Rowman &Littlefield Makes Four Buys
Jim Milliot -- 12/11/00

The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group has added four small publishers to its publishing roster, which includes seven academic imprints, one reference publisher and eight trade houses.

In deals that closed December 1, RLPG acquired the assets of Madison House Publishers Inc. of Madison, Wis., as well as the assets of General Hall Inc. Based in Dix Hills, N.Y., General Hall focuses on sociology textbooks, while Madison House specializes in early American and Civil War history. John Kaminski, one of three cofounders of Madison House and a professor at the University of Wisconsin, will continue to acquire titles for the line, with all other publishing functions moving to RLPG's Lanham, Md., headquarters. Madison House's 50 titles will become part of RLPG's academic imprint Rowman & Littlefield.

The editorial functions of General Hall, which has a 100-title backlist, will be divided between Dean Birkenkamp, executive editor of RLPG, based in the company's Boulder, Colo., office, and Mitch Allen, who runs the company's AltaMira offices in Walnut Creek, Calif. Ravi Mehra, who founded General Hall in 1976, is retiring.

The company's third purchase this month was of all rights and inventory to Esselmont Books' bestselling title Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City. First released in 1954, the book has sold more than 150,000 copies. Earlier this year, RLPG purchased 41 of Roberts Rinehart's Irish titles as well as the right to use the Roberts Rinehart name from Court Wayne Press, which had acquired all of RR's assets this spring (News, June 5). Rick Rinehart, founder of Roberts Rinehart, will oversee the Irish list on a part-time consulting basis. RLPG and its sister company, National Book Network, will distribute the Roberts Rinehart titles.