Jacques Schiffrin

A Publisher in Exile, from Pléiade to Pantheon

Amos Reichman. Foreword by Robert O. Paxton. Translated by Sandra Smith.

Columbia University Press

Jacques Schiffrin

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Pub Date: May 2019

ISBN: 9780231189583

224 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: May 2019

ISBN: 9780231548403

224 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.00

Jacques Schiffrin

A Publisher in Exile, from Pléiade to Pantheon

Amos Reichman. Foreword by Robert O. Paxton. Translated by Sandra Smith.

Columbia University Press

Jacques Schiffrin changed the face of publishing in the twentieth century. As the founder of Pléiade Editions in Paris and cofounder of Pantheon Books in New York, he helped define a lasting canon of Western literature while also promoting new authors who shaped transatlantic intellectual life. In this first biography of Schiffrin, Amos Reichman tells the story of a great publisher and his travails across two continents.

Just as he influenced the literary trajectory of the twentieth century, Schiffrin’s life was affected by its tumultuous events. Born in Baku in 1892, he fled after the Bolsheviks came to power, eventually settling in Paris, where he founded Pléiade. After Vichy France passed anti-Jewish laws, Schiffrin finally managed to flee for New York, later establishing Pantheon Books with Kurt Wolff, a German exile. Following Schiffrin’s death in 1950, his son André continued in his father’s footsteps, preserving a remarkable intellectual and cultural legacy. In addition to recounting Schiffrin’s life and times, Reichman describes his complex friendships with prominent figures including André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Peggy Guggenheim, and Bernard Berenson. From the vantage point of Schiffrin’s extraordinary career, Reichman sheds new light on French and American literary culture, European exiles in the United States, and the transatlantic ties that transformed the world of publishing.
Reichman's archival work brings a fresh perspective on a major yet little-known publisher, and offers a sophisticated overview of the literary and cultural landscape in France before and during the Second World War. Lise Jaillant, Loughborough University

About the Author

Amos Reichman studied humanities at the École normale supérieure de Lyon and Columbia University. His articles have appeared in Le Monde and Les temps modernes, among others.

Robert O. Paxton is Mellon Professor Emeritus of Social Science at Columbia University. His books include Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order (Columbia, revised edition, 2001).

Sandra Smith is the translator of Némirovsky’s Suite française and Camus’s The Stranger, among others. She has won the French-American Florence Gould Foundation Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, and the National Jewish Book Award.