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A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York [Hardcover]

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Item description for A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York by Andre Schiffrin...

André Schiffrin was born the son of one of France's most esteemed publishers, in a world peopled by some of the day's leading writers and intellectuals, such as André Gide and Jean-Paul Sartre. But this world was torn apart when the Nazis marched into Paris on young André's fifth birthday.

Beginning with the family's dramatic escape to Casablanca—thanks to the help of the legendary Varian Fry—and eventually New York, A POLITICAL EDUCATION recounts the surprising twists and turns of a life that saw Schiffrin become, himself, one of the world's most respected publishers.

Emerging from the émigre community of wartime New York (a community including Hannah Arendt and Kurt Wolff), he would go on to develop an insatiable appetite for literature and politics: heading a tiny student group at Yale that he renamed the Students for a Democratic Society—the SDS ... leading student groups at European conferences—once, as an unwitting front man for the CIA ... and eventually being appointed by Random House chief Bennet Cerf to head the very imprint co-founded by his father—Pantheon. There, he would discover and publish some of the world's leading writers, including Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Art Spiegelman, and Marguerite Duras.

Schiffrin would ultimately rebel at corporate ownership and form his own publishing house—The New Press—where he would go on to set a new standard for independent publishing.

A POLITICAL EDUCATION is a fascinating intellectual memoir that tells not only the story of a unique and important figure, but of the tulutuous political times that shaped him.
“A beautifully written and melancholy update, if you will, of Democracy in America by the Frenchman de Tocqueville, this book also written by a man born in France, but one who has spent most of his life in America, most famously as a publisher of books in support of peace and we the people.” --Kurt Vonnegut

“Schiffrin's memoir is a master class in living, learning and writing. Sign up now for a fabulous experience.”
--Bill Moyers

“This remarkable work is more than a flesh-and-blood tale of growing up. It is the stunning and revelatory road map of a a seeker. It is an autobiography of ideas.”
--Studs Terkel
André Schiffrin was, for thirty years, the publisher of Pantheon Books, where he published some of the world's leading writers, including Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Eric Hobsbawm, Art Spiegelman, Simone De Beauvoir, Studs Terkel and Marguerite Duras. In 1990 Schiffrin left Pantheon to found The New Press, and many of those writers can with him. He is the author of the acclaimed study of the book industry, The Business of Books. André Schiffrin divides his time between Paris and New York.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   281
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2007
Publisher   Melville House
ISBN  1933633158  
ISBN13  9781933633152  

Availability  0 units.

More About Andre Schiffrin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Andre Schiffrin was, for thirty years, the publisher of Pantheon Books. In 1990 Schiffrin left Pantheon to found The New Press. He is the author of The Business of Books, Words and Money, A Political Education, and Dr. Seuss & Co. Go to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of America's Leading Comic Artists. He divides his time between Paris and New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Bargain Books
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > History
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General

Reviews - What do customers think about A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York?

a great understanding of why we live the way we do  Jun 18, 2007
Andre Schiffrin gives insight of what happened to the left in America and a great understanding of the problems of corporate greed. He was born in France and escaped the Vichy government to the USA where his father continued as a publisher.

An interesting analysis of the demise of small independant publishers and how it affects free speech.

A whole lot more packed into this facinating memoir.
Captivating  May 12, 2007
I found A Political Education by André Schiffrin to be an eloquent, charming and captivating read. It is an autobiography of a man who has had dual national allegiances, born in France and with a father prominent in French intellectual circles as a publisher, but who as a child had to flee with his family to America due to the antisemitism of Vichy France. He tells of his memories of growing up in NYC, a precocious and socially activist student, who although his family now struggled economically to establish a new life, succeeded through Yale and Cambridge to eventually become a prominent publisher himself. An acknowledged, but undoctinaire socialist, he managed to wed the best of French and American intellectualism. Schiffrin has good tales to tell, good insights to convey. A fine memoir, pleasurable, of which his father and mother would be proud.
A Unique "Coming of Age" Tale from the 1940s and 1950s  Apr 6, 2007
Andre Schiffrin's unique story about his "coming of age" in New York, Paris and New Haven should be read by those who have "come of age" in more recent generations. Schiffrin's intelligence and wide-ranging experiences are an historical treat. We discover him taking a rather dangerous trip by freighter to post-World War II France at age 13 to meet family and his father's writer friends, including Andre Gide. A few years later Schiffrin is learning about left-wing politics first-hand in New York City through the lens of French socialism. Anti-semitism at Yale, the wide net of the CIA, the increasing importance of the "bottom line" and its fallout among the publishing conglomerates --are all counterbalanced by Schiffrin's enduring optimism and reformism. He spends much of his energy trying to change things --notably by setting up The New Press in the 1990s which publishes Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel and many other writers who had a fundamental disdain for the conglomerates. This book is a "must read" as a personal history of a very gifted activist and publisher in the 20th century.

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