Download A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008 by Nicholas A. Basbanes PDF

By Nicholas A. Basbanes

For Yale college Press, which celebrates its hundredth birthday in 2008, the century has been an eventful one, punctuated without few surprises. the clicking has released greater than 8,000 volumes over the years, rankings of bestsellers and award-winners between them, and those books have come to fruition throughout the efforts of a number of colourful authors, editors, administrators, board participants, and others of highbrow and literary renown.

With an ear consistently cocked for an enticing story, considered one of today’s top storytellers offers an anecdote-rich chronicle of the Press’s first a hundred years. Nicholas Basbanes, whom David McCullough has referred to as “the major authority of books approximately books,” speedy convinces us that the Press’s historical past, whereas bookish, can be energetic and engaging. Basbanes explores the saga at the back of the purchase of Eugene O’Neill’s blockbuster play, the best-ever Yale bestseller Long Day’s trip into Night; the debate sparked in 1965 by means of e-book of The Vinland Map; the origins of the groundbreaking Annals of Communism sequence, initiated within the wake of the Soviet Union’s loss of life; and lots of extra highlights from Press annals. Basbanes seems on the purposes at the back of the publisher’s striking monetary good fortune, and he completes A global of Letters with a glimpse on the new tasks that may propel the clicking right into a moment intriguing century.

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O’Neill’s son, moreover, earned his bachelor and doctoral degrees from Yale, and the university’s Sterling Library had been designated the repository of his literary archives. Publication of the play in 1956 was timed to coincide with a premier production in Stockholm. A successful run there led to a standing-room-only opening on Broadway, with Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Jason Robards, and Bradford Dillman in the starring roles. Tony awards for 1957 followed for best play and best actor for March; an unprecedented fourth Pulitzer Prize for O’Neill ensued.

It began its existence as a research project conducted at the behest of a major university, and the findings were reported to the world by a publishing entity that carried the name of the sponsoring institution. Just as relevant, it stimulated a dialogue—people outside the academy talked about it with earnestness and conviction—and was controversial in productive ways. 40 t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s According to a 1997 study conducted by the sociologist Herbert J. Gans, The Lonely Crowd is the best-selling book in the history of American sociology.

White, the fifth book of the Arthurian epic; One Writer’s Beginnings, a charming memoir of growing up in Mississippi by the great Southern writer Eudora Welty, made its way onto the New York Times Best-Seller List shortly after its release in 1984 by Harvard University Press. A true oddity among scholarly imprints was the publication in 1974 by the University of Alabama Press of Storyville, New Orleans: Being an Authentic, Illustrated Account of the Notorious Red-Light District, by Al Rose, not so much for the saucy nature of the subject matter, but for the fact that the 38 t h e f or m at i v e dec ade s work became the basis of Louis Malle’s 1978 film, Pretty Baby, starring Brooke Shields, David Carradine, and Susan Sarandon.

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