75th Anniversary

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Tue May 28 13:41:34 EDT 2002

The ML began in 1917 and Cerf and Klopfer bought it in 1925.  The 75th
anniversary of the ML was 1992.

Initially Cerf and Klopfer published only the ML and the name of the company
was The Modern Library, Inc.  After a couple of years they had the ML
running smoothly and began looking for new ventures.  They started Random
House in 1927 as a subsidiary of the ML, Inc., to publish, at random, other
books that interested them.  Random House concentrated initially on fine
limited editions and had a separate board of directors (Cerf, Klopfer, and
the fine printer Elmer Adler).  They also published occasional trade books.
The Depression put an end to the marker for expensive limited editions and
Random House began to concentrate more and more on trade books distributed
through bookstores.  After the Liveright bankruptcy in 1933 Random House
signed the Liveright authors Eugene O'Neill and Robinson Jeffers and hired
Saxe Commins, O'Neill's editor at Liveright, .  (They came close to signing
Theodore Dreiser, but changed their minds at the last moment, probably
because of Dreiser's well-earned reputation as a difficult author.  The
Random House archives contain the original signed letter (not a carbon)
making Dreiser a very generous offer; the letter was never sent.)  The next
major acquisition was in 1936, when they acquired the small publishing firm
Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, whose list included Faulkner, Isak Dinesen,
Andre Malraux, and many others.  It was at this time that  the business was
reorganized.  Random House, Inc., became the parent company in 1936 , with
Smith and Haas joining the new board, and the ML became a subsidiary imprint
of its offspring.

The Random House imprint was used for the first time in 1927.  It's the 75th
anniversary of that event that Random House is celebrating this year.


----- Original Message -----
From: JOSEPH HILL <GOODBOOKS at webtv.net>
To: <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 12:12 PM
Subject: 75th Anniversary

> I have three copies left-then that's it.
> The strangest thing is that it was printed in 1992. That would be right.
> (1917-1992 75 years) So what's the big deal over 2002 that Random House
> is currently making? 1926-2002 Does not come out right. I was never that
> great at math but it still does not add up right...or does it?

More information about the ModLib mailing list