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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

he couldn't compose it for her that night. I was singing it in advance.

Q:

This is why that you wanted to play jokes on him though-- because he just asked for it.

Cerf:

He asked for it.

Q:

Now let's turn to the time in 1944 when you, along with the Book-of-the-Month Club, Harper's, Scribner's and Little Brown bought Grosset and Dunlap. I know that Grosset and Dunlap was a reprint publisher. Why did you all buy it?

Cerf:

By this time Pocketbooks had started. It was owned by Simon and Schuster and was virtually the only paperback company in America. They were beginning to do an enormous business. Suddenly one day Donald Grosset, the son of Alex Grosset who was one of the founders of Grosset and Dunlap, came to me in a panic and said, “Marshall Field, who has bought pocketbooks in Simon and Schuster, is now going to buy Grosset and Dunlap.” Through the machinations of Simon and Schuster's financial genius, Mr. Leon Shimkin, the deal had been all set up and that he was going to be fired he knew. They weren't going to keep him, and a lot of old Grosset people, a lot of faithful old retainers were going to be bounced out. He was desperate and asked, “Couldn't we buy Grosset and Dunlap instead of Marshall Field?”



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