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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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how long he was to continue active or anything like....?


Absolutely. When you're a public company, you have to have contracts. He got a contract. Blanche got a contract. Every top editor at Knopf got a contract. We made certain that all of them would participate in this deal. They all got their share. We assured Alfred that we would have absolutely nothing to do with Knopf's editorial policy--a promise which we have scrupulously lived up to for two reasons. One, I'm a man of my word; and two, I'm scared to death of Alfred. If he starts roaring at me, I run!


But he's sort of gotten out of the business now, though.


Alfred is now seventy-six. He's just remarried. Blanche died last year, and he married a very lovely woman. She is not like Blanche. She doesn't know about the publishing business. She's not a rival to him. He only comes in one or two days a week. He's more or less letting go. He's still interested in the educational department and the history department. The Knopf history list is the best in the country. He's still talking to history professors. He's still interested in South American books, which he has published religiously, though very few of them ever showed a profit. His excellent music books for the most part have lost money, too. Many of the books that Alfred does lose money, but they're all distinguished publishing.

The books that he's most ashamed of are the ones that

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