The New Press
In 1990 André Schiffrin resigned as editor-in-chief of Pantheon Books and within two years raised enough money to launch the New Press, with former Pantheon editor Diane Wachtell. Many of Schiffrin's authors from Pantheon, including Studs Terkel, left to join him.
The New Press is a nonprofit organization intended to publish books in the public interest, that "promote and enrich public discussion and understanding of the issues vital to our democracy and to a more equitable world." Schiffrin likened it to "public television and radio, a house to supplement university presses in publishing riskier books." The business model was noteworthy for its innovation, it included grant support in addition to publishing revenue; academic partnerships and staff diversity. Its intern programme aimed at attracting candidates from minority ethnic backgrounds into the book business benefited the wider world of publishing. Victor Navasky, writing in The Nation, called it "a bold experiment in nonprofit, relatively radical book publishing".
Schiffrin was editor in chief for more than a decade, and remained 'founding director and editor at large' until his death in 2013. In 2014 the board of directors includes Barbara Ehrenreich, Gara LaMarche, Michael Ratner and Bob Herbert.
Notable New Press authors include Alice Walker and Bill Moyers. John W. Dower’s Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II was published by New Press and won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2000. Best selling New Press books include The Good War by Studs Terkel; The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander; and Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky.
In 2013 New Press was reported as publishing about fifty books a year, virtually all of them of social consequence.
New Press books that have won awards:
- 1994: George Wittenborn Memorial Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America for Mining the Museum: an Installation by Fred Wilson, edited by Lisa G. Corrin.
- 1994: Lincoln Prize in Civil War History for Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War edited by Ira Berlin, Barbara Fields, Steven Miller, Joseph Reidy and Leslie Rowland.
- 1996: International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Writing to Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography by Deborah Willis.
- 2000: Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for John W. Dower’s Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.
- 2015: Martin Duberman named an Honor Book for the Stonewall Book Award, Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS
- Ulin, David (2 December 2013). "Andre Schiffrin dies at 78; book publisher founded New Press". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "New Press Founder André Schiffrin Dead at 78", Publishers Weekly. Accessed 1 August 2014.
- Rubinstein, Felicity (2 December 2013). "André Schiffrin obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Robert D. McFadden "André Schiffrin, Publishing Force and a Founder of New Press, Is Dead at 78", New York Times, December 1, 2013
- Schudel, Matt (3 December 2013). "André Schiffrin, key figure in N.Y. publishing, dies at 78". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Sandhu, Sukhdev (17 February 2012). "Radical alternatives to conventional publishing". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Infinity Awards 1985-1995", International Center of Photography. 1 August 2014.