This is an entertaining and enjoyable memoir by a long-time insider at Simon & Schuster. The former chairman of the company's editorial board, autThis is an entertaining and enjoyable memoir by a long-time insider at Simon & Schuster. The former chairman of the company's editorial board, author Peter Schwed has comprehensive first-hand knowledge of the first sixty years of the company's history. The book successfully shares anecdotes and insights from that history, treating the reader to inside stories about the many people who were part of the S&S story, including founders Richard Simon and Max Schuster, early partner Leon Shimkin, and many more, on through the years to the Richard Snyder era. The pages of the book are graced by famous authors, editors, literary agents, and numerous others from all areas of the book publishing business. It's a gossipy tale at times, but never mean-spirited: Mr. Schwed seems to have sincere admiration for almost all the people with whom he worked or interacted at S&S.
As someone who worked briefly in book publishing and also has a bit of a connection to Simon & Schuster (although not during the time period covered in the book), I enjoyed the book very much. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the book publishing business or any aspect, really, of the literary world. Although the days are past when book publishing was considered a "gentleman's occupation" (with a fairly good representation by women too), the relative glamor of the business of those days still makes for a good story....more