A Nickel an Inch: A Memoir

Ed Fitzgerald, Author Atheneum Books $17.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-689-11590-5
Fitzgerald, recently retired as president of the Book-of-the-Month Club, offers a bright, warm, anecdotal account of his careers as newspaper reporter, magazine editor and publishing executive. Captivated early on by words and the smell of printer's ink, Fitzgerald, son of Irish immigrants, grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., where he did his first reporting while still in high school, earning a nickel for each column-inch of his sports copy. At 16, he joined the sports staff of the Herald-Statesman full-time, then went on (after vividly recalled years as a World War II infantryman) to become editor of Sport magazine, director of the Literary Guild (and a Doubleday senior v-p), president of McCall's, then head of BOMC. With good humor, Fitzgerald describes encounters with innumerable writers, difficult owners (Nelson Doubleday), and unusual editors (Shana Alexander: ""the worst great idea I ever had'' at McCall's), as well as the deals, art vs. commerce battles, and proudest accomplishments (the Quality Paperback Book Club) of his publishing tour. Those, like Fitzgerald, enamored with the printed word, including publishing aspirants, will find his memoir irresistible. November 25
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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