Two Park Street

Paul Brooks, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $12.95 (157p) ISBN 978-0-395-37774-1
Brooks has written a charmingly modest memoir of a genteel profession, at least as it was practiced on the banks of the Charles 200 miles east of the Hudson before publishing became a corporate communications industry. Having worked for 40 years at Houghton Mifflinthe last 25 as editor-in-chief before retiring in 1969he has many nostalgic anecdotes to relate. Newcomers to publishing will hardly recognize the industry Brooks recalls, days of continuity that found few employees or authors jumping shipa time before PW's People pages needed to expand to today's extensive spread. As Brooks tells it: once connected, one tended to stay put. He writes about his author Rachel Carson and the chemical industry campaign to discredit Silent Spring ; about the beginnings of Roger Tory Peterson's bird guides, which are now standards in their field; also about editing Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Winston Churchill, James Agee. Among Brooks's reactionary reminders is that, even in our era of conglomerate publishing with its high ticket pressures, all this frantic activity still takes seed from ""a writer with an idea.'' (December l)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 12/01/1986
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