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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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paperback over fifty cents. Atlas Shrugged was so long that it was priced at ninety-five cents. The wary but daring publisher soon found out that, if he had a book that was wanted in paperback, the price didn't really matter very much. Now the twenty-five cent paperback is gone. The fifty cent paperback is a rarity, and the average price I think is about a dollar and a quarter. If people want a book now, they will give anything under two dollars for it.

At any rate, Ayn and I became good friends. What I loved to do was trot her out for people who sneered at me for publishing her. Ayn would invariably charm them. For instance, Clifton Fadiman, who had snorted at the idea of our publishing Ayn Rand, sat up with her until about three in the morning one time. George Axelrod, the man who wrote The Seven Year Itch--he's always being analyzed--at the end of a long, long evening disappeared with Ayn into another room. We couldn't get George to go home. We were at Ayn's for dinner. Later that night he said, “She knows me better after five hours than my analyst does after five years.” She's a remarkable woman.

She's gradually, in my opinion, being ruined by her sycophants--a motley crew that make a living out of her. I won't mention their names.

Q:

Why does she let people do this if she's such a bright person?





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