Book Makers

British Publishing in the Twentieth Century

Iain Stevenson

Book Makers
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Iain Stevenson

Distributed for British Library

314 pages | 30 halftones | 6 7/10 x 9 6/10 | © 2010
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780712309615 Published April 2010 For sale in North and South America only

Book Makers presents an absorbing insider account of the changing environment of British book publishing during the twentieth century. Iain Stevenson has worked for some of Britain’s most well-known publishers, and he uses his personal experience to accurately detail how the industry grew from a small elite trade to a world-class business with enormous cultural influence. 

Organized chronologically by decade, Book Makers considers not only fiction and general trade publishing, but also academic, scientific, children’s, technical, and professional publishing. Stevenson profiles many key figures in the industry, such as educational publisher William Heinemann; Jonathan Cape, publisher of Ian Fleming’s James Bond series; Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books; Paul Hamlyn; and media mogul Robert Maxwell. The result is a fascinating tale of creative genius, individual endeavor, occasional subterfuge, and futuristic vision that over the century has made British book publishing incredibly successful—and that continues to further its central role today. Enlivened with Stevenson’s spirited anecdotes about his experiences, Book Makers will be entertaining reading for anyone concerned with the history of publishing and the future of the book.

Andrew Robinson | History Today

“[An] excellent and readable history.”

List of Illustrations

1   'The Magna Charta of the Book Trade' The beginning of modern publishing
2   'Books by the million' Publishing and the First World War
3   'Books fit for heroes' Reconstruction and renewal in British book publishing between the    
      Armistice and the Great Depression
4   'The Penguins are coming!" British publishing in the 1930s
5   'Winning on the Book Front' British book publishing in the Second World War and its 
6   'A Tonic for the Nation' British publishing in the 1950s
7   'From the end of the Chatterley ban to the Beatles' last LP' British publishing in the 1960s
8   'No more Gentlemen' British book publishing in the 1970s
9   'The End of the Affair' British publishing deregulated, 198095

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