The Bookman (New York)

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James Montgomery Flagg poster for The Bookman (April 1896)

The Bookman was a literary journal established in 1895 by Dodd, Mead and Company. It drew its name from the phrase, "I am a Bookman," by James Russell Lowell. The phrase regularly appeared on the cover and title page of the bound edition.

Frank H. Dodd, head of Dodd, Mead and Company, established The Bookman in 1895.[1] Its first editor was Harry Thurston Peck, who worked on its staff from 1895 to 1906. With the journal's first issue in February 1895, Peck created America's first bestseller list.[2] The lists in the The Bookman ran from 1895 until 1918, and is the only comprehensive source of annual bestsellers in the United States from 1895-1912, when Publishers Weekly began publishing their own lists.

In 1918 the journal was bought by the George H. Doran Company and then sold in 1927 to Burton Rascoe and Seward B. Collins. After Rascoe's departure in 1928, Seward continued to edit and publish the magazine until it ceased publication in 1933.[3]

It was edited by Arthur Bartlett Maurice (1873–1946) from 1899 to 1916; by G.G. Wyant from 1916 to 1918;[4] and by John C. Farrar during the years it was owned by George H. Doran. Only under the brief editorship of Burton Rascoe from 1927-28 did it abandon its conservative standards and political stance, publishing, for example, Upton Sinclair's novel Boston.[5] Its last editor was Seward Collins. Under the Collins editorship The Bookman carried articles conforming to his conservative views, influenced by Irving Babbitt, and promoted humanism and distributism. Collins himself was moving towards a far-right and fascist during his years as editor. When The Bookman ceased publication in 1933, Collins launched The American Review.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Frank H. Dodd Dies"; The New York Times, January 11, 1916
  2. ^ Laura J. Miller (2000). "The Best-Seller List as Marketing Tool and Historical Fiction". In Ezra Greenspan (editor). Book History. Volume Three. Penn State Press. pp. 286–304. ISBN 0271020504. 
  3. ^ Wagenknecht, Edward, American Profile 1900–1909, page 215. "Bookman Sold"; Time, April 18, 1927
  4. ^ "With Authors and Publishers"; The New York Times, May 26, 1918
  5. ^ James D. Hart and Phillip W. Leininger, eds., The Oxford Companion to American Literature (1995), "Bookman, The"

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