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money with a very small publishing house was then--and is
today--almost impossible. So I suggested that they join up
with us. I said, “We've got the Modern Library and we're
building up a pretty good business, but we only have a few
famous authors. We have O'Neill and Jeffers but nobody else
big yet. You've got Faulkner and Dinesen. Together we'll march
straight into the major leagues.”
This appealed to Bob, and finally we arranged it. We
had to take Hal with us. We didn't want Hal. At the end of
a year we managed to buy him out.
How much did you buy Smith and Haas for?
I've forgotten the deal, but they came in as partners.
That would be interesting for a publishing memoir, if you
could get those figures.
Bob Haas came in as a full partner. Now he, Donald, and
I each owned one-third of Random House, and it stayed that way
until Haas decided a few years before he died that he wanted
to get out of Random House. He wanted to retire again. We
bought back his share.
Tying up with Smith and Haas really enlarged Random House,
First of all, we acquired Louise Bonino, who became our
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