in the years Ive been doing this, two or three
times. I wish I could retrieve the authors names: they deserve to be
enshrined. There is a kind of writer who is thoroughly professional. One
of my mentors, Lee Barker, really admired the thoroughly professional
writer. The one who doesnt whine. The one who delivers on time.
The one who delivers a clean manuscript which used to be more of a
problem than it is now. The one who doesnt need a lot of line-by-line
work. Ive had the happy experience of reading something and saying, This will do fine. But most things some of the best
things do deserve some talking over and/or working over.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: In one of your pieces, you quoted Robert
Giroux on the difference between line editing and book editing. Giroux
said: The truth is that editing lines is not necessarily the same
as editing a book. A book is a much more complicated entity and totality
than the sum of its lines alone. Its structural integrity, the relation
and proportions of its parts, and its total impact could escape even a
conscientious editor exclusively intent on vetting the book line by
SAM VAUGHAN: Im still a little shocked by the fact that
some editors, apparently, feel that they only have to do the big stuff,
and they leave the lines for somebody else. You can leave it for the
copy editor. I have great regard for copy editors: they make the author
and the editor respectable. But I dont leave anything undone on a
manuscript that I think I can do, even if I overlap with the copy
editor. Now, my sense of punctuation is as erratic as the next guys.
But some other things I think I know something about.
One colleague of mine, Betty Prashker, said she likes to edit the
authors head: by which she means, the kind of editing she enjoys is
talking over the manuscript with the author. Thats distinct from
laying a hand on the manuscript. And I like that, too, although Ive
never found it wholly satisfying; but its terribly important, and
there are some editors who seem to practice their trade that way.
Some editors are demon line-editors. The danger Bob Giroux speaks of
there is, you can spend a lot of time in the trees, and miss
you-know-what. Im beginning to edit a novel right now. Ive talked
it over with the author. Im now going to write him a ruminative kind
of paper, and talk it over further, because talking with him at first
has clarified his intentions, and therefore, my thoughts; and so, Im
going to do a gabby paper which will go further with that process. Then,
he will revise and extend what hes done, and hell give it to me
again, and Ill begin to edit, coming in closer on lines. Its kind
of a long way around, but it works for him and me. I will edit it
several times. And he is a famous, very professional writer.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: I can imagine how many writers will read
what youve just said, and sigh.
SAM VAUGHAN: There is a lot of useful wasting of time between
the writer and the editor. I told you we went last night to see this
tribute to Mike Nichols, at the Lincoln Center Film Society, and they
were talking about how effective he is as a director. He uses a lot of
metaphors, he quotes from a lot of other people, and he quotes from a
lot of movies. He doesnt tell actors how to act: he tries to put
things in their heads which will bring out the best in them. Thats
analogous to a certain part of editing. You just have to talk for a
while; or, if you cant get together, write back and forth, and see
what erupts. By the way, the art of letter writing is not dead; its
alive and well.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: You like writing. Its clear in the
publications youve been good enough to send me: theres an obvious
pleasure in the sentences.
SAM VAUGHAN: I do find pleasure in the play of language and
ideas. I also write, as many people have said before me, to find out
what I have to say. I write to clarify my own thoughts, or to bring some
order to them. Recently, I sent a young scholar-writer an e-mail letter,
talking about her book; and, 24 hours later, sent
her another one, which turned out to be the one I should have written in
the first place. But having written a decidedly imperfect one the day
before, that second one helped me to crystallize what I really wanted to
encourage her to do. And she said so; but that was fine she was
ready to quit after the first letter, and she was happy after the
The community of the book
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Id like to ask the question,
Do we have literary culture? But I think Ill alter it because I
like very much your expression the community of the book.
Would you speak about that?
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, I dont want to grapple with whether we
have a literary culture. It usually satisfies a need, speaking of needs,
of certain writers and publishing people to think we have a culture that
is antagonistic to the writer, to the poet or painter. But, quite apart
from that, to whatever degree its true or false, we do have a
community of the book. If you take the librarians and the teachers and
the booksellers, and the writers and the editors and publishers of all
stripes, and the people connected with the process at one remove, the
printers or sales reps: they all, when you press them against the wall,
would say they are in favor of the book. Theres a kind of
friendliness toward the book; theres still a kind of respect that the
book doesnt always deserve. Even though we dont elevate our
writers to the status of the National Academy of France very often,
theres still a kind of automatic respect for the book which I
think we are eroding, by the way, with promiscuous publishing and
promiscuous writing. But its still there.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Would you illustrate what you just said?
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, at the moment, Im very conscious about
having read last week a book-industry study-group report which says that
the sales of the general trade books are off by three percent from the
previous year, something like that. So far, we havent heard the
beating of the breasts, which is the favorite background music of
publishing. I flip through the pages of the Times Book Review,
and I find it basically boring. And if I find it boring and I make
my life out of it what must other people think of it? We all have
civilian friends who are not part of an active literary culture, but
they are literate, and they read books, and theyre not slaves to
reading, but they want books as part of their lives. One of them said to
me one day, about certain people who were getting a lot of attention, Who are these people? Why should we pay attention?
Thats not a bad question.
Also, theres a question of the books reliability. Once, a
reader tended to believe more of what was in a book than was in the Daily
News or the National Enquirer. That was based on the research
necessary, the time and art a book required. These years, we are
publishing books by well-known authors, books of presumed facts, which
are as unreliable, as unsourced, as the Internet. There is
much talk about how journalistic standards have slipped. Whether thats
true or not, there are writers and editors who dont seem to have a
grasp of even the most rudimentary journalistic standards.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: You wrote an article for Daedalus
called The Community of the Book, which opens: The
community of the book, it seems safe to assume, consists of those for
whom the written word, especially as expressed in printed and bound
volumes, is of the first importance. Little else may be safely assumed,
including the question of whether it is, in fact, a community.
Its a lovely piece, and perhaps replies to my earlier question as
well as any response might. I was quite taken, as well, by this: Lets look briefly at two of our common concerns reading
and, that neglected and maligned figure, the reader. In all of
this, your special concern has been for the reader. You are very much, I
think, as an editor, on the side of the reader: not as opposed to the
writer, by any means, but, youre definitely there for the reader.
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, I think the reader has rights. They have
the right to say, I like it or I dont. They
dont have to articulate why. They have the right, in most cases, to
clear writing, not willful obfuscation. Theres a difference, as you
well know, between the subtleties of art and what I see is an almost
perversely obscure style on the part of some writers. Readers are
usually willing to work pretty hard, especially if theyve bought the
book and taken it home. The idea of the coffee table book that sits
there unread: I never have believed that. If you like to read, and youve
paid 30 bucks for a book, youre going to work
pretty hard to read it. In all the criticisms of publishing and our
consumer society, theres not enough standing-up for the reader. The
reader doesnt have a single voice.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Nor should it be a single voice. There
should be any number of voices.
SAM VAUGHAN: Right. Readers have the power of the purse, and
when they exercise it negatively, I cant get angry. Also, another
thing, and I think its related, because I think theres a value
which makes the reader not just a reader. The reader completes the
creative act, closes the circuit. The writer puts down words which
attempt to convey a vision or a version of reality, say, and the reader
follows through, finishes the vision, and of course affects it. It is a
creative act complementary to the writers original act. We all know
that novels, poems, essays and short stories compete with movies and
plays and television and so forth. Many people participate in all of
those, or lots of them. They go in and out of them with varying degrees
of intensity. Im one of them. I go to the theater not at all for two
years, and then I go to five plays. If the theater can hold me, I keep
going back, and if it disappoints me, I turn away, at least for awhile.
I think that happens with books, too. There is a moment where you look
at the papers and you say, Theres not a movie I want to
see! You look at television and say, Theres nothing on
that I want to see. You look at the book pages and say, Theres nothing I want to read. We are really trying to
say something more than that.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: There are surely books that you havent
read that you mean to.
SAM VAUGHAN: Oh, really. (laughter)
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Lets say you can go into
book-hibernation this summer: what would you read?
SAM VAUGHAN: Well, at the moment, Im not waiting for the
summer, or hibernation, which may never come. Im listening to a
series of tapes, in the car, of lectures by acclaimed professors of the
intellectual tradition of the West, about which I can tell you not three
sentences. It starts with Acquinas and goes through Machiavelli, so far,
in whom Im deeply interested, by the way. There is a great blank in
my education, and so, this is part of high school at home or, college
at home. Im enjoying them so far, and I hope to continue. Thats
because I dont have much personal reading time, but the car is
useful. The recorded cassette, by the way, the audio cassette, limped
along for years and didnt catch on. Something caused it to catch on a
few years back; I dont know what it was.
KATHERINE MCNAMARA: Yes; but it has caught on. I often travel
long distances by car, and recently began listening to taped books while
driving. That is how I came to hear Jeremy Irons read LOLITA.
He has a voice every bit as beautiful as James Masons, yet very
different from it, and, it seems to me, is reading that extraordinary
novel with the most perfect intonation. Now Im listening to a BBC
production of the New Testament. Ive never read the New Testament
entire, and listening to it (perhaps because of those British accents)
helps me understand a bit better why Nietzsche disliked Christianity. Im
surprised at that. The Gospel of St. John, on the other hand, is
lovable. Ive listened, also, to Shelby Foote read his book about the
siege of Natchez. Once certain books were available unabridged on tape,
I began to listen.
SAM VAUGHAN: It would be a good thing for all of us, not as
duty, but because it feels good, to start each day, as some writers do,
with a reading of the Old Testament; or, by listening to it. It is good
in the same way that symphonic or classical music clears the mind and
the head and the soul, all at once. It makes life seem more orderly and
also longer-range, beyond the moment. You get a feeling of continuity
when you absorb some of that beauty and serenity.
In late May of this year, Bertelsmann A. G.,
the German publishing corporation that owns Random House, Inc.
(including Knopf, Random House, Vintage, Pantheon, and other imprints)
and Doubleday/Bantam/Dell (which includes other imprints, as well),
announced that several formerly quite distinct imprints
(units, the New York Times called them) would be
combined, including the distinguished but quite different paperback
imprints Vintage (part of Knopf) and Anchor (part of Doubleday), which
will have one director. Said the Times: Critics call the
move a triumph of corporate organization over literary values. While no doubt over-simplifying the matter, the Times alarm was muted
compared to the dismay heard among various editors and agents. In
particular, women I spoke to were unhappy because so few of their sex
remained at the highest levels. I phoned Sam Vaughan to ask what he knew
about the reorganization, and what he thought about it. A man who,
perhaps above all else that he stands for, wishes to speak accurately,
he was reluctant to comment publicly before all the facts were in.
(Selected) publications by Samuel S. Vaughan:
Books for Children:
WHOEVER HEARD OF KANGAROO EGGS? (New York: Doubleday, 1957
& London: Worlds Work)
NEW SHOES (New York: Doubleday, 1961 & London: Worlds Work)
THE TWO-THIRTY BIRD (W.W. Norton, 1965. Reprinted by Grossett &
Science Service, and Young Readers Press)
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (Pseudonymous; illus. Tony Ross.) (Doubleday,
THE LITTLE CHURCH (Privately published history, 1969)
Principal author, THE ACCIDENTAL PROFESSION (Association of American
MEDIUM RARE: A Look at the Book and Its People (Bowker, 1977)
Articles in The New York Times, The Sunday Times (London),
Essays and notes on, inter alia, William Goyen, George
Garrett, Wallace Stegner, Willlie
The Lion Smith, William F. Buckley
Letter from the Editor, EDITORS ON EDITING, ed. Gerald
Gross (Harper, 1985)
The State of the Heart. THE BUSINESS OF BOOK PUBLISHING
(Westview Press, 1985)
The Community of the Book, Daedalus, 1983.
Reprinted in READING IN THE 80s
(Bowker, 1983) and in LIBRARY LIT The Best of 1984 (Scarecrow Press,
The Question of Biography (with Daniel Boorstin, Edmund
Morris, James Thomas Flexner,
David McCullough), BIOGRAPHY AND BOOKS (Library of Congress, 1985)
The Magic is in the Mysteries, MY FIRST YEAR IN BOOK
PUBLISHING, ed. Lisa Healey
(Some of the) Authors Sam Vaughan has edited or published:
Diane Ackerman, Shana Alexander, Stephen Ambrose, Patrick Anderson,
Bernard Asbell, Isaac Asimov, Laurence Barrett, Dave Barry, Brendan
Behan, Ezra Taft Benson, Bill Bradley, Brassaï, William F. Buckley,
Jr., Herb Caen, Hortense Calisher, Bruce Catton, Charlotte
Chandler/Fellini, Joanne Ciulla, George Cuomo, Max Eastman, Dwight D.,
Milton, and John S.D. Eisenhower, Duke Ellington, Paul Erdman, Fannie
Flagg, Sarah Gainham, Ernest K. Gann, Larry Gelbart, Winston Graham,
George Garrett, Ruth Gordon, William Goyen, Hannah Green, Josh
Greenfield, Leonard Gross, Arthur Hailey, Alex Haley, Marilyn Harris,
William Harrison, W.C. Heinz, Mohamed Heikal, Patty Hearst, Thor
Heyerdahl, Sir Edmund Hillary, Rolaine Hochstein, Hubert H. Humphrey,
J.R. Humphreys, Hammond Innes, Roger Kahn, Garson Kanin, Dr. Fred
Kantrowitz, Richard Ketchum, Marvin Kitman, Stephen King, F. Sionil
José, Eric Larabee, Gordon Lish, Alistair MacLean, D. Keith Mano, Kai
Maristed, John Bartlow Martin, Martin Mayer, Eugene McCarthy, James
Michener, James Mills, Gilbert Millstein, Malvin Moscow, Edmund Muskie,
Paul Nagel, N. Richard Nash, David Niven, Louis Nizer, William Abrahams
& the O. Henry Prize Stories, Jake Page, William Paley, Joe
Paterno, Stanley Pottinger, Jean-Francois Revel, Nelson Rockefeller,
William Safire, Pierre Salinger, Harrison Salisbury, Jonathan Schwartz,
Winfield Townley Scott, W.B. Seitz, Israel Shenker, Bud Shrake, Nancy
Sinatra, David Slavitt, Wilbur Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Wallace
Stegner, Alma Stone, Irving Stone, Lewis L. Strauss, Gay Talese,
Alexander Theroux, Tommy Thompson, Ann Thwaite, Henri Troyat, Margaret
Truman, Leon Uris, Immanuel Velikovsky, Earl Warren, Peter Watson, Tom
Wicker, Paul Wilkes, Lauren Wolk, Yevtushenko.
Books Mentioned in this Article:
American Medical Association, GRAYS ANATOMY OF THE HUMAN BODY
______, MERCK MANUAL
American Red Cross Staff, RED CROSS HANDBOOKS
Bernard Asbell, THE F.D.R. MEMOIRS
Clifford Ashley, THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS
Ezra Taft Benson, FREEDOM TO FARM
Tom Brokaw, THE GREATEST GENERATION
Joseph Conrad, LORD JIM
______, THE RESCUE
Don DeLillo, UNDERWORLD
Theodore Dreiser, SISTER CARRIE
Dwight D. Eisenhower, CRUSADE IN EUROPE
Frantz Fanon, THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH
Edna Ferber, CIMARRON
______, ICE PALACE
______, SARATOGA TRUNK
______, SHOW BOAT
______, SO BIG
F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE LAST TYCOON
Jim Fixx, GAMES FOR THE SUPERINTELLIGENT
Fanny Flagg, WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY GIRL
______, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLESTOP CAFÉ
Anne Frank, THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL
Charles Frazier, COLD MOUNTAIN
George Garrett, THE DEATH OF THE FOX
______, DO, LORD, REMEMBER ME
______, ENTERED FROM THE SUN
______, THE SUCCESSION
Susan Garrett, TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN
______, MILES TO GO: Aging in Rural Virginia
Sarah Glasscock, ANNA L.M.N.O.
Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, BEYOND THE MELTING POT
______, David Riesman, Reuel Denney, THE LONELY CROWD
Hannah Green, THE DEAD OF THE HOUSE
David Guterson, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS
Alex Haley, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X
Adolph Hitler, MEIN KAMPF
Aldous Huxley, EYELESS IN GAZA
Peter Jennings, THE CENTURY
Rudyard Kipling, THE JUNGLE BOOKS
______, JUST SO STORIES
______, THE LIGHT THAT FAILED
______, SOLDIERS THREE
______, CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
John A. Kouwenhoven, COLUMBIA HISTORICAL PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK
Michael Korda, ANOTHER LIFE
Sinclair Lewis, BABBITT
Richard Llewellyn, MR. HAMISH GLEAVE
André Malraux, VOICES OF SILENCE
W. Somerset Maugham, CAKES AND ALE
______, COMPLETE SHORT STORIES
______, OF HUMAN BONDANGE
Vladimir Nabokov, LOLITA
Fulton Oursler, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Pauline Réage, THE STORY OF O.
David Riesman, Nathan Glazer, Reuel Denney THE LONELY CROWD
Robert Ruark, SOMETHING OF VALUE
Olive Schreiner, THE STORY OF AN AFRICAN FARM
John de St. Jorre, VENUS BOUND
Irving Stone, The AGONY AND THE ECSTASY
______, LUST FOR LIFE
______, MEN TO MATCH MY MOUNTAINS
______, THE PRESIDENTS LADY
______, THE PASSIONS OF THE MIND
Lewis Strauss, MEN AND DECISIONS
Frederick Warburg, AN OCCUPATION FOR A GENTLEMAN
William Hollingsworth Whyte, THE ORGANIZATION MAN
Edmund Wilson, MEMOIRS OF HECATE COUNTY
Herman Wouk, MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR
Leon Uris, EXODUS
Conversation with Marion
Boyars, Vol. 1, No. 3
Conversation with Cornelia and Michael Bessie, Vol. 1, No.
Vol. 2, No. 1
Conversation with William
Strachan, Vol. 2, No. 4
George Garrett, Whatever He Says Is Gospel
Endnotes: On Memory