George Braziller (February 12, 1916 – March 16, 2017) was an American book publisher and the founder of George Braziller, Inc., a firm known for its literary and artistic books and its publication of foreign authors.
Life and career
Braziller was first employed as a shipping clerk, during the Great Depression. In 1941, George and Marsha Braziller founded the Book Find Club, which was smaller than the Book of the Month Club but exceedingly successful, "with a reputation for seriousness of purpose." They then began the Seven Arts Book Society in 1951 and in 1955 they began to publish their own books. The Braziller publishing firm is located at 277 Broadway, Suite 708, in Manhattan, New York City. When Braziller travelled to Europe in the late 1960s, he was in Paris during the events of May 1968 which led to the collapse of the de Gaulle government. Henri Alleg's autobiography La Question, which he brought back from that trip and published in English language translation,</ref> was his firm's first big success in the United States.
While I was there, a book came out [La Question]. I got the book, took it back to America, got a hold of Richard Howard to translate it, brought the book out overnight, and we sold 10,000 copies. Just like that we became famous. Those were really exciting times in Paris. I remember you'd go to the corner café, and there were artists like Max Ernst, Giacometti, Calder, and then the writers, poets, playwrights, dramatists like Camus, Michaux, Ionesco, Dürrenmatt ... Those were the early years, when you would say "only in America" could you start a book club with only 25 bucks and move it up to 100,000 members and then start a publishing house.— George Braziller, Brooklyn Rail interview.
In 2011 George Braziller retired at the age of 95. His son Michael Braziller of Persea Books, became Publisher and Editorial Director while George's elder son Joel Braziller became Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Permissions. With a small team they maintain the Braziller tradition with new series and a rich backlist.
- Braziller, George. "United States Public Records Index". Family Search. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Italie, Hillel (March 17, 2017). "George Braziller, literary publisher dies at 101", Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
- Sommerville, Henry S. "2003 Visiting Fellow and Library Research Grant". Friends of the Princeton University Library. Princeton University. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012.
The new publishing house followed the model of the book club, bringing out works of popular physical and social science, literature, and art, often reviving out-of-print books that found a grateful audience. Braziller soon added new fiction by foreign authors, especially French 'new novelists,' and debut novels by American authors ... By the close of the 1960s, Braziller's importance as a publisher of literary and artistic books rivaled that of larger publishers and marked the firm as a leader in these fields.Sommerville's dissertation, "Commerce and Culture in the Career of the Permanent Innovative Press: New Directions, Grove Press, and George Braziller Inc." (University of Rochester, 2009) is available online through the University of Rochester's scholarly repository.
- Braziller, George; Bui, Phong (February 2005). "George Braziller in Conversation with Phong Bui". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- "History". George Braziller. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- "George Braziller [homepage]". George Braziller, Inc. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
- D. W. Brogan (June 8, 1958). "The Edge of the Abyss; THE QUESTION. By Henri Alleg. Introduction by Jean - Paul Sartre. Translated by John Calder from the French La Question. 123 pp. New York: George Braziller. $2.95". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- "About". Persea Books. Retrieved October 28, 2019.