Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

But you did a lot for publishing.

Cerf:

We did a lot for publishing:

You know, by an odd circumstance, we all happened to be Jewish, which again was an affront to the old guard who didn't think that Jews belonged in the publishing business. They still wish that we weren't there!

Q:

You were talking about Pantheon and that you liked them because of their foreign contacts. Pantheon also added to the Modern Library. You were able to use this in a lot of ways.

Cerf:

Both the Knopf and Pantheon back list titles were perfect for the Modern Library and for Vintage Books. Knopf had started Vintage Books, virtually over Alfred's dead body. This was one of Pat's great achievements. After Jason Epstein started Anchor Books for Doubleday? Pat reasoned, “Why should we give our books to Doubleday? Let's start our own paperback series.” Thus Vintage Books came into being and were progressing nicely when we took over.

Of course, the minute that we merged, we concentrated on the program. We saw in Vintage Books a great future and we were right. Today Vintage is a vital part of our business.

We often do books now simultaneously in a hardback edition and as a Vintage paperback. That's a new type of publishing because we find that the hardback books will go to the libraries and a certain number of opulent readers who detest paperback



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help