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The Maverick: George Weidenfeld and the Golden Age of Publishing

Thomas Harding

3 Reviews

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Biography: general, Biography: literary, Publishing industry & book trade

The captivating story of the famed publisher who transformed not only publishing but the culture of ideas

After arriving in London just before the Second World War as a penniless and friendless Austrian-Jewish refugee, George Weidenfeld went on to transform not only the world of publishing but the culture of ideas. The books that he published include momentous titles such as Lolita, Double Helix, The Group and The Hedgehog and the Fox, with authors he championed ranging from Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy and Edna O'Brien to Henry Miller, Harold Wilson, Saul Bellow and Henry Kissinger.

In this first biography, Thomas Harding provides a full, unvarnished and at times difficult history of this complex and fascinating character and crafts a portrait of the publisher's life that is inextricable from the efforts and intricacies of putting a book into the world. Structured around twenty books associated with George Weidenfeld, and intercut with explorations of contemporary concerns such as the right to publish, freedom of speech and separating the art from the artist, The Maverick tells the captivating story behind the life of this iconic publisher.

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Praise for The Maverick: George Weidenfeld and the Golden Age of Publishing

  • An entertaining biography . . . packed with fascinating accounts of book deals and debacles during the 'golden age of publishing,' as well as plenty of high-society gossip - WASHINGTON POST

  • Harding's admirably even-handed and readable biography places Weidenfeld in both his social and cultural contexts, never excusing his more dubious actions, but also celebrating his undeniable pizzazz, application and drive - OBSERVER

  • The Maverick recalls a champion of ideas with a knack for networking and a taste for the high life . . . an organizational feat - NEW YORK TIMES

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