Jeremy Lewis

Publish and Be Doomed

Print for Victory: Book Publishing in England 1939–1945

By

British Library 304pp £30 order from our bookshop

Publishers, like farmers, are notorious grumblers, forever forecasting doom and despair and the imminent collapse of the world as they have known it. Despite affectations of donnish absent-mindedness and gentlemanly amateurism, they are also, more often than not, shrewd and hard-headed businessmen, adept at pulling strings in high places. All these qualities were much in evidence during the War, when publishers found themselves in the half-enviable, half-hopeless position of being unable to meet a seemingly insatiable demand for books.

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