This article is arranged according to the following outline:general publishing
The "Dutch Jerusalem"
In Germany and Austria
In Spain and Latin America
In Great Britain
In the United States
book clubs, reprints, and children's literature
after the 1970s
publishing of hebraica and judaica
Central and Western Europe
non-jewish publishers of judaica
In Great Britain
In Eastern Europe
In the United States
ha-kibbutz ha-me'uḤad/sifriat poalim
the institute for the translation of hebrew literature
jerusalem publishing house
rav kook institute
Jews joined the European publishing industry little more than three decades after its pioneering efforts, notably in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The first recorded Jewish printer of non-Hebrew books (possibly *Abraham b. Garton of Reggio di Calabria) published the outstanding fourth edition of Dante's Divina commedia (Naples, 1477), as a result of which he was bitterly attacked by a Christian rival who appended Erubescat Judeus infelix ("Let the unhappy Jew blush for shame") to his own edition of the Purgatorio (c. 1478). By this time Jews were evidently active in the Naples book trade, as they had been for some years as Hebrew printers in Italy as a whole. In its early stages, the printing industry was combined with book publishing, printers accepting, printing, and selling their works in one commercial venture. Prior to the expulsion from Spain (1492), Jews probably played an equally important part in printing there. During the 1470s, Juan de Lucena issued a prayer book (cituri, i.e., siddur) in Spanish, for which he was years later (as a New Christian) persecuted by the Inquisition. A more significant publishing achievement was that of Solomon b. Maimon Zalmati of Jativa, who in 1483 entered into partnership with two Christian printers with the aim of producing Christian theological works for the general market. They subsequently published Jaime Perez's commentary on Psalms (Valencia, 1484) and other works by the same writer, including his antisemitic Tractatus contra judaeos (1485). In neighboring Portugal, Jewish printer-publishers also attained eminence as pioneers before the general expulsion of 1497. Samuel de Ortas issued Tabulae tabularum coelestium motuum: sive almanach perpetuum (Leiria, 1496), a classic by the great astronomer Abraham *Zacuto.
Jewish activity in the sphere of general publishing was centered in Italy from the beginning of the 16th century. The *Soncino family, famous in early Hebrew printing, also produced a host of works in other languages. Gershom Soncino the elder, who studied the art of printing in Mainz, published a series of books in Latin and Italian from 1502 and for 25 years thereafter issued about 100 titles – about as many as he published in Hebrew over a longer period. As Hieronymus Soncinus, he produced only non-Hebrew works in Ancona and Cesena. Gershom's new edition of Petrarch (Fano, 1503) was dedicated to Cesare Borgia, and his literary editor, the humanist Lorenzo Abstemio (Bevilaqua), urged other Italian scholars to patronize the Soncino press. Gershom Soncino later published the statutes of the cities of Fano (1508), Jesi (1516), and Rimini (1525), as well as many other works for Christians, including the "Rules of the Franciscan Order" (Pesaro, 1507). Gershom Soceino produced his non-Hebrew books for non-Jewish readers. He was, however, compelled to abandon this activity in about 1527.
From the early 1550s onward, Yom Tov b. Levi *Athias (Jeronimo Vargas) published Spanish versions of Jewish liturgical works at Ferrara and, in collaboration with Abraham *Usque, issued the famous Ferrara Bible (1553) which appeared in separate editions for Jews and Christians. Abraham Usque later published other liturgical books for Jewish immigrants as well as works by Bernardim *Ribeiro, Alfonso de la *Torre, and his kinsman Samuel *Usque. The self-imposed Jewish censorship of Hebrew books after the burning of the Talmud in Rome (1553), the temporary persecution of newly arrived Marranos, and Church interference in Jewish affairs all led to the eventual abandonment of vernacular publishing by Italian Jews. However, the physician Jacob Marcaria, who operated a Hebrew press in Riva di Trento (1558–62), was the unofficial publisher of speeches and works by many of the churchmen assembled at the Council of Trent (1545–63). The scene of Jewish activity in general publishing thereafter shifted to Amsterdam, where a host of works in Spanish and Portuguese was written and published from the beginning of the 17th century.
The earliest Jewish vernacular publications in the Netherlands were written in Spanish for Marrano immigrants unfamiliar with Hebrew and often took the form of translations of biblical and liturgical texts. The first work of this type was a reissue of Yom Tov Athias' Ferrara prayer book (1552), published at Dordrecht ("Mainz") in 1584 and evidently intended for the crypto-Jewish community of Antwerp. The first work in Spanish to appear in Amsterdam dates from 1612 and during the next two centuries hundreds of books in Spanish and Portuguese were issued by the city's Jewish publishers. These included *Manasseh Ben Israel, whose press, founded in 1626, produced books in Spanish and Portuguese as well as Hebrew; Joseph *Athias; and Isaac Cohen de *Lara, a leading bookseller. The messianic frenzy roused by the claims of *Shabbetai Ẓevi led to a spate of publications in Spanish in 1666. Spanish substituted for Hebrew as the language of study and prayer among Marranos, while Portuguese was reserved for poetry and other secular literature.
In time, however, Dutch Jews began writing and publishing works in the vernacular. Two of the oldest Jewish publishing houses of Amsterdam, both noted for their Hebrew printing, also engaged in producing books in Dutch for the Jewish reader: the firms of the brothers *Proops, which flourished during the 18th–19th centuries, and J.L. Joachimsthal, which was still active in the 1970s and issued the Dutch Jewish weekly Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad. The bookseller L. Simons (1862–1932) founded the Wereldbibliotheek, while Isaac *Keesing established the firm of N.V. Keesing, noted for its production of reference books and archive material. Another Amsterdam Jewish publisher was the minor writer Emmanuel Querido (18711943), a victim of the Nazis, whose brother was the novelist Israël *Querido.
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
During the Middle Ages, Jews played an active part in the European book trade, which assumed increasing importance in the German-speaking lands after the introduction of printing. From the 16th century onward, Jews naturally promoted Hebrew publishing, of which Frankfurt became the principal center, and from the early 19th century they were active in the general sphere of German book production (Berlin, Breslau, Frankfurt, Koenigsberg, Leipzig, Prague, and Vienna). Probably the earliest such enterprise was the Prague firm of Taussig (founded in 1783), which ceased its activities under the Nazis. Other pioneering firms were those of Julius Eduard *Hitzig (Berlin, 1808–14); Friedrich Cohen (Bonn, 1829); Joseph and Felix Lehmann (1832); and Moritz *Veit, president of the Berlin Jewish community, whose scientific publishing house, Veit & Co., flourished between 1834 and 1858. Also prominent in Berlin was the Schlesinger'sche Buch- und Musikalienhand-lung (1810), headed by Adolf Martin Schlesinger (1768–1848), which issued some of the compositions of Beethoven.
In general publishing, however, Jews only achieved real importance from about 1835 during the heyday of the Jung Deutschland literary group. The leading literary publisher of this era was Karl (Zacharias) Loewenthal, who changed his name to Loening after abandoning Judaism. A close friend and admirer of Karl Gutzkow, the leader of Jung Deutschland, Loewenthal founded his publishing house in Mannheim in 1835 and published Gutzkow's periodical Deutsche Revue and his novel Wally, die Zweiflerin (1835). When the works of the Jung Deutschland group, including those of Heinrich *Heine, were proscribed and their authors and publisher brought to trial, Loewenthal did not abandon his friends, despite antisemitic slanders. In 1844 he moved to Frankfurt and, together with the apostate author Joseph Jacob Ruetten (Rindskopf, 1805–78), reestablished his firm under the name of Rueten und Loening, producing philosophical and sociological books as well as fiction. The firm still operated in Munich in the 1970s. Other 19th-century enterprises included those of R. Levi (Stuttgart, 1840), J. Guttentag (Berlin, 1842), Moritz Perles (Prague, 1844; later moved to Berlin and Vienna), M. Glogau (Hamburg, 1850), J. Taubeles (Prague, 1861), Albert Goldschmidt (Hamburg, 1863), S. Cronbach (Berlin, 1867), R.L. Prager (Berlin, 1872), and the Enoch Brothers (Hamburg, 1875). In Vienna, a literary firm was established by Leopold Rosner (1838–1903).
During the 1880s, the champion of the school of realism was Otto *Brahm, who in 1889 founded the Freie Buehne, which later became the literary periodical Die Neue Rundschau. Closely connected with this new literature was the Berlin publishing house of Samuel *Fischer. The S. Fischer Verlag (1886) rapidly became a center of avant-garde literary life. Under the Nazis, this publishing house moved overseas but after World War ii reopened in Frankfurt. In 1895 George Bondi (1865–1935) established a firm in Berlin specializing in works by members of the Stefan George circle, such as Friedrich *Gundolf, Ernst Bertram, and Ernst Kantorowitsch (Blaetter fuer die Kunst). When George decided to make his own poetry available to the general public, Bondi became his publisher. Paul *Cassirer founded a publishing house in 1908 as a branch of his art gallery. He issued books mainly about modern artists (Herman *Struck, Ernst Barlach, Max Pechstein, Oskar Kokoschka), but also published literary works by Else *Lasker-Schueler, Ernst Barlach, Walter *Hasenclever, René Schickelé, and Kasimir Edschmid. Another field in which Cassirer became interested was cultural socialism, represented by the works of Ferdinand *Lassalle, Kurt *Eisner, and Gustav *Landauer. His cousin Bruno Cassirer (1872–1942) also founded a publishing house in 1898. Bruno Cassirer's book production, which was of the highest intellectual standard, ranged through art, philosophy, and literature. His art books were written by leading historians and critics of the fine arts; his journal, Kunst und Kuenstler, edited by Karl Scheffler, became the leading German art journal during the early 20th century. Bruno Cassirer also published all the writings of another cousin, the eminent philosopher Ernst *Cassirer. He issued the complete edition of Kant's works, edited by Ernst Cassirer, and those of Hermann *Cohen, the founder of neo-Kantianism. During the years before the rise of Hitler, he turned to modern fiction, where he was assisted by Max *Tau, who introduced several modern Scandinavian authors to the German reader. Bruno Cassirer finally immigrated to England. His publishing house, refounded in Oxford, now specializes in illustrated books about foreign countries.
Erich Reiss founded his Berlin publishing house in 1908 and was a keen enthusiast of the beautiful, well-printed book. He published German editions of Jonathan Swift's works, the writings of Georges *Brandes, and the political essays of Maximilian *Harden. For a time Reiss also issued Siegfried *Jacobsohn's periodical Die Schaubuehne (later Die Weltbuehne) and Blaetter des deutschen Theaters. After 1933 he tried to publish books of Jewish interest only, but soon abandoned the project and immigrated to New York.
All attempts to make Vienna a center of the publishing trade on a par with Leipzig and Berlin failed until Paul von Zsolnay established the Paul Zsolnay Verlag in 1924. In a very short time, this firm assembled the works of some of the most distinguished European novelists, including Sholem *Asch, Henri Barbusse, Max *Brod, John Galsworthy, Heinrich Mann, and Franz *Werfel. After the Anschluss of 1938, Zsolnay immigrated to England; his firm was refounded in Vienna after World War ii. The Austrian capital was also the home of the Internationaler Psychoanalystischer Verlag, established by the *Freud family and later transferred to London, and of E.P. Tal (1919), a firm specializing in modern German and foreign literature.
Bela Horovitz (1898–1955), who was devoted to the study of Greek, Roman, and Jewish antiquity, established his Phaidon Verlag in Vienna (1923) with the aim of popularizing works on the ancient world. His publications included Plato, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Klabund, Friedell, and Unamuno. In later years, the Phaidon Verlag republished illustrated editions of the great German historians, such as Mommsen, Grimm, and Ranke. Assisted by Ludwig Goldseheider, Horovitz also issued many low-price art books which appeared in several languages and made Phaidon known in many countries. After 1938 he established the Phaidon Press in London, following the same line as in Vienna. The Nazi onslaught on the Jews led him to establish a new publishing house in London, the East and West Library, entirely devoted to Jewish literature. From 1955 onward, his family continued to run both publishing houses until these were sold to other companies in the late 1960s.
Other firms active between the world wars were Ernst Salter's literary Verlag die Schmiede in Berlin, which introduced Marcel *Proust to the German public; Erich Lichtenstein's Weimar house, devoted especially to new editions of classic writers (e.g., Annette von Droste-Huelshoff); and Victor Fleischer's Frankfurter Verlags-Anstalt, which published books on literary criticism and history.
Salman *Schocken, who headed a chain of department stores, founded the Berlin Schocken Verlag in 1931. This firm's publications dealt largely with Jewish philosophy, theology, Hebraica, and poetry, but also included the works of Franz *Kafka and Alfred *Mombert. Wide popularity was achieved by the "little Schocken books" and the works of Martin *Buber, particularly his German Bible. In 1933, Schocken, a leading German Zionist, emigrated to Jerusalem and his publishing house now operates in New York and in Tel Aviv, where it published, among others, the works of the Nobel Prize winner S.Y. *Agnon. In scientific publishing, firms like Carl Heymann (1815), Julius Springer (1842), S. Karger (1890), and the Akademische Verlagsbuchhandlung (1906) were in Jewish hands.
The Jewish publishers of the great liberal newspapers such as the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Berliner Tageblatt also entered book publication. Rudolf *Mosse established his firm in 1867 and, apart from his newspaper empire (Berliner Tageblatt, Berliner Volkszeitung, 8-Uhr Abendblatt), produced books of a popular character. The entire business was confiscated by the Nazis. Leopold *Ullstein founded the Ullstein Verlag in 1877. Besides a vast number of newspapers and magazines, the firm published popular fiction. Ullstein's Propylaeen Verlag (1919), under the direction of Emil Herz, who later emigrated to the United States, grew into a versatile publishing house of the highest standard, publishing an edition of Goethe's works in 45 volumes. It also issued the serialized Klassiker des Altertums, Propylaeen-Weltgeschichte, Werke der Weltliteratur, and Klassiker des Altertums, as well as the works of Brecht, Remarque, and *Zuck-mayer. After World War ii the corporation returned to family ownership, but it was eventually sold to Axle Springer in 1960. The Frankfurter Societaetsdruckerei, publishers of the liberal Frankfurter Zeitung, which was founded in 1856 by the democratic Jewish politician Leopold *Sonnemann, also published works by modern German writers.
The only major house in Scandinavia was the Albert Bonniers Förlag of Stockholm (established in 1837). Its founder, Albert Bonnier (1820–1900), was the son of a Dresden Jew who settled in Copenhagen. Albert and his brother Adolf moved to Sweden, where they set up a publishing and printing enterprise that became the largest in the country. It was subsequently run by Albert's son, Karl Otto Bonnier (1856–1941), and, with associated firms, remained under family control. In Denmark, the Gad publishing house of Copenhagen specialized in Judaica, while Norway's leading publishers included the German refugee Max Tau, who began his career with Bruno Cassirer in Berlin.
The Swedish-Jewish publishing house Hillel started offering books on the subject of Judaica in 1963. For the first couple of decades, Hillel worked closely with the Chinuch educational organization. In those early days, the publishing house's foremost purpose was to produce Swedish-language educational materials for use in Stockholm's Hillelskolan Jewish school. As of 2001, Hillel is housed on the premises of the Stockholm Jewish Community. With its sights set firmly on a wider reading public, Hillel produces Jewish literature of a religious, historical, and socio-political nature.
The Megilla publishing house started up in 1990 and has published several Swedish-language books since then, all with a specifically Jewish connection – novels, poetry anthologies, and fact books.
Megilla has also published a number of books on the subject of Yiddish as well as books in Yiddish, in the form of textbooks, songbooks, books of proverbs, etc. Megilla is run on a purely voluntary basis.
As mentioned above Italian Jews were among the pioneers of general publishing activity in the country, but Jewish participation in the trade declined sharply from the mid-16th century. It was not until the 1840s that Jews again became prominent in the general sphere, with the establishment of the Florence publishing house of Felice Paggi (1823–1895) and his brother Alessandro (1818–1893). This issued many works of popular education and other books by leading authors, including Carlo (Lorenzini) Collodi's children's classic, Pinocchio (1880). The firm was joined by Alessandro Paggi's son-in-law, Roberto Bemporad (d. 1891), whose son, Enrico *Bemporad, eventually assumed control, changing its name to R. Bemporad & Figlio. Under his direction it soon became one of the most important publishing houses in Italy. A firm associated with Bemporad was that founded by Simone Lattes in Turin.
Italy's greatest publishing house, however, was that established in Milan by Emilio *Treves and his brother Giuseppe (1838–1904). Fratelli Treves (1864) published newspapers and works by leading Italian and foreign authors. In 1886, Leo S. Olschki (1861–1944), a Prussian immigrant, established himself in Florence, where he later became the leading antiquarian bookseller and publisher of scholarly works in Italy. After his death the business remained under family control. Jews continued this close association with Italian publishing during the 20th century. Among them was Angelo Fortunato *Formiggini, a staunch anti-Fascist, whose firm was first established in Bologna (1908) and who published Italy's first "Who's Who." Luciano Morpurgo (b. 1886) founded his Casa Editrice Dalmatia in 1928, and this publishing house was still operating under the name in the second half of the 20th century.
Jews only began to achieve prominence in the field of general publishing toward the middle of the 19th century. The two pioneering firms were those established by the *Alcan and *Lévy (Calmann-Lévy) families. Moyse Alcan's publishing house was active in Metz from about 1840 and was later headed by his son Félix, who specialized in works on philosophy. The brothers Michel, Alexandre-Nathan, and Calmann Lévy founded their enterprise in Paris in 1842 and, as Michel Lévy Frères, succeeded in building up one of the leading French publishing firms, issuing the works of writers such as Balzac, Dumas, Heine (in translation), and *Renan. From 1875 the business changed its name to Calmann-Lévy. Paul Ollendorf, the Paris-born son of a Polish immigrant, published Gil Blas, a political and literary newspaper that flourished between 1880 and World War i. In 1881 Fernand Nathan established a firm (still under family management) specializing in classics, reference works, and educational and children's books. Four other modern firms were Rieder (Crémieux), Bernheim-Jeune, Camille Bloch, and Fernand Hazan (1945).
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
Although, compared with Germany and Austria, Jewish publishing firms in what was Czechoslovakia were few and limited in scope, they included some pioneering enterprises, such as Taussig und Taussig (see Germany and Austria, above). The first Jewish bookseller and antiquarian in Prague was Wolf (Ze'ev) *Pascheles, who founded S. Pascheles & Son in 1836. A branch of this famous house was established in Breslau (1899) by his son-in-law, Jacob B. Brandeis (relative of Louis D. *Brandeis). Both firms specialized in Judaica, but also published biographies and fiction in German (Sacher-Masoch, M.G. Saphir, M. Rosenfeld, etc.) under the imprint of the Juedische Universal-Bibliothek. Also active in Prague was the firm of Josef Flesch, which produced scholarly works between the world wars, while Julius Fuerth managed the Melantrich publishing house and the liberal paper Lidové novíny at aboutthe same period, later transferring his interests to London. Outside of Bohemia, the influence of German diminished, and most Jewish publishing enterprises were founded only from the late 19th century onward.
The first translations and editions of world classics issued in Croatia were by the pioneer Jewish publisher and bookseller Lavoslav Hartmann (1813–1881). The Yugoslav book trade was later revolutionized by Geca Kon (1873–1941) of Belgrade, who headed the country's greatest publishing house between the world wars.
From about 1880 until 1940 Jews made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Romanian publishing industry. In Jassy, Elias Ṣaraga established an important firm, in partnership with his brother Samuel, in 1878. Three other Jewish publishing houses in the same town were those of A. Berman, Cuperman, and H. Goldner. The family business of Samitca in Craiova (c. 1895) specialized in low-cost editions and books of Jewish interest. In Bucharest, low-price books were also produced by Leon Alcalay (1900–34). Other firms included Simon Benvenisti, I. Ciornei, H. Steinberg, Carol Segal, and Emmanuel Ocneanu. Literary works were also published by the house of Virgil Montaureanu, which later transferred its activities to Israel.
Jews played an important part in the Hungarian publishing industry from its very inception. A pioneer in the field was Sámuel Révai (Rosenberg; 1833–1908), who began trading as a bookbinder and later as a bookseller in Eperjes (now Prešov, Slovakia). In 1869, he and his brother Leó established the Budapest publishing house of Révai Testvérek, which was later run by Sámuel's sons. In time, this became one of the leading firms in Hungary, its publications including the works of such eminent writers as Mór Jókai and Kálmán Mikszáth and an important reference work, Révai Nagy Lexikona ("Révai's Great Encyclopedia"). Earlier still, the Wodianer family, late 18th-century immigrants from Wodian, in Moravia, had achieved prominence when Fülöp Wodianer, a printer turned publisher, became the official publisher of the revolutionary government of Kossuth in 1848. He acquired the R. Lámpel firm in 1874 and was ennobled for his services to the state. Wodianer's business remained under family control after his death, the Lámpel house issuing books on a wide variety of subjects and publishing various newspapers. A firm specializing in the publication of musical works and scores was that founded by Gyula Rózsavölgyi (1822–1860), whose father was the eminent composer Márk Rózsavölgyi. Other leading Jewish publishers were József Wolfner, Lipót Hirsch de Örményes, and Andor Miklós, who took over the Athenaeum publishing house, which issued books by modern Hungarian writers. One of Athenaeum's directors was Viktor Ranschburg (1862–1930), who later moved to the firm of Pantheon. His brother, Gusztáv Ranschburg, was the editor of the Müveltség Könyvtára ("Library of Culture") and of the Athenaeum Könyvtár ("Athenaeum Library"). Izidor Kner (1860–1935) of Gyoma specialized in belles lettres and was awarded the gold medal at the Leipzig Exhibition of 1914 for his publications, mostly works by contemporary writers. His son, Imre Kner (1890–1944), a victim of the Nazi Holocaust, published the historical series Monumenta Litterarum, as well as other Hungarian and European classics, and gained first prize at the Paris Exhibition of 1937. As in Romania, Jewish publishers in Hungary were subjected to increasing restrictions from the late 1930s onward.
One of the earliest Jewish influences in Polish literary life from the first quarter of the 19th century was the activity of Jewish, or converted Jewish, publishers. Side by side with the Jews who pioneered the printing and publishing of Hebrew and Yiddish works, there were a few who achieved distinction in the general field, notably Nathan Gluecksberg (1780–1831) and sons, Samuel Orgelbrand (1810–1868) and son, and S. Lewental. Orgelbrand is mainly remembered for the first modern Polish encyclopedia, which he issued in 28 volumes (1859–68). In the 20th century, particularly between the world wars, Jews made an increasingly important contribution to the Polish publishing industry with firms such as those headed by H. Altenberg, M. Arct, J. Mortkowicz, J. Przeworski, K. Wild, and W. Zukerkandel. Others, notably the well-known firm of Rój, had important Jewish managing interests, although they did not bear recognizably Jewish names. Even after the Communist takeover following World War ii, there were Jews among the founders and directors of state publishing houses, of whom J. Borejsza of Czytelnik was one of the most prominent.
During the last decades Jews published on specifically Jewish topics in Russian, as well as Hebrew and Yiddish. After the Bolshevik Revolution, these activities tended to be transferred overseas. In the general sphere of pre-Revolutionary Russian publishing, the outstanding names were the brothers I.N. and A.N. Granat, who issued an important encyclopedia, and Ilya Abramovich *Efron, who began his activity in 1880. Efron's enterprise, which became one of the largest in Russia, mainly produced scholarly works and is best remembered for its massive 86-volume Novy entsiklopedicheskiy slovar (1907) and for the 16-volume Russian-Jewish Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya (1907–13), in which the publisher himself took an active interest. (For Russian-language publishing in Israel from the 1990s see "In Israel" below.)
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
Despite the numerical insignificance of Spain's Jewish population in the 20th century, Jewish activity in the book trade was seen in the establishment of the Madrid firm of Aguilar (1923), which also operated in Latin America. It was only after World War I that Jews began to figure in the Latin American publishing industry (mainly in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico). In Argentina, the Buenos Aires firm of Candelabro, established by Abrahám Mibashán and specializing in Judaica, was taken over by José Mirelman and Máximo G. Yagupsky, who also controlled the firm of Israel. Jews have played a more important role in the general publishing life of Brazil. Here the major names were Aizen, Bloch, Iussim, Koogan, and Weissman, with Adolfo Aizen publishing comic books and strip cartoons (Brasil, América), Nathan Waissman heading the Rio de Janeiro publishing house of Guanabara, and Henrique Iussim (who was also a writer) controlling the Biblos firm. Abrahão Koogan published literary, medical, and scientific books and, through the firm of Delta, world classics and encyclopedias. Almost all of the Jewish enterprises were based in Rio de Janeiro, one exception being Perspectiva of São Paulo. The largest Brazilian publishing firm under Jewish control was run by the Bloch family (Adolfo, Arnaldo, and Boris Bloch) and incorporated Fatos & Fotos and Manchete. It was later managed by Oscar Bloch Sigelman, Pedro Jack Kapeller, and H.W. Berliner.
Three 19th-century pioneers were Samuel Lewis (d. 1865), who published topographical dictionaries and atlases; John Wertheimer (1799–1883); and William Swan Sonnenschein (1855–1931). The latter, son of a refugee Hungarian revolutionary, founded Swan Sonnenschein & Co. (1878), which specialized in reference books, and also traded under his non-Jewish mother's name of Stallybrass, becoming senior managing director of the Routledge publishing firm. The Franklin family subsequently obtained a controlling interest in Routledge's (George Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1934).
Two prominent figures, both with marked Socialist leanings, were Leonard *Woolf and Sir Victor *Gollancz. Woolf co-founded the Hogarth Press (1917), which issued works by modern writers (including his wife, Virginia Woolf); while Gollancz, who established the firm bearing his name in 1928, also co-founded the Left Book Club (1936) and helped to stimulate the production of low-cost quality literature. Gollancz specialized in modern fiction and religious books and threw his prestige behind several unpopular causes. Oliver Simon (1895–1956), the typographer, was a director of the Soncino Press and managed another house, Curwen Press, from the 1930s until his death. He was succeeded by his brother Herbert Simon. Another printer and publisher was Ellis Paul Howe. Among those who established publishing firms between the world wars were John *Rodker (Ovid Press, Imago Press), who issued works by Freud. T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound; Frederick Muller (1933); Michael Joseph (1935), a specialist in general fiction and mysteries; and *Frederick J. Warburg of Secker & Warburg, founded in 1936.
Soon after World War ii Jewish activity in the British publishing world increased with the establishment of many new publishing houses catering for a wide variety of interests. *André Deutsch (1917–2000), who had immigrated from Hungary as a youth, entered the trade in 1942 and, after operating as Allan Wingate (1945–50), founded his own company in 1951, specializing in history, biography, and paperback editions. Deutsch founded African publishing firms in Nigeria (1962) and Kenya (1964). Sir George *Weidenfeld, Baron Weidenfeld, an Austrian refugee, founded Contact (1945), a journal of contemporary affairs and arts, and three years later established the firm of Weidenfeld and Nicolson in association with Nigel Nicolson. Weidenfeld, a keen Zionist, published many books by Israel writers and founded a subsidiary company in Jerusalem (1969). His firm specialized in books on literature, art, and archaeology (many in illustrated editions). Another postwar publisher of importance was Anthony Blond (1930– ), who established his publishing house in 1958, specializing in new writers, paperbacks, and works for young people. Blond is the author of an autobiography, Jew Made in England (2004). Other names in postwar British publishing were Sidney Bernstein, Baron Bernstein (1899–1993), the television pioneer, whose enterprises included the Granada Publishing company; Robert *Maxwell, who headed Pergamon Press (1948) and built a publishing empire; and Paul Hamlyn, Baron Hamlyn (1926–2001), who controlled Ginn & Co., Newnes, Odhams, and Spring Books, Temple Press, the Paul Hamlyn "coffee table books," and (in association with emi) Music For Pleasure Records. Other British publishing firms under Jewish management or with important Jewish interests include H. Pordes (1947), Thomas Yoseloff, W.H. Allen, Frank Cass, Peter Owen, Paul Elek, and a large group containing Cresset Press, Berrie and Rockliff, and Hammond, Hammond.
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
Before the 20th century, Jews played an insignificant part in the general book publishing industry of the United States. In 1897 the bookselling firm founded by August *Brentano in 1858 started a publishing division. Brentano was the original U.S. publisher for the plays of George Bernard Shaw, but the firm discontinued publishing in 1933. Another pioneer, Ben[jamin] W. Huebsch (1873–1964), son of Adolph *Huebsch, began publishing under his own imprint from 1900 and introduced the writings of Hauptmann, Strindberg, Chekhov, and Gorki to the American public. He also published works by James Joyce and Sherwood Anderson. In 1925 his firm merged with the Viking Press. Alfred A. *Knopf began publishing in 1915 and quickly established a reputation for excellence in design and materials. His list featured many prominent authors, both foreign and American. The firm merged with Random House in 1960. Boni and Liveright was established by Albert Boni (1892–1981) and Horace Briabin Liveright (1896–1933). Their most successful project was the Modern Library, a reprint series now issued by Random House. Boni soon left thefirm, but the original name was retained until 1928. In 1923 Boni became a partner in Albert and Charles Boni, a pioneer of paperback books. Albert Boni, who founded the Washington Square Players (now the Theatre Guild), invented Microprint and the Readex reading projector and from 1940 was president of the firm that produced these devices. Horace Liveright was a lavish promoter of authors such as Theodore Dreiser and Eugene O'Neill, but later worked mainly as a stage producer.
Men who had worked for Boni and Liveright established several important publishing firms. Thomas Seltzer formed his own firm in 1920 and Richard L. Simon organized Simon and Schuster with M. Lincoln *Schuster in 1924. In 1925 Liveright sold the Modern Library to Bennett A. *Cerf and Donald S. Klopfer (d. 1986). Two years later they and Elmer *Adler formed Random House. In 1965 when Cerf became chairman of the board, the presidency was assumed by Robert L. Bernstein. The poet and literary critic Joel Elias *Spingarn was a founder of Harcourt, Brace & Co. and the firm's literary adviser from 1919 to 1932.
Other book publishing firms established by Jews in the 1920s and 1930s included that of Greenberg Publisher (1924) by Jacob Walter Greenberg (1894–1976); Viking Press (1925); and the short-lived Covici-Friede, which specialized in limited editions. When this last firm was dissolved, Donald Friede joined the World Publishing Company as a senior editor, and Pascal Covici became an editor for Viking Press. William Bernard Ziff (1898–1953), a founder of the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company (1933), was also president of the Zionist Revisionist Organization of America. From Greenberg, Nat Wartels and Robert Simon bought the Outlet Book Company, which disposed of publisher's overstocks, and they began publishing under the imprint of Crown Publishers. Max Salom of the Harlem Book Company, who pioneered the sale of publishers' overstocks through drugstores, acquired the Dial Press in 1934. George W. Joel was editor-in-chief of Dial Press (1939–51) and president and publisher from 1951 until his death in 1959. Stanley Burnshaw (1906–2005) was founder, president, and editor-in–chief of Dryden Press (1936).
Several other publishing houses were established by Jews or had Jews in leading managerial positions. Roger W. Straus, Jr. was founder and president of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (1945); Abelard-Schuman was headed by Lew Schwartz; Arthur J. Rosenthal was president editor-in-chief of Basic Books, Inc. (1952); Oscar Dystal was president of Bantam Books, a subsidiary of Grosset and Dunlap whose president from 1944 was Manuel Siwak; Joseph Gaer (1897–1969) served as editor-in-chief of the Federal Writers Project. With Charles Boni, Gaer formed Boni and Gaer (1946), which soon changed its name to Gaer Associates. Jeremiah Kaplan, an executive of the Free Press of Glencoe from 1947, became president of the Macmillan Company in 1965. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., specialized in art books. Robert Salomon headed Citadel Press; Paul Steiner, Chanticleer Press; Arthur B. Frommer headed Arthur Frommer, Inc.; Harold H. Hart, Hart Publishing Co.; A.L. Furman, Lantern Press; Philip F. Cohen, Oceana Publications; Jacob Steinberg, Twayne Publishers; Milton Gladstone, Arco Publishing Co.; Richard L. Grossman, Grossman Publishers; and Sol Stein, Stein and Day.
The decades in which American Jews became active in book publishing saw tremendous changes in the book world in the United States. Alfred A. Knopf and Simon and Schuster did much to invigorate book promotion and advertising. Huebsch, Knopf, Seltzer, and their successors introduced many new European authors, but at the same time sought fresh American and British talents. The new publishers had high production standards, Knopf and Viking in particular insisting on attractive, well-made books.
book clubs, reprints, and children's literature
Three publishing developments during the first half of the 20th century greatly expanded the market for books and in these Jews were prominent. The basic idea of membership in a club for the publication and distribution of books was not new. The *Jewish Publication Society of America (1888) was the successor to at least two earlier membership schemes, and several other groups had been established to publish special editions for members. Harold K. *Guinzburg, founder of the Viking Press (1925), was impressed by the popularity of recently-formed book clubs in Germany. He developed a plan for an American book club, The Literary Guild, which began active operations in 1927; it was sold to Doubleday in 1934. Harry Scherman (1887–1969) who was born in Montreal, Canada, had successfully promoted the Little Leather Library (1916), a mail-order firm, and felt that people living far from book-shops would subscribe to books as to magazines. With Robert K. Haas (1890–1964) and Maxwell B. Sackheim, he organized the Book-of-the-Month Club (1926), which by 1970 had distributed 250 million books. In 1929 George Macy started the Limited Editions Club, limited to 1500 members; and he also founded several others (Heritage Club, Junior Heritage Club, Readers Club). Thomas Yoseloff (1913– ) has operated many book clubs, including the Jewish Book Guild, Military Science Book Club, Natural History Book Club, Book Collectors' Society, Art Book Guild, and the Science Book Club. He also established or bought several publishing houses (Beechurst Press, A.S. Barnes and Co., Sagamore Press, Thomas Yoseloff, Inc.) and was the U.S. publisher of the Ben-Yehuda Hebrew dictionary.
Another important development was in the area of low-price reprints, many publishers issuing inexpensive editions of popular works with several firms specializing in this field. The Modern Library was a notable addition to the hard-cover reprint world, and the World Publishing Co. of Cleveland, founded by Alfred Cahen as the Commercial Book Bindery (1905), became prominent, particularly after Benjamin David Zevin (1901–1984) joined the firm. However, the revolution in the industry really began with paperback books. As editor and publisher of Little Blue Books, Emanuel Halderman-Julius (1889–1951) had issued and distributed millions of small paperbound books through the mail for as little as five cents a copy. Occasionally, too, Simon and Schuster had issued a book in paper binding, while the paperbacks published by Albert and Charles Boni and by the New Republic, though praised for their content and format, made little impact on sales. In 1939, Pocket Books Inc. was organized by Robert F. de Graff, an expert in the cloth reprint field, with H. Lincoln Schuster, Leon Shimkin, and Richard L. Simon (1899–1962). The first printing of each of the ten titles in the initial list was about 10,000 copies. Twenty years later, 1,000,000 paperbacks a day were sold in the United States. By 1957 only Leon Shimkin remained active in Pocket Books. Others who entered the field were Joseph Meyers, who founded Avon Publications in 1940, and Ned L. Pines, who published under the Popular Library imprint. Doubleday opened a new era in paperback publishing in 1953 with its Anchor Books. The first editor of this serious fiction and non-fiction series was Jason Epstein, later an editor with Random House. Other higher-priced, serious paperback series were the Viking Press's Compass Books and those issued by Schocken Books.
During the 20th century, children's books became one of the most important divisions of American publishing. Knopf, Viking, and Random House were all leaders in the field, but the establishment by Simon and Schuster of Little Golden Books in 1942 brought low-cost books to young people for the first time. More than 400,000,000 Golden Books were sold in the first 13 years. Golden Press Inc., headed by Albert R. Leventhal, formerly a Simon and Schuster executive, became a division of Western Printing Co.
The huge changes that continue to engulf the general book publishing field in the United States, and indeed throughout the world, also had a sharp impact on the specialized area of Jewish publishing. In 1950 it was thought that there were some 600,000 Jewish youngsters attending some kind of Jewish school in the U.S. and Canada, offering a market for textbooks and supplementary reading books that attracted substantial numbers of Jewish publishers. In 1970, it was estimated that the number of such students was closer to 300,000, of whom one-third were enrolled in largely Orthodox yeshivot. The results were almost predictable: the innovative Orthodox house, Artscroll, serviced the Orthodox market; Behrman House continued to be the leader of modern texts for the Conservative area; and the publishing arm of the Reform movement, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, provided books for the Reform congregations' school needs.
The one area in Jewish school enrollment that saw a steady rise remained the pre-school nurseries, where children aged three and four are introduced to Judaic concepts through a wide variety of educational material, including video cassettes. It was this slice of the Jewish market that seemed to attract both general and Jewish publishers, as the number of full-color illustrated books for very young children continued to mount.
Although an estimated 700 new Jewish books appear every year in the United States, many of these are highly specialized titles meant for limited academic or professional library use. While the number of general Jewish books remains relatively high, and the number of Jewish-theme novels, biographies, general non-fiction, books on Israel, the Holocaust, etc. remains impressive, many publishers are not at all certain how much longer this phenomenon will last, especially as the total number of Jews in the United States is declining for various reasons.
This is not to say that publishers – both general houses and Jewish houses – have given up on Judaica publishing. Jews still buy books in disproportionately large numbers, and every publisher is trying to turn out titles that will capture the community's imagination and become perennial bestsellers. Jewish Book Month, which is sponsored by the Jewish Book Council, an affiliate of the National Jewish Welfare Board, takes place annually in November, with many hundreds of book fairs being held throughout the country.
In New York, a major fair attracted some 15,000 visitors. Some of the authors featured had written general books but since they were themselves well-known Jews, they helped bring in people. A number of authors spoke about such esoteric topics as "The Jewish Detective," "The Jewish Voter" (the fair was held just before the national elections in the U.S.), "How to Care for Your Parents," and "The Jewish Holiday Kitchen." The new books featured at 1988 fairs ranged from a new coffee table volume on Israel published on the state's 40th anniversary, with text by A.B. Yehoshua, to a new volume by Israel's Lova Eliav, titled New Heart, New Spirit: Biblical Humanism for Modern Israel, plus a series of new first-person memoirs of the Holocaust, a new series of brief biographies of Rashi, Buber, Bialik and Heine, the autobiography of a former Soviet dissident, fiction by Leon Uris, Amos Keinan, and David Grossman, and scholarly works with such titles as Jewish Values in Psychotherapy: Essays on Vital Issues of Man's Search for Meaning by Rabbi Levi Meier.
Although the trend in the last quarter of the 20th century was toward smaller numbers of vast publishing empires (Doubleday, once a major general publisher of large numbers of Jewish titles, is now part of the German-owned Bertelsman-Bantam-Doubleday group, while Random House has absorbed Crown, and Macmillan was taken over by Britain's vast Maxwell empire), the number of tiny one or two-man publishing houses has exploded, and now numbers in the thousands. Modern computer technology and desktop publishing have attracted literally thousands of people to set up shop in their homes, basements, and garages, where they issue local, regional or national titles at the rate of two or three a year. This radical new concept has also caught on in the Jewish community.
In addition to the well-known Jewish houses like the Jewish Publication Society, Behrman, Hebrew Publishing, Bloch Publishing, Feldheim, Ktav, Artscroll, and the publishing arms of various religious/educational/rabbinical organizations, one can now find a growing number of small, new Jewish houses: Micah Publications, Alpha Publishing, Bet Shamai Publications, Biblio Press, Bezalel Art, Jewish Historical Society of Oregon, Kar-Ben Copies, Hunter Publishing, Markus Weiner Publishing, Quartet Books, Madison Books, Edwin Mellen Press, Wandering You Press, Mensch Makers Press, Judaica Press, Peartree, Jason Aronson.
The number of Jewish titles appearing on the regular lists of large and small university presses, as well as in the offerings of Christian religious houses, remains high. Abingdon Press, a noted Christian house, issued A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew by C.L. Seow in 1988, while Wayne State University Press published a study by Amnon Linder titled Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation.
The Jewish Publication Society of America celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1988, noting that it had issued more than 700 titles in that period aggregating more than nine million volumes that it had distributed to its members and the public at large.
A glance at the catalogs of general houses and Jewish houses will quickly demonstrate that certain broad subjects remain on top of the community's reading agenda: Israel, the Holocaust, antisemitism, assimilation, Jewish ethics, culture, and philosophy. From the last quarter of the 20th century, a number of publishers began to issue titles dealing with a subject that is often peripheral in Jewish life – Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. Whether this was a reflection of the times or a deep spiritual hunger is hard to say.
A major problem in Jewish publishing in America – distribution – was not fully resolved in the traditional manner. Books of Jewish interest reviewed in daily or Jewish media, recommended by friends or referred to by a rabbi during a Sabbath sermon, were often very hard to come by in general book stores. Although there were some 250 strictly Jewish book shops in all parts of the U.S., and many hundreds of (primarily Conservative and Reform) congregations sold limited numbers of Judaica titles from their volunteer-manned "gift shops," no one was been able to work out an effective methodof getting Jewish books into the hands of book buyers on a nationwide scale.
With the coming of the Internet in the 1990s Jewish books became available online at innumerable sites, obviating the longstanding problem of distribution among publishers of Jewish books.
[David C. Gross]
The first publishers – in the modern sense – of Judaica were in Germany, which for a long time remained the center of Jewish (mainly non-Hebrew) publishing. The pioneer was W. *Heidenheim, who was succeeded by M. Lehrberger, in Roedelheim, the producer of famous editions of the Jewish liturgy. In the first half of the 19th century Jewish bookshops were opened in the larger towns and many of their owners later became publishers. M.W. Kaufmann established himself in Leipzig in 1828, later specializing in publishing synagogue music. J. *Kaufmann established himself in Frankfurt on the Main in 1832 and his firm was the leading Jewish publisher (and bookseller) in Germany for three generations, taking over Lehrberger in 1899. In Prague W. Pascheles was active from 1836. Several firms were established in Berlin in the course of the 19th century, some of which, like *Asher and Co., later gave up Jewish publishing; others did not stay the course (A. Cohn, J. Sittenfeld, Springer and Co., Veit and Co., and others). M. Poppelauer (est. 1860) and C. Boas (est. 1863) remained of importance for some decades. The firm of B.L. Monasch was active in Krotoschin from 1835 to 1910 and that of Zirndorfer published works in Fuerth.
In the 20th century the most important publishing house became the *Juedischer Verlag, which not only produced Zionist literature but also a great variety of Hebrew and Yiddish works in the original and in translation. After World War I the concentration of Jewish writers and scholars from Eastern Europe in Germany, in Berlin in particular, produced a Jewish intellectual revival, and many publishing houses sprang up, producing both Hebraica and Judaica. Louis Lamm was already established in 1903; the Weltverlag followed it in 1919. The *Philo Verlag (1919–38), the publishing arm of the *Centralverein deutscher Staatsbuerger juedischen Glaubens, fought against the rising antisemitism, but its activities covered a wide range of Jewish literature, including the publication of periodicals like Der Morgen and Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland. The Akademie Verlag was a branch of the Akademie fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums. The Eschkol Verlag published the Encyclopaedia Judaica in German (10 vols., to 1934 unfinished) and in Hebrew (2 vols., 1929–32, also unfinished) and other important works such as J. Klatzkin's Thesaurus Philosophicus Linguae Hebraicae (4 vols., 1928–33). Other firms included Reuben Mass in Berlin, who later continued publishing in Jerusalem; Schocken Verlag, also in Berlin (see above); Saenger und *Friedberg (the bibliographer) in Frankfurt; the Hermon Verlag, which was connected with the Orthodox weekly *Israelit; the Juedischer Verlag (1901); and the *Soncino Gesellschaft (1924). After 1938 Schocken Verlag published in Israel and the U.S. Some Hebrew publishers, like *Devir, *Moriah, and *Stybel, transferred to Germany, later moving to Ereẓ Israel or the U.S. Similarly, the Omanut Hebrew publishing house, established in Moscow in 1917 by H. *Zlatopolski and his daughter Shoshannah *Persitz, moved to Odessa in 1918, Homburg (near Frankfurt) in 1920, and Tel Aviv in 1928. Other firms include Chorev, which published small-size reproductions of the great rabbinic texts, Yavneh, Ayyanot, and Yuval, the latter specializing in Jewish music. Klal and Vostock published Yiddish literature. The economic conditions in post-World War i Germany led to the closing of several smaller firms.
In Vienna Benjamin Harz republished, among other works, L. Goldschmidt's Talmud edition and German translation. The firm of R. Loewitt, active there from 1833, later issued mainly Jewish belletristic works. Joseph Schlesinger founded his firm in 1858 – with a branch in Budapest at a later date – and became a leading publisher of prayer books and other items, supplying several European countries as well as North Africa.
In Leghorn, Italy, the house of *Belforte was active from 1838 to 1939 as publishers of liturgical literature for the Italian, North African, and Levantine market. In France (Paris), E. Durlacher and M. Lipschuetz published Hebraica and Judaica; the former was still active in 1970.
In pre-Hitler Germany a number of non-Jewish publishers were responsible for some works of Hebraica and Judaica: the Insel Verlag (Brody-Wiener's Anthologia Hebraica, 1924), Langenscheidt (Eliezar Ben-Yehuda's Thesaurus), O. Harrassowitz in Leipzig, Toepel-mann, Giessen, and others. In Holland the house of Brill in Leiden has been active for nearly 100 years. In France some general publishing houses published books dealing with Jews and Judaism, e.g., F. Rieder, Fernand Nathan, Albin Michel, Payot, Au-bier Montaine, Flammarion, and Presses Universitaires de France.
The pioneers of Jewish publishing in Great Britain were members of the London Sephardi community who issued works on philosophy, literature, and Jewish liturgy in Spanish and Portuguese from the early 18th century onward. Daniel Israel Lopez *Laguna's Espejo Fiel de Vidas ("Faithful Mirror of Life"), a Spanish metrical version of Psalms planned in the cells of the Inquisition and completed in Jamaica, was published in London in 1720. Long after Marrano immigration had virtually come to an end, Spanish and Portuguese remained the official languages of the Sephardim, with the result that Isaac *Pinto's English translation of the prayer book had to appear in New York (1761–66) because of the disapproval of the London mahamad. One of the first Anglo-Jewish publishers whose name has survived was Alexander b. Judah Loeb Alexander (d. 1807), who issued a Haggadah (1770) and a Sephardi prayer book with English translation (1788), as well as other works of a liturgical nature. This activity was maintained by his son, Levy Alexander (1754–1853), who also proved to be an indifferent translator with his pioneering, but defective, Hebrew-English Bible (1824). Levy, however, did not confine himself to religious publications, producing an account of Anglo-Jewish social scandals in 1808.
By about the middle of the 19th century Jews were becoming more prominent in the general field of publishing, founding several important family business concerns. Isaac Vallentine (1793–1868), the Belgian-born son of a rabbi, was a leading communal figure as well as a printer, publisher, and bookseller of note. In 1841 he founded the predecessor of the weekly Jewish Chronicle and also established The Hebrew Almanack and Calendar (1848), a forerunner of the Jewish Year Book. The firm of Vallentine & Co. later underwent a merger, becoming the bookselling and publishing firm of Shapiro, Vallentine, which remained in business until 1971.
[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]
Other Jewish publishers of Hebraica and Judaica, who became active from the late 19th century included the booksellers M. Cailingold, R. Mazin (later Jack Mazin), and Edward Goldston. In the 1920s Jacob Davidson founded the Soncino Press, which was responsible for the publication of classic Jewish texts in English. They issued (35- and 11-volume editions) the Talmud edited by I. *Epstein, Midrash Rabbah (10 vols.), Zohar (5 vols.), the Bible (text, translation, and commentary, 13 vols.), a one-volume edition of J.H. Hertz's Pentateuch and Haftarot, the minor tractates of the Talmud (2 vols.), a collection of S.R. Hirsch's essays (2 vols., edited by I. *Grunfeld), and Hirsch's Horeb (2 vols.; also edited by I. Grunfeld). From the 1930s onward the East and West Library (see above) brought out a series of Jewish classics. In the 1940s and 1950s a number of books in Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as the journal Metsudah, were produced by the Ararat Publishing Company. Since World War ii the firm of Valentine Mitchell (associated with the Jewish Chronicle) has published a large variety of books of Jewish interest. Literature pertaining to Anglo-Jewish history was published by the *Jewish Historical Society of England.
General publishing firms as well, some of them owned by Jews, have published Hebraica and Judaica. George Routledge and Sons published the Davis-Adler Maḥzor (6 vols., 1904), which has gone through many editions and reprints, and other books of Jewish interest. Eyre and Spottiswoode have issued the popular Singer's Prayer Book since 1890; it has sold over half a million copies.
In Eastern Europe publishing gradually emerged as distinct from Hebrew printing. Great printing houses signed contracts with authors, e.g., Romm in Vilna with I.M. *Dick and K. *Schulman. Important booksellers also began to publish works, e.g., A. Zuckermann and A.J. Shapiro in Warsaw; I. Ginzburg in Bobrisk; and Rawnitzki in Odessa. Newspaper owners, learned societies, and patrons published works, hitherto in manuscript or unsatisfactory editions. The first noncommercial publishing house was Aḥiasaf, founded in Warsaw in 1892–93 on the initiative of the *Bnei Moshe and under the direction of E.E. Kaplan and the guidance of *Aḥad Ha-Am. Aḥi'asaf, which was active until 1923, published works of modern Jewish scholarship and youth literature as well as the annual Lu'aḥ Aḥi'asaf and the periodicals Ha-Shilo'ah and Ha-Dor. One of the founders of Aḥi'asaf, A. Ben-Avigdor, set up the Tushiyyah company in 1895, which extended its activities to Hebrew belles lettres, both original and translated, works in the natural and social sciences, and modern school books.
In 1899, in Warsaw, J. Lidzki founded the "Progres" publishing firm for Yiddish literature. B. Schimin, also in Warsaw, brought out books both in Hebrew and Yiddish as did S. Scherberk in Vilna (established 1901–02), who published the popular Bible commentary Mikra Meforash. In order to further original Hebrew literature P. Lachower set up the Sifrut company in Warsaw in 1908. In 1910 in Vilna B. Klatzkin began to publish scientific books, as well as original and translated literature in Yiddish. A year later Tushiyyah, Progres, Schimin, and Scherberk merged under the name of Merkaz ("Zentral"). In 1901 Ḥ.N. Bialik, S. Ben-Zion, and Yehoshua Ḥana Rawnitzki founded the *Moriah publishing house in Odessa for classical Hebrew literature and textbooks for schools, while Turgeman concentrated on translations from other languages.
World War i brought with it a severe crisis in the Jewish book market in Russia, which was aggravated by an edict in 1915 prohibiting all printing in Hebrew types. After the March 1917 revolution two Hebrew publishing houses were set up in Moscow: *Stybel, under the direction of D. *Frischmann, for classical world literature in Hebrew, and Omanut (see above). Moriah also renewed its activities. After the October Revolution and the subsequent anti-Jewish measures of the Soviet government, all these ceased. Stybel moved to Warsaw and later to Berlin, New York, and finally Tel Aviv. In the early years of the Soviet regime some private Yiddish publishing continued, e.g., by the Kultur-Lige (founded in 1917 in Kiev), but these businesses were soon absorbed by the state corporation Der Emes in Moscow; the Ukrainian state publishers and the Belorussian state publishers year after year issued many hundreds of Yiddish books, most of them propagating communist ideology. With the outbreak of World War ii this output was severely reduced, ceasing altogether with the liquidation of Jewish writers in the years 1942–48. From 1958 onward only very few books in Yiddish were published in Soviet Russia.
In Poland the centers of Jewish publishing between the two world wars were Warsaw and Vilna. In Warsaw "Zentral" continued its activities; S.L. *Gordon published his Bible commentary, and Stybel Ha-Tekufah, and hundreds of books. A Kultur-Lige, founded in 1921, issued the best of Yiddish literature, school books, and Dubnow's "World History of the Jewish People." B. Klatzkin moved from Vilna to Warsaw and expanded its activities. Other publishers include A. Gitlin, H. Bzoza, S. Goldfarb, Katzanellenbogen, and Armkraut and Freund (Przemysl). The brothers Lewin-Epstein, who had published religious literature from 1880, began to issue belles lettres in Hebrew as well as in Yiddish. In Vilna "Tomor" produced I. Zinberg's history of Jewish literature. The various political parties also published books, as did newspapers (Liter-arishe Bleter) and scholarly societies such as *yivo. With the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany this activity came to an end. After the war a state corporation under the control of Jewish communists, Dos Yidishe Bukh, produced some important studies on the Holocaust.
Until the early 19th century, Jews in the United States imported books of specifically Jewish interest (chiefly Bibles, prayer books, and instructional material for the young) from Europe. However, a Hebrew Bible, a reprint of Joseph *Athias' unpointed text, was printed in Philadelphia in 1814. In 1845 Isaac *Leeser established the American Jewish Publication Society for the dissemination of Jewish literature. Fourteen books were published under the general title "Jewish Miscellany," but the society collapsed in 1851 when a fire destroyed the building in which the books and plates were stored. The firm now known as the Bloch Publishing Co. was founded in Cincinnati in 1854 by Isaac M. *Wise and Edward Bloch (1816–1881) to print and publish books on Jewish subjects. The *Bloch family has retained control of the firm, which has been in New York since 1901. Edward H. Bloch (1899– ), grandson of the founder, was president from 1940, and Solomon Kerstein (1901–1969), a founder of the Jewish Book Council, was vice president from 1947 onward. By 1970 over 1,000 titles had appeared on the firm's catalogs. The Hebrew Publishing Company came into being in New York in 1883, when Joseph L. Werbelowsky and some associates began to publish prayer books and school texts. In 1901 the firm was known as Rosen-baum and Werbelowsky, Inc. Menahem Menschel, an agent for the Stybel (Hebrew) Publishing House and a partner in the Jewish bookselling firm of Reznick, Menschel and Co., was manager from 1938. The firm published new Hebrew-English editions of the siddur and the maḥzor by Philip *Birnbaum. The third of these pioneering Jewish publishing houses, the Jewish Publication Society, was established in Philadelphia in 1888, and its many titles include authoritative translations of the Bible (1917; 1963– ). Unlike the others, this is a membership organization with many features of the modern book clubs. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–06) was issued by the non-Jewish publishing house of Funk and Wagnall (see *Encyclopedias: Jewish).
National Jewish organizations in the United States have sponsored various publication programs. The *Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) developed an extensive program under its own imprint. Emanuel *Gamoran, educational director of the uahc and its Commission on Jewish Education (1923–1958), developed text and reference books catering for all age groups. The Conservative movement (*United Synagogue of America) also established its own publishing divisions. Burning Bush Press and the United Synagogue Book Service serve the needs of the affiliated synagogues and schools. The *Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has also published text materials, while many works for both adults and children have appeared under the imprint of the Habad hasidic Merkos l'Inyonei Chinuch of New York. The viewpoint of *Reconstructionism is presented in the bound books and paperbacks of the Reconstructionist Press. The Herzl Press has issued Zionist classics, handbooks, and yearbooks. In 1967 the *B'nai B'rith Commission on Adult Education contracted with the W.W. Norton Co. for a 50-book series of "Jewish Heritage Classics."
The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith usually employs a general publisher for its major works, pamphlets and shorter publications normally appearing under the organization's own imprint. The B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation has also published books and pamphlets, while Commentary, the monthly sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, operates its own book club. Other publishers active in the field include Pardes, the Jewish Agency, various Zionist bodies (zoa, Farband, Mizrachi) and university presses (Dropsie College, huc, jts, Yeshiva University, Brandeis) and the National Jewish Welfare Board. The *Histadrut Ivrit publishes Hebrew literature and *yivo, the Yiddish Scientific Institute, has issued several important Yiddish works. Several regional educational bodies have also entered publishing. The jec Press of the Jewish Education Committee of New York has issued a library of Hebrew story books for American children, while the bureaus of Jewish education of Chicago and Cleveland also have their own publishing divisions.
Establishing these institutional publishing firms or the sponsoring of individual books under the imprint of a general publisher has tended to discourage privately owned publishing houses from specializing in the Jewish field. Indeed, practically all the privately owned Jewish publishing firms also run bookshops where Jewish books under various imprints are sold. They include Behrman House (1920), founded by Louis Behrman and later directed by his son, Jacob; the Ktav Publishing House, which issued text and story materials from 1924 (with Asher Scharfstein as president), and which has latterly published and reprinted serious scholarly works; the Furrow Press (1933), which issued festival plays and literature for Jewish schools; and the U.S. branch of Schocken Books (1945), known particularly for its serious paperback program. Other privately owned firms specializing in Judaica are Shengold Publishers (Moshe Sheinbaum); the Jonathan David Publishing Co. (Alfred J. Kolatch); Philipp Feldheim, which published English translations of the works of Samson Raphael *Hirsch; and Hermon press. The established firm of Shulsinger Brothers also prints Jewish publications. Morris *Silverman, a Conservative rabbi in Hartford, edited and published a series of Conservative prayer books with English translations under the Prayer Book Press imprint. Most publishers active in the Jewish field belong to the Association of Jewish Book Publishers. The chief publication of Yiddish works include *yivo, *Congress for Jewish Culture, and Der Kval, a private firm.
Several general publishers have displayed continuous interest in Jewish books and their authors. Rinehart (now Holt, Rinehart, and Winston) issued a series of Jewish anthologies edited by Leo W. Schwarz, and Abelard-Shuman operates a separate division, Ram's Head Books, for Jewish books. Maurice *Samuel's books have been published by Knopf, and those of Isaac *Bashevis Singer and Bernard *Malamud by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Meridian Books (established by Arthur A. Cohen) first distributed the paperbacks of the Jewish Publication Society, a function later performed by Harper and Row. Another area of cooperation is the joint issue of a title by a Jewish and a general publisher. Many jpsa titles appear under the joint imprint of the Society and a general publisher. Thus Columbia University Press collaborated in Salo W. *Baron's multivolume Social and Religious History of the Jews, while Herzl Press and Doubleday have also cooperated on several publications.
In 1925, Fanny *Goldstein, a librarian, organized a Jewish Book Week in Boston. The movement grew gradually, and the Jewish Book Council, sponsored by the *National Jewish Welfare Board, was established in 1942. Jewish Book Week was later expanded to Jewish Book Month. The Jewish Book Annual has been issued since 1942 and a series of annual prizes for authors in the Jewish field was established.
Printing and publishing developed slowly in Ereẓ Israel. Eliezer ben Yitzhak *Ashkenazi, a printer of Hebrew books from Prague, together with his brother Abraham, established the first printing plant in the Upper Galilee city of Safed in 1577. Their first publication was Lekaḥ Tov ("A Worthy Inspiration"), a commentary on the biblical Book of Esther by R. Yom Tov Ẓahalon. The Ashkenazi press remained in Safed for some 10 years during which time only five books were printed, and in 1605, the type was sold to a printer in Damascus. It took another two and a half centuries before a printing house was again established, that of Israel *Bak, in 1831, also in Safed. The publishing and printing business was subsequently transferred to Jerusalem where it continued to function until 1878. With the growing Jewish immigration to Palestine in the latter half of the 19th century, Jerusalem began to develop into a center for the printing of religious and liturgical works in Hebrew. By the turn of the century, more than a dozen Jerusalem printers – most of whom also acted as booksellers – were producing Hebrew books and periodicals, most of them in the field of Judaica, rabbinic studies, and prayer books.
Professional publishing in the modern sense really began only during the period of the British Mandate in the 1920s and 1930s, with the move to Palestine of some of the major Jewish imprints of Europe. Moriah, which had been established in Odessa early in the century by Ḥayyim Naḥman *Bialik and Yehoshua *Rawnitzky merged in 1923 with *Dvir, which had been founded in Berlin by Bialik, Rawnitzky, and Shmaryahu *Levin a year earlier. The workers' periodical Ha-Poel ha-Ẓa'ir introduced the writings of contemporary luminaries of Hebrew literature such as Asher *Barash, A.D.*Gordon, and Moshe *Smilansky among others and issued a series of books under the title "The People's University Library." Shlomo Sreberk, a publisher in Vilna and Warsaw, moved to Palestine in 1933 reestablishing his imprint and founding a new one named Izreel. Omanut, specializing in the arts and books for children, was founded in Moscow in 1916 by Shoshanah *Persitz (who subsequently became a member of the Israel Knesset) and was transferred to Tel Aviv in 1925. Rubin Mass, founded in Berlin in 1927, moved to Palestine in 1933. The Schocken publishing house, founded in Berlin in 1927, moved to Palestine in 1938, where it also established Israel's leading daily newspaper, Haaretz. Most of the publishing houses mentioned above still exist in one form or another (for details see below).
At the same time that many of the old-established European houses were being reborn in Palestine, new indigenous publishing houses were also being set up. Three veterans of the *Jewish Brigade of the British Army in World War i, Joshua Chachik, Mordechai Newman, and Joseph Sreberk, inaugurated Mitzpeh in 1925; in 1944 the partnership dissolved and each of them set up their own imprint. In 1930, one of the pioneers of early Tel Aviv, Naḥum Twersky, established hisown publishing house as did Z. Zack in Jerusalem in the same year. Schachna Achiasaf founded his eponymous publishing house in Jerusalem in 1933. Joshua Orenstein's Yavneh Publishing House has been active in Tel Aviv since 1932. One of the most important publishers in pre-state Palestine and during the first four decades of the state was Massadah, founded in 1931 by Bracha Peli, who had left Russia with her family and immigrated to Palestine 10 years before. The company, which began as a lending library in 1922, then becoming a chain of bookstores, eventually developed into one of the dominant publishing houses in the Israeli book trade and it also owned one of the biggest printing plants in the Middle East. The company was split up and its assets disposed of following the death of Bracha Peli in 1986. Under the direction of Alexander Peli, the son of Bracha, Massadah was publisher of the 38-volume Encyclopedia Hebraica, unquestionably the single most important and complex publishing project in the history of the state.
Israel has had a tradition of publishing by institutions with a strong ideological motivation. From 1939, the two major kibbutz movements Ha-Kibbutz ha-Arẓi and Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad operated their own publishing houses (respectively Sifriat Poalim and Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uhad) combining general publishing with books having a clear ideological affinity with their respective kibbutz movements. Another institutional publisher is Am Oved, founded and owned by the Histadrut (the General Federation of Labor in Israel). For details of these publishing houses, see below.
While the Hebrew language is by far the dominant force in Israeli publishing, there is a certain amount of quality Arabic publishing in the country, some of it sponsored by institutions and there are also several independent publishers, including Dar el-Huda of Kafr Kara, Al-Mushreq of Shefaram, and al-Aswar of Acre. In addition there is a limited amount of original publishing of books and journals in English and other languages (much of it of a scholarly and academic nature).
With the influx of nearly one million new immigrants from the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 2000, the cultural face of Israel has been transformed in many ways, and the Russian influence is very apparent in music, theater, dance, and, of course, literature. There has been a flowering of newspapers and magazines, and some 250 outlets throughout the country sell books in Russian. It has been asserted that Israel has one of the world's largest publics for Russian language books and magazines – second only to Russia itself. Among the leading Russian language publishers are Gishrei-Tarbut ("Cultural Bridges") based in both Jerusalem and Moscow, which publishes an extensive list of original and translated books in Russian including the works of many contemporary Hebrew writers. Its main publication is the multi-volume Bibliotheca Judaica published in cooperation with the Center of Jewish Studies in Russian of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Other leading Russian-language publishers include Mahanayim, for religious publications including the Bible, Talmud, and prayer books. Merkur, Beseder, and Moskva/Kfar Saba are three general publishers. Sifriat Aliya has published the Shorter Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian, based on the Encyclopaedia Judaica.
Although official government statistics with reference to the book trade have not been compiled for several years, it is estimated that some 4,500 new books were being published annually in Israel in the early 21st century – the overwhelming majority of which in Hebrew. While there are hundreds of individuals, companies and institutions who publish the occasional book or two, there are approximately 100 publishing houses which can be considered as "professional" (those publishing from 15 to 100 or even more new titles a year). A brief account of some of the leading publishers is given below.
Some 90 publishers belong to the Book Publishers' Association of Israel founded in 1939. In addition to acting as a lobby for the promotion of Israeli books, the Association also organizes and administers Hebrew Book Week (see below). It also operates a joint paper-purchasing company which negotiates reduced prices for its members. Another smaller group of about 25 publishers is organized in the Israel Publishers' Union. The Book and Printing Center of the Israel Export Institute promotes Israeli publishing and printing abroad and is responsible for organizing Israel's national stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair and other international book trade events.
The major event in the Israeli publishing world is the annual Hebrew Book Week. This event, first held in 1952, takes place in the early summer in all of the country's major cities. It takes the form of open-air markets and is a very popular occasion attended by hundreds of thousands of people who take advantage of the many special offers and bargains that the publishers display on their own stands. The event in effect lasts a whole month with all the local bookstores participating and offering books at the same reduced prices as on the publishers' stands.
The Jerusalem International Book Fair is a biennial event that began in 1963. Over the years it has become one of the most popular events on the international publishing circuit and is attended by publishers from all over the world who seek new projects and authors in Israel or who wish to sell Hebrew rights or make distribution arrangements. A key event of the Fair is the Editorial Fellowship Program, which is internationally regarded as the most important forum in the world today for young editors. Since its establishment in 1985, more than 250 editors from some 25 countries (as of 2005) have participated in the program. Today many of its alumni hold key positions in publishing houses the world over. The Fair is also the occasion of the awarding of the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of Mankind in Society – Israel's premier international literary award. Prominent past recipients of the Jerusalem Prize include Bertrand Russell, Isaiah *Berlin, Jorgé Luis Borges, Simone de Beauvoir, Milan Kundera, Mario Vargas Llosa, Don DeLillo, and Susan *Sontag.
While some of Israel's leading writers are represented by literary agents abroad, two agents in Israel represent the bulk of Israeli authors. The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature is a public company founded in 1962 for the purpose of promoting Hebrew literature including poetry and children's books into other languages. It represents a wide range of Israeli writers of quality fiction. The Institute also publishes the highly regarded magazine, Modern Hebrew Literature, edited by Gershon *Shaked, which features short stories, extracts, and chapters from important recently published or forthcoming books. It also publishes catalogues of Israeli books, biographies of leading writers, and a series of bibliographies of Israeli publications both in the original and in translation.
The Harris/Elon Agency, founded in Jerusalem by Deborah Harris in 1991, also represents an important cross-section of Israeli authors of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as those writing in languages other than Hebrew. Three agencies specialize in the marketing of foreign rights to Israeli publishers for translation into Hebrew: the Harris/Elon Agency referred to above; the Pikarsky Agency in Tel Aviv, founded in 1975 by the American/Israeli writer, Barbara Rogan; and a literary agency belonging to the Israel Book Publishers' Association, which caters to its members.
Israel's printing industry measures up to the most rigorous and advanced modern standards and several publishers specialize in packaging co-productions for publishers overseas. The availability of advanced digital printing processes has led to the short-run reissuing of many rare books, especially in the fields of Judaica and rabbinic studies.
Israel's retail book trade is dominated by the Steimatzky chain. Founded by Ezekiel Steimatzky in Jerusalem and Beirut in 1925, this is the oldest and most diversified bookselling enterprise in Israel. It imports books and magazines, videos and CDs and its business extends to over 160 shops throughout the country. It also acts as a wholesaler to another 1,000 retail outlets. Steimatzky also acts as a publisher and issues co-editions of books having a particular reference to Israel, such as illustrated albums, books by prominent local personalities, etc. While Steimatzky still enjoys a near monopoly over imported general books and magazines, the Tzomet Sefarim chain, founded in 1996 and owned by the Kinneret/Zmora/Dvir publishing conglomerate, is a major force for Hebrew books with some 30 shops mostly but not exclusively situated in the country's shopping malls.
A relatively small, third chain, Tamir, has seven shops in the Jerusalem area. The main sources for scientific, medical, and academic books are Academon, belonging to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Dyonon, belonging to Tel Aviv University and with branches in the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba and the Multi-Disciplinary Center of Herzliyyah. Despite the competition from the chains, there are still many smaller traditional bookstores throughout the country, although their numbers are declining. There are electronic companies selling books through the internet, including dbook and Mitos. Gefen, a primarily English- language publisher, has a subsidiary company called Israbook, with a branch in New York, which supplies libraries, institutions and individuals throughout the world with Israeli publications.
The following brief list gives some of the leading, most prolific, or best-known Israeli publishers (the list is by no means exhaustive nor does it imply any value judgment).
One of Israel's leading publishers of quality literature and non-fiction. Founded by the Histadrut (the General Federation of Labor) in 1942, it publishes in an exhaustive range of subjects. As a major publisher of paperback books, it promotes new and classical Israeli and world literature in Hebrew through its series Sifriyyah le-Am ("The Peoples' Library").
This distinguished non-profit making institution, was established by the World Zionist Organization in 1935 and was named in honor of the national poet Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik. Its aim is to promote Hebrew literature, particularly in the field of Jewish studies, biblical research, philosophy, and sociology. Its publications cover scholarly and popular editions of classical Jewish works, archaeology, Judaica, art and art history, and Hebrew literature.
Founded in 1958, the company specializes in the publication of maps, atlases, encyclopedias, and other reference books in Hebrew, English, German, Russian, and other languages, many of them in co-production with overseas publishers, concentrating on the geography, history, and archaeology of the Bible, the Holy Land, and the Land of Israel today.
A merger of two publishing houses owned respectively by the National Federation of Collective Settlements (kibbutzim) and the Kibbutz Artzi movement. Sifriat Poalim was founded in 1939 and Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad in 1945. Both are public cultural institutions with a broad general publishing vision and a prolific and eclectic list with a strong emphasis on children's books, as well as books of an ideological nature representing the social and political beliefs of the two pioneering movements. The series Ha-Sifriyyah ha-Ḥadashah ("New Library") is one of the country's most distinguished lists of original and translated fiction. The two houses merged their publishing activities in 2000.
The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature (ithl) was founded in 1962 to create a bridge between modern Hebrew literature and the non-Hebrew–speaking world. Over the years its range of activities has expanded far beyond translation (into 66 languages). ithl's current activities include publication of author/book directories and catalogues; a unique bibliographic center listing all published translations of Hebrew literature; a website including an index of Hebrew authors in English (about 450 to 2006); yearly publication of Modern Hebrew Literature, a journal in English; literary agency services to more than 200 leading authors of adult, young adult, and children's literature; participation in major book fairs, financial support to foreign publishers; initiating anthologies of Hebrew literature in a variety of languages (about 200 to 2006); organizing international translation and literary events in Israel and abroad.
Founded in 1966, the company initiates and packages co-publishing projects with leading publishers overseas under whose imprints the books are published. Its profusely illustrated publications, concentrating on biblical research, archaeology, and general history, have made it a world leader in the production of Jewish English-language encyclopedias and dictionaries. Among its major publications are the Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible; Guide to Biblical Holy Places; Archeological Dictionary of the Holy Land; Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East; Encyclopedia of the Holocaust; New Encyclopedia of Judaism; Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and After the Holocaust; and Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations. It is co-publisher of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica (2006), responsible for all editorial content.
The company began as the Israel Program for Scientific Translations, established in 1958 by the U.S. National Science Foundation in Washington and the Israel Prime Minis-ter's Office to translate scientific literature from Russian and other languages into English. In the 1960s it began to diversify its publishing activities under the imprints Israel Universities Press and Keter Books. Keter was purchased from the government in 1966 and has been a public company since 1987. It is Israel's largest integrated publishing, manufacturing (with its own printing plant), and book marketing concern and one of the country's major publishers in a wide range of genres. Its Israeli authors include Amos *Oz, Aharon *Appelfeld, Savyon *Liebrecht, and Uri *Orlev, and foreign authors include Paul *Auster, Paolo Coelho, Boris Pasternak, Salman Rushdie, Susan Sontag, and Mario Vargas-Llosa. Keter's major achievement was the magisterial English-language Encyclopedia Judaica first published in 16 volumes in 1971. The revised and updated second edition was co-published by Thomson Gale (Macmillan) in 2006.
This house is a merger dating from 2002 of three well-known publishers and is today Israel's most prolific publisher in terms of annual number of titles. The group is also part owner of the Tsomet Sefarim bookselling chain (see above). Kinneret was founded as a general publisher in 1979 and Zmora (previously Zmora/Bitan/Modan), founded in 1973, was a leading publisher of original and translated fiction, as well as a broad general list. One of the most distinguished names in Israeli publishing, Dvir was established in Berlin in the early 20th century by some of the leading Hebrew literary figures of the time and moved to Palestine in 1924. It has published many of the classics of Modern Hebrew literature, several of which are now being re-issued.
Founded in 1929, the publishing house of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the oldest and largest scholarly publishing house in the country. It publishes books and journals, in English and Hebrew, on Jewish studies, Bible, history, contemporary Jewry, archeology, law, mathematics, among other subjects. Many of its publications are published in cooperation with academic and university publishing houses overseas.
The successor to the Lewin-Epstein publishing house founded in 1930, Modan, established in 1974, is a large general publisher specializing in cookbooks, general fiction, and "how-to" books.
This scholarly publishing house was founded in 1936 to perpetuate the memory of the chief rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Isaac Kook. It is a non-profit institution whose aim is to publish scholarly works in traditional religious Jewish studies, especially Bible commentary, the Talmud, Jewish history, philosophy, and Jewish law. Among its major publications are several editions of the Bible, a Bible commentary in 30 volumes, and the collected works of Maimonides.
Schocken Verlag was founded in Berlin in 1931 by Salman *Schocken, owner of a chain of prosperous department stores. He immigrated to Palestine in 1934 and established two publishing houses: Schocken Tel Aviv for books in Hebrew and Schocken New York for books in English. The Israeli company is one of the most distinguished publishing houses in the country and numbers among its writers some of its leading literary figures such as Yehuda *Amichai, Yeshayahu *Leibowitz, Meir *Shalev, A.B.*Yehoshua, and Shmuel Yosef *Agnon, Israel's only winner of the Nobel Prize for literature (in 1966). Among its foreign authors are Franz *Kafka, Herman Hesse, Ted Hughes, D.H. Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Philip *Roth, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Schocken has acquired the rights to reissue a new an updated edition of the monumental Encyclopedia Hebraica, originally published by Massadah.
Wholly owned by the mass-circulation daily newspaper of the same name, the publishing house, established in 1952, began with the publication of basic Jewish texts including the Bible, but since then has branched out into a wide range of subjects with a strong emphasis on books on the history of the State of Israel, political and military affairs, biographies of prominent individuals, encyclopedias, and children's books. The house has an imprint called Proza for quality original and translated fiction, philosophy, psychology, etc.
[Asher Weil (2nd ed.)]
F. Kapp and J. Goldfriedrich, Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels, 4 vols. (1886–1913); R. Hamburger, Rudolf Mosse (1928); A.M. Hyamson, in: Anglo-Jewish Notabilities (1949), 4–73; H. Lehmann-Haupt, The Book in America (19512); Y. Pograbinsky, in: Ha-Sefer ha-Ivri, 9 (1951), 37–56; 10 (1952), 37–53; K. Schottenloher, Buecher bewegten die Welt, 2 vols. (1952); A. Levinson, Toledot Yehudei Varshah (1953), 306–10; S.Z. Sreberk, Zikhronot (1954); A. Litai, in: He-Avar, 3 (1956), 51–54; C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959), 165–85; Roth, Marranos, ch. 13, 269, 322ff.; idem, in: jjs, 4 (1953), 116–30; J. Toury, in: blbi, 3 (1960), 58–69; Ch. Shmeruk, Pirsumim Yehudiyyim bi-Verit ha-Mo'aẓot (1960); S.H. Steinberg, Five Hundred Years of Printing (19612); S. Kaznelson, Juden im deutschen Kulturbereich (19623), 131–46; H.G. Adler, Juden in Deutschland (1962); G. Berman-Fischer, Der Fischer Verlag (1967); M. Faeber, in: Jews of Czechoslovakia, 1 (1968), 532–8; A.M. Habermann, Ha-Sefer ha-Ivri be-Hitpatteḥuto (1968), incl. bibl.
The body of law relating to the publication of books, magazines, newspapers, electronic materials, and other artistic works.
Publishing law is not a discrete legal topic with its own laws. It is a collection of often disparate legal areas, such as contracts, intellectual property, torts, and the first amendment.
Publishing is the act of distributing or otherwise making public a visual or literary work. The key players in publishing are publishers and authors. Publishers are those persons or organizations that dispense information to the public. The term author commonly describes writers and journalists, but where publishing is concerned, the term also describes photographers, filmmakers, video artists, and other artists whose work is published. Most publishers designate a lawyer to review a publishable work and identify its potential legal pitfalls. This person, called a legal liaison, may confer with outside legal counsel to ensure that the publication does not ensnare the publisher or author in legal conflict. A legal liaison should be familiar with the many legal issues peculiar to publishing, including copyright and trademark infringement, sales, advertising, distribution policies, subscription agreements, special sales arrangements, insurance, free speech, tax matters, and antitrust concerns stemming from the publisher's membership in trade associations. Other employees of publishers, such as editors, also should be trained to spot potential legal problems with a publishable work and bring them to the attention of the legal liaison before publication.
Publishers may be held liable for omissions, mistakes, and transgressions of their authors, as well as their own omissions, mistakes, and transgressions. One of the first and foremost concerns of publishers is copyright and trademark issues. Publishers should conduct thorough research on copyright and trademark issues before publishing a work. Among other things, publishers should ensure that copyrights are properly registered; the appropriate copyright notice is placed in each work; copyrights for work published prior to the effective date of the most recent federal copyright act, the Copyright Amendments Act of 1992 (2 U.S.C.A. § 179 et seq.), are renewed; the work does not violate the copyrights or trademark rights of another publisher or author; all copyrights are duly affixed to the work; all copyrights from source materials have been released or paid for; the work does not defame anyone; the work does not invade a person's right of privacy; all obligations to authors, creators, and illustrators under the contract are being met; information from sources can be verified or has been confirmed; and any material derived from a dialogue between real people that is placed in quotation marks correctly sets forth the actual words spoken.
Failure to confirm quotations can lead to lengthy litigation if the quotations defame the speaker. In Masson v. New Yorker Magazine Inc., 686 F. Supp. 1396 (N.D. Cal. 1987), aff'd, 881 F.2d 1452 (9th Cir. 1989), and superseded, 895 F.2d 1535 (9th Cir. 1990), and rev'd, 501 U.S. 496, 111 S. Ct. 2419, 115 L. Ed. 2d 447 (1991), on remand 832 F. Supp. 1350 (N.D. Cal. 1993), 85 F.3d 1394 (9th Cir. 1996), psychoanalyst Jeffrey M. Masson sued New Yorker magazine, its publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and freelance writer Janet Malcolm after Malcolm wrote a quite unflattering article about Masson for the New Yorker that included quotations by Masson that Malcolm could not substantiate. The defendants ultimately prevailed but only after more than a decade of litigation.
Some publishable works run the risk of invading a person's right of privacy. A person whose privacy is invaded may recover damages for the loss of privacy, for mental and emotional distress suffered as a result of the intrusion, and for any specific injuries or financial losses stemming from the intrusion. The four basic types of privacy invasion are public disclosure of private and embarrassing facts, publicity that places an individual in a false light, intrusion into seclusion, and misappropriation of a person's name or likeness for commercial advantage. Generally, public figures do not receive as much privacy protection as do private individuals.
Publishers also must ensure that a work does not infringe upon a person's right of publicity. The right of publicity protects a person's exclusive right to control the exploitation of his name, likeness, or persona for commercial purposes. Generally, to qualify for this protection, the person must have commercially exploited his persona. A publisher violates a person's right of publicity by publishing, without consent, the person's performance, name, or likeness for advertising or trade purposes.
"I Can't Get No": The Publisher Satisfaction Clause
Of all the provisions in a book contract, the satisfaction clause is the most controversial. Under the satisfaction clause, a publisher may refuse to publish an author's work and demand reimbursement for any advance payments if the publisher is not satisfied with the final product.
Publishers insist on including a satisfaction clause in book contracts to protect their own interests. A publishing company typically uses the clause when it has signed a deal with an author for a book that has not been completed. Such speculative deals are common in the world of book publishing. Many authors do not write books unless they receive an advance payment, and few publishers receive completed books that need no additional work from the author.
If a publisher is interested in a book or an idea for a book, it may seek an agreement with the author to gain the copyrights to the final product. The agreement may include an advance payment for the expected final product. When the publisher makes an advance payment, it must have a way out of the contract if the author submits a final product that is unsatisfactory. Without a satisfaction clause, authors would have less incentive to submit quality work, and publishers could be faced with manuscripts requiring an unreasonable amount of editing and rewriting.
For authors, the satisfaction clause is a potential trap. Some authors have argued that a publisher may use the clause as camouflage to reject a book for an invalid reason. For example, a publisher might reject a manuscript and claim it was unsatisfactory when the real reason for the publisher's rejection was that another publisher had beaten it to press with a book on the same subject. Such a rejection would be a bad faith rejection and would give the author a cause of action against the publisher. However, bad faith is notoriously difficult to prove in court.
For decades, courts refused to examine the motives of publishers when they invoked the satisfaction clause to terminate a book contract. The first sign of a more stringent standard of review came in 1979 in Random House v. Gold, 464 F. Supp. 1306 (S.D.N.Y. 1979). In Gold, Random House rejected author Herbert Gold's novel Swiftie the Magician after learning that Gold's first two books had fallen short of commercial expectations. Gold had agreed to write four books for Random House in exchange for advance payments against royalties.
When Random House offered to renegotiate Gold's contract, Gold sold Swiftie the Magician to McGraw-Hill. Random House sued and won back the advance payments to Swiftie the Magician, but in its opinion the court observed that broad discretion for publishers in their predictions of commercial success "may permit overreaching by publishers attempting to extricate themselves from bad deals."
The case of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich v. Goldwater, 532 F. Supp. 619 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), created a new approach to author-publisher contracts. In Goldwater, author Stephen Shadegg and politician barry m. goldwater contracted with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich to publish Goldwater's memoirs. In return for the book rights, Harcourt paid to Shadegg and Goldwater a $65,000 advance. Harcourt rejected the final manuscript nineteen months after the agreement was reached without giving the authors an opportunity to make revisions and without giving them editorial assistance. Harcourt demanded a return of the advance. Shadegg and Goldwater refused, and Harcourt sued.
The court acknowledged that the law must afford a publisher "very considerable discretion," but it also noted that a publisher does not have an "absolutely unfettered license to act or not to act in any way it wishes and to accept or reject a book for any reason whatever." The Gold court had said nearly as much, but the Goldwater court made new law when it declared that "there is an implied obligation in a contract of this kind for the publisher to engage in appropriate editorial work with the author." Goldwater therefore created a publisher's duty to provide editorial assistance to prevent its wanton use of the satisfaction clause. An additional duty, the duty to give an author the opportunity to make a revision, was established shortly thereafter in Dell Publishing v. Whedon, 577 F. Supp. 1459 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).
The satisfaction clause is likely to remain a standard provision in author-publisher contracts. Under the clause, authors will be held to their obligation to produce a satisfactory manuscript—that is, one the publisher can publish. Publishers, on the other hand, must be fair in their use of the clause against an author. Courts will no longer allow publishers to walk away from any author agreement just by reciting the word "unsatisfactory."
Several other torts may be committed in the publication of a work. Among other torts, publishers should be on guard for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, incitement and negligent publication, breach of confidentiality, trespass, assault, and battery. Trespass, assault, and battery are most common in news-gathering situations, where the competition to break stories can lead writers, photographers, and video artists to engage in questionable behavior. Battery, for example, can occur if a photographer or interviewer intentionally touches a subject in an offensive way. An assault occurs if a person puts another person in reasonable fear of a harmful or offensive physical contact, and a person commits trespass by entering on land without permission of the legal occupant.
Infliction of emotional distress is tortious conduct that causes severe emotional distress to the subject of a work. For example, a publisher could be held liable under this theory of recovery for printing a photograph in a pornographic magazine and incorrectly identifying the person in the picture if the identified person experiences work interruptions, nightmares, terror, humiliation, or other emotional distress as a result. A plaintiff in such an action may recover for both physical and mental harm resulting from the tort. A subject need not suffer physical or bodily injury to recover damages for this tort; emotional damage is sufficient. The main issue in such torts is whether the conduct by the author or publisher was so extreme and outrageous as to permit recovery for the subject's emotional distress.
The tort of incitement is speech directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action that is likely to incite or produce such action. Such speech must be explicit to constitute incitement. Publishers generally will not be held liable if warnings are included in the work or the publication does not produce a clear and present danger of imminent injury. Negligent publication is the unintentional publication of incorrect facts that results in injury. This tort requires that the publisher owe a specific duty of care toward the injured party. This duty is difficult, but not impossible, to establish. If, for example, a publisher markets a flight manual to airplane pilots and the manual contains errors, the publisher may be liable for injuries if an airplane crashes because its pilot followed the faulty information.
Breach of confidentiality generally arises from an individual's assertion that the publisher had a duty not to disclose certain information about her. The duty may be expressed in a written or oral agreement between the parties. It also may be implied or required by law. Such statutes are designed to protect an individual's general privacy interest, protect certain sensitive information, or shield certain government information or functions from public knowledge. For example, some states maintain statutes that prohibit the publication of the full name of a juvenile accused of a crime. Another example is the federal statute that creates a cause of action against persons who tape conversations without consent for criminal or tortious purposes (title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 2520 ). If a publisher or author breaches confidentiality, she may be liable to the exposed party for injuries and financial losses stemming from the publication. In some states breach of confidentiality does not itself constitute a cause of action, but aggrieved plaintiffs may seek recovery under a breach of contract or invasion of privacy action.
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech, and free press is a frequent refuge for publishers. Publishers assert the First Amendment as a defense to claims for invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, incitement and negligent publication, breach of confidentiality, and right of publicity claims.
Starstruck Strikes Out
On September 7, 1977, actor Tony Curtis, inspired by the success of his first novel, Kid Cody, agreed with Doubleday & Company to write a "rags to riches story of a lascivious Hollywood starlet" called Starstruck (Doubleday & Company v. Curtis, 763 F.2d 495 [2d Cir. 1985], rev'g, 599 F. Supp. 779 [S.D.N.Y. 1984], and cert. denied, 474 U.S. 912, 106 S. Ct. 282, 88 L. Ed. 2d 247 ). On the strength of negotiations by his agent, Irving Paul ("Swifty") Lazar, Curtis received an advance of $50,000, which would be offset against the future royalties expected from sales of the Starstruck novel. The contract specified that Curtis should submit a satisfactory manuscript by October 1, 1978, but Curtis submitted nothing until April 1980, when he delivered a partial first draft.
In August 1981, Doubleday editor Elizabeth Drew concluded that the Starstruck manuscript was "junk, pure and simple, " and concurred with editor Adrian Zackheim, who was "appalled at the product," that Curtis's contract should be terminated under the contract's satisfaction clause. Doubleday asked Curtis to return the advance, but Curtis refused. Doubleday then sued for recovery in the Southern District of New York, and Curtis counterclaimed for third-party payments that Doubleday had received for Kid Cody.
At trial, Curtis argued that Doubleday had breached the contract in bad faith. According to Curtis, Doubleday had provided inadequate editorial assistance, and it had canceled the contract to avoid the terms of a related printing contract. The trial court dismissed Doubleday's claim on the theory that it had waived its right to reject the manuscript under the satisfaction clause by waiving deadlines. The trial court also dismissed Curtis's counterclaims.
On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of Doubleday's claim. The appeals court examined the case history and found that Curtis had refused editorial assistance offered by Doubleday, including the suggestion that Curtis consult a "novel doctor." The court also held that Doubleday had not waived its rights under the satisfaction clause, that Doubleday's editors, "who were forced to harmonize an inferior manuscript, a lucrative reprint agreement and a recalcitrant author," had acted in good faith, and that Doubleday was entitled to a return of its $50,000 advance, plus interest. Curtis appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but the High Court refused to hear the appeal.
In some situations the First Amendment also provides members of the press a right of access to information. If the press has historically been granted access to a certain proceeding, and if press access would further societal interests, journalists may have a right to be present at a proceeding or to gain access to certain information (Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 100 S. Ct. 2814, 65 L. Ed. 2d 973 ). In Richmond, the Supreme Court held that a First Amendment right of access prohibited trial courts from excluding journalists and the public from criminal trials.
The Supreme Court has recognized a journalist's right to access judicial documents, but it has yet to recognize a constitutional right to access all government records. However, most states, as well as the federal government, have enacted so-called sunshine laws, which, with some exceptions, give the general public access to public records.
Most publishers maintain insurance against risks of loss. In-house or outside insurance specialists may negotiate coverage for an assortment of risks, ranging from personal injury and property damage to media perils such as invasion of privacy, copyright and trademark infringement, unfair competition, injuries related to faulty advertising, errors and omissions in the published product, and defamation, an intentionally false communication that injures another person's reputation or good name.
Only a handful of insurers protect against media perils because of the large potential losses involved. The few insurers that do protect against media perils do not provide coverage for all forms of media liability, and some do not offer coverage for both damage awards and legal defense costs. It is common for insurers to automatically cover authors of books in blanket policies for book publishers, but software, newspaper, and magazine publishers usually must obtain coverage for their writers by negotiating their inclusion in blanket policies.
Publishers often find that they are in legal conflict with their own authors. The conflicts between authors and publishers are usually contractual in nature, and courts use ordinary contract law principles to resolve the cases. One of the most common complaints of authors is that a publisher did not sufficiently promote their books. In deciding such a claim, a court generally looks at the facts surrounding the case to determine whether the publisher used its best efforts to market the book. Another point of conflict for authors is the satisfaction clause, a boilerplate clause in book contracts that allows publishers to reject a final manuscript and demand the return of any advances if the work is not satisfactory to the publisher.
Balkin, Richard. 1994. A Writer's Guide to Book Publishing. 3d ed. New York: Plume.
Bunnin, Brad, with Peter Beren. 1998. The Writer's Legal Companion. 3d ed. Reading, Mass.: Perseus.
Fischer, Mark A., Gabriel Perle, and John Taylor Williams. 1999. Perle & Williams on Publishing Law. 3d ed. Gaithersburg, Md.: Aspen Law & Business.
Fishman, Stephen. 2003. The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works. 7th ed. Berkeley, Calif.: Nolo.
Polking, Kirk, and Leonard S. Meranus, eds. 1985. Law and the Writer. 3d ed. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest.
Sitarz, Daniel. 1989. The Desktop Publisher's Legal Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Computer Publishing Law. Carbondale, Ill.: Nova.
Strauch, Bruce, ed. 2001. Publishing and the Law: Current Legal Issues. New York: Haworth. Information Press
Art Law; Censorship; Entertainment Law; Evidence "Journalists' Privilege" (In Focus); First Amendment; Freedom of Speech; Freedom of the Press; Intellectual Property; Libel and Slander; Literary Property; Music Publishing; New York Times Co. v. Sullivan; New York Times Co. v. United States; Roth v. United States; Royalty; Trademarks; Tort Law.
The first copyright act was passed in 1709. It freed author and publisher from printers' monopolies and gave them the right to negotiate for royalties and other terms. It also gave the public free access to an author's work after a given time. During the 18th cent. the bookseller supplanted the printer in dominance of the book trade. This coincided with increased demand for books from circulating libraries and the more affluent members of the public. Religious, philosophical, and topographical works were published in large numbers, though eventually overtaken in popularity by the novel.
The earliest publishers were booksellers who sold authors' works direct to the public. Among the first were Longman's, established in 1724, and John Murray, founded in 1765. The subsequent development of publishing during the 19th cent. was a consequence of higher levels of literacy and improved printing technology. The Publishers' Association was established in 1896. Apart from newspapers, publication for a mass market was pioneered during the 19th cent. in periodicals serializing novels, like those of Dickens, with the complete novel produced later in inexpensive format. J. M. Dent's Everyman's Library, established to make available cheap editions for a popular market in 1906, was a forerunner of Allen Lane's paperback Penguin imprint, launched in 1935, which revolutionized the industry and public reading habits.
While many publishers produced books on a wide range of subjects, some specialized in particular fields, for example, legal, medical, scientific, and management studies. University presses, including those of Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Wales, and Edinburgh, were established to publish academic works. Another specialist branch, cartographic publishing, producing charts, maps, and atlases, grew in importance during the late 18th and 19th cents., pioneers being John Bartholomew, William Lizar, and the Ordnance and Geological Surveys.
Outside London, the nucleus of the industry, Edinburgh became an important centre of publishing and printing, especially after the success of Sir Walter Scott's novels, but the publishing industry there, after flourishing during the 19th and first half of the 20th cents., was a victim of progressive metropolitan take-overs. Publishing in Glasgow, though never on the scale of Edinburgh, suffered a similar fate. Nevertheless Scottish publishing, in common with that in Wales, has experienced a revival since the 1960s.