George Braziller (February 12, 1916 – March 16, 2017) was an American book publisher and the founder of George Braziller, Inc., a firm known for its literary and artistic books and its publication of foreign authors.
Life and career
Braziller became interested in publishing while he was working as a shipping clerk, his first job, during the Great Depression. In the 1940s, he founded the Book Find Club, which was smaller than the Book of the Month Club but exceedingly successful, “with a reputation for seriousness of purpose.” After the end of World War II, he sold the Book Find Club to Time–Life Publishing and put half of the proceeds into the publishing firm he founded in the mid-1950s. The Braziller publishing firm, which is also known for its loyalty to its authors, is located at 277 Broadway, Suite 708, in Manhattan, New York City. When Braziller travelled to Europe in the late 1960s, he was in Paris during the events of May 1968 which led to the collapse of the de Gaulle government. Henri Alleg's autobiography La Question, which he brought back from that trip and published in English language translation, was his firm's first big success in the United States.
While I was there, a book came out [La Question]. I got the book, took it back to America, got a hold of Richard Howard to translate it, brought the book out overnight, and we sold 10,000 copies. Just like that we became famous. Those were really exciting times in Paris. I remember you’d go to the corner café, and there were artists like Max Ernst, Giacometti, Calder, and then the writers, poets, playwrights, dramatists like Camus, Michaux, Ionesco, Dürrenmatt.... Those were the early years, when you would say “only in America” could you start a book club with only 25 bucks and move it up to 100,000 members and then start a publishing house.
- Braziller, George. "United States Public Records Index". Family Search. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Italie, Hillel (March 17, 2017). "George Braziller, literary publisher dies at 101". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
- Sommerville, Henry S. "2003 Visiting Fellow and Library Research Grant". Friends of the Princeton University Library. Princeton University. princeton.edu. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012.
The new publishing house followed the model of the book club, bringing out works of popular physical and social science, literature, and art, often reviving out-of-print books that found a grateful audience. Braziller soon added new fiction by foreign authors, especially French 'new novelists,' and debut novels by American authors .... By the close of the 1960s, Braziller's importance as a publisher of literary and artistic books rivaled that of larger publishers and marked the firm as a leader in these fields.Sommerville's dissertation, "Commerce and Culture in the Career of the Permanent Innovative Press: New Directions, Grove Press, and George Braziller Inc." (University of Rochester, 2009) is available online through the University of Rochester's scholarly repository.
- Shapiro, Gary (March 2, 2006). "At 90, George Braziller Takes Time To Reflect". The New York Sun (Knickerbocker column).
George Braziller — founder of the eponymous publishing house known for art books and exceptional foreign authors — greeted guests at the Salmagundi Art Club last week. The occasion was his 90th birthday party, organized by his family and attended by authors and friends eager to pay tribute. That loyalty, as a fine arts photographer and former editor of the Book of the Month Club Gloria Norris explained, lies in his total commitment to each and every book published under his auspices...
- Braziller, George (February 2005). "George Braziller in Conversation with Phong Bui". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
- "George Braziller [homepage]". George Braziller, Inc. Retrieved 2017-03-19.