By Nicholas A. Basbanes
For Yale collage Press, which celebrates its hundredth birthday in 2008, the century has been an eventful one, punctuated without few surprises. the click has released greater than 8,000 volumes over the years, rankings of bestsellers and award-winners between them, and those books have come to fruition during the efforts of a bunch of colourful authors, editors, administrators, board contributors, and others of highbrow and literary renown.
With an ear continuously cocked for a fascinating story, one among today’s top storytellers offers an anecdote-rich chronicle of the Press’s first a hundred years. Nicholas Basbanes, whom David McCullough has referred to as the top authority of books approximately books,” quick convinces us that the Press’s historical past, whereas bookish, can be vigorous and engaging. Basbanes explores the saga at the back of the purchase of Eugene O’Neill’s blockbuster play, the best-ever Yale bestseller Long Day’s trip into Night; the talk sparked in 1965 via ebook of The Vinland Map; the origins of the groundbreaking Annals of Communism sequence, initiated within the wake of the Soviet Union’s dying; and plenty of extra highlights from Press annals. Basbanes seems on the purposes at the back of the publisher’s extraordinary monetary good fortune, and he completes A global of Letters with a glimpse on the new tasks that may propel the clicking right into a moment fascinating century.
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Extra info for A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008
Brilliantly titled, in what had to be a moment of inspiration, The Lonely Crowd, the book grew out of research conducted in 1948 and 1949 by David Riesman at the invitation of the Yale Committee on National Policy. A respected sociologist and one-time constitutional lawyer who clerked for Justice Louis Brandeis, Riesman was assisted by two colleagues, Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer. “Our study was an ambitious eﬀort at synthesis,” he explained several years later, describing their work in New Haven as a telling example of what in recent times has been called an “interdisciplinary approach” to scholarship, which in this t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s 39 case involved examination of materials in philosophy, history, popular culture, psychoanalysis, and sociology.
Here is what O’Neill had written, and what his wife had missed: “God bless you, Kid. (His eyes close. ” The very evening of that discovery, March delivered the recovered line on stage, and it has remained in every production since. By the time the sixty-ﬁrst printing came around in 1989, another major correction had been discovered by textual scholars, this one clarifying the drug addiction of O’Neill’s mother with the restoration of these lines: “It’s a special kind of medicine. ” For the play’s golden anniversary as a Yale title, a new paperback edition 46 t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s featuring bright new cover art was issued.
When we insisted that Random House could not in conscience publish it, she demanded that we give her the manuscript—it was her legal property—and Yale University Press, apparently caring as little as she did about what O’Neill had wanted, published it promptly. ” Sensitive to charges that Yale had perhaps jumped too enthusiastically at publishing what was clearly a seductive target of opportunity, University Librarian James T. ” Cerf did not come right out and say in his memoir that a principal reason he may have rebuﬀed Carlotta was because he disliked her intensely, but his antipathy for her is nowhere disguised in his memoir.