A PUBLISHER IN EXILE, FROM PLÉAIDE TO PANTHEON
Jacques Schiffrin changed the face of publishing in the twentieth century. As the founder of Pléiade Editions in Paris and cofounder of Pantheon Books in New York, he helped define a lasting canon of Western literature while also promoting new authors who shaped transatlantic intellectual life. In this first biography of Schiffrin, Amos Reichman tells the story of a great publisher and his travails across two continents. Just as he influenced the literary trajectory of the twentieth century, Schiffrin’s life was affected by its tumultuous events. Born in Baku in 1892, he fled after the Bolsheviks came to power, eventually settling in Paris, where he founded Pléiade. After Vichy France passed anti-Jewish laws, Schiffrin finally managed to flee for New York, later establishing Pantheon Books with Kurt Wolff, a German exile. Following Schiffrin’s death in 1950, his son André continued in his father’s footsteps, preserving a remarkable intellectual and cultural legacy. In addition to recounting Schiffrin’s life and times, Reichman describes his complex friendships with prominent figures including André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Peggy Guggenheim, and Bernard Berenson. From the vantage point of Schiffrin’s extraordinary career, Reichman sheds new light on French and American literary culture, European exiles in the United States, and the transatlantic ties that transformed the world of publishing.