This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset,…

Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset, America’s Maverick Publisher and…

by Michael Rosenthal

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
611,760,320 (4.5)4



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

If there's one person from the annals of 20th-century publishing who deserves to be better remembered than he currently is, that would be Barney Rosset; "founder" of Grove Press (that is, after buying the name from a couple of incompetent academes who only managed to re-release three public domain titles in the two years they were in business), who then turned the press into the premiere destination for avant-garde and cutting-edge work in the Mid-Century Modernist years, which he financed through hundreds of reprints of old Victorian erotic novels, eventually spending millions of dollars to convince the Supreme Court to create a brand-new definition of what constitutes "obscene" artistic material, it was Rosset who quite single-handedly ushered in the era of uncensored books and movies we currently live in, just to be personally undone by the '80s by his flamboyantly sexist lifestyle and inherently bad business sense.

And Michael Rosenthal's new Barney does a great job at covering it all; although a short book, it briskly covers all the highlights of this complex and fascinating man's life, not only conveying the whats and hows but delving into the issues that motivated him, the culture around him that was perfectly ready at that perfect moment for such behavior, and what both the good and bad fallout was from his sometimes volatile decisions. And make no mistake, this is far from a sugar-coating or hagiography; Rosset not only comes off here like the petulant, libidinous man-child he no doubt was in real life, but Rosenthal even places this subject at the heart of the biography itself, rightly asking whether this First Amendment crusader would've even had the temerity to simultaneously fight 21 different state district attorneys at once if he wasn't such a egomaniacal lothario. A man who was at the very center of the underground arts during the crucial decades of the '50s, '60s and '70s, who not only introduced American audiences to such European writers as Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet but also liberated Henry Miller and the Beat poets into the realm of mainstream national success, this slim but essential volume is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the countercultural era and Postmodernism better, a solidly done portrait of a brilliant, often infuriating champion of subversion in all forms.

Out of 10: 9.5 ( )
  jasonpettus | Mar 8, 2017 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.5)
4 1
5 1

Arcade Publishing

An edition of this book was published by Arcade Publishing.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,153,518 books! | Top bar: Always visible