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The Perilous Trade: Book Publishing in Canada, 1946-2006
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The Perilous Trade: Book Publishing in Canada, 1946-2006

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A book that will fascinate and inform readers who love Canadian writing

Publishing Canadian books has always been an experiment. Like the great experiments of building a transcontinental railway and a national broadcasting system, it constitutes one of the nation’s defining acts. Publishing, after all, is a people’s way of telling its story to itself.
–from the Introducti
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by McClelland & Stewart (first published 2003)
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Every Canadian book publishing professional should read this book. Roy MacSkimming has written the one-stop-shop book on the history of book publishing in Canada, spanning from the early-twentieth century to 2003 when the book was published. He discusses the birth of such established presses as McClelland & Stewart, University of Toronto Press, MacMillan, etc., in addition to the advent of independent book publishing in the 60s, headed by House of Anansi, Coach House, New Star, etc. I'm fair ...more
This book tracks the history of English-language publishing in Canada from WWII until the printing of the book (2003). Canada faces some unique challenges, such as sharing a language and much culture with much more populous and economically powerful nations, and a large geographical area with a small and scattered population. So the story told here is of a lot of earnest people with momentary successes and the almost inevitable eventual failures and bitter endings.

The story told is certainly bia
Occasionally devastating, often hopeful and always poignant, The Perilous Trade is a must-read for anyone with a connection to the industry.

Roy MacSkimming manages to bring readers into the fight for Canadian literature, introducing us to and really connecting us to influential figures in the industry through narrative and first-hand accounts. It is a critical read for anyone who loves books in Canada, covering everything from why we read what we read to why books in Canada cost more than the U
Feb 18, 2011 Adrian added it
A history of Canadian publishing. Well written and surprisingly entertaining. Excellent profiles of major players like John Gray, Jack McClelland, William Toye and Mel Hurtig. Later chapters dealing with literary agents, Chapters and multinationals were depressing.
The small bit of this book which I read (I was mining it for information) was great. Even though I worked in the industry I learned a lot which was new to me. I highly recommend this book to any aspiring Canadian author...just so you know what you're getting into!
Patrick Nichol
A brilliant and readable history of Canada's book publishing industry. I recommend it highly!
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