`Book ☔ Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset, America's Maverick Publisher and His Battle against Censorship ↿ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

A lively biography, and literary history, of Barney Rosset and Grove Press, at a turning point in American literary history He was an innovative publisher who was an early promoter of Samuel Beckett, Malcolm X and other figures of mid 20th Century writing, and that alone would give Rosset a place in literary fame But, he and Grove Press also fought, and won, several decisive legal battles over censorship, notably over Henry Miller s Tropic of Cancer and William S Burroughs Naked Lunch, whose A lively biography, and literary history, of Barney Rosset and Grove Press, at a turning point in American literary history He was an innovative publisher who was an early promoter of Samuel Beckett, Malcolm X and other figures of mid 20th Century writing, and that alone would give Rosset a place in literary fame But, he and Grove Press also fought, and won, several decisive legal battles over censorship, notably over Henry Miller s Tropic of Cancer and William S Burroughs Naked Lunch, whose victories would free American publishing and advance the First Amendment It s a fast reading, intriguing, and warmly written biography and well worthwhile to those interested in the history of American literature and of censorship law Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally If there s one person from the annals of 20th century publishing who deserves to be better remembered than he currently is, that would be Barney Rosset founder of Grove Press that is, after buying the name from a couple of incompetent academes who only managed to re release three public domain titles i Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally If there s one person from the annals of 20th century publishing who deserves to be better remembered than he currently is, that would be Barney Rosset founder of Grove Press that is, after buying the name from a couple of incompetent academes who only managed to re release three public domain titles in the two years they were in business , who then turned the press into the premiere destination for avant garde and cutting edge work in the Mid Century Modernist years, which he financed through hundreds of reprints of old Victorian erotic novels, eventually spending millions of dollars to convince the Supreme Court to create a brand new definition of what constitutes obscene artistic material, it was Rosset who quite single handedly ushered in the era of uncensored books and movies we currently live in, just to be personally undone by the 80s by his flamboyantly sexist lifestyle and inherently bad business sense.And Michael Rosenthal s new Barney does a great job at covering it all although a short book, it briskly covers all the highlights of this complex and fascinating man s life, not only conveying the whats and hows but delving into the issues that motivated him, the culture around him that was perfectly ready at that perfect moment for such behavior, and what both the good and bad fallout was from his sometimes volatile decisions And make no mistake, this is far from a sugar coating or hagiography Rosset not only comes off here like the petulant, libidinous man child he no doubt was in real life, but Rosenthal even places this subject at the heart of the biography itself, rightly asking whether this First Amendment crusader would ve even had the temerity to simultaneously fight 21 different state district attorneys at once if he wasn t such a egomaniacal lothario A man who was at the very center of the underground arts during the crucial decades of the 50s, 60s and 70s, who not only introduced American audiences to such European writers as Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet but also liberated Henry Miller and the Beat poets into the realm of mainstream national success, this slim but essential volume is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the countercultural era and Postmodernism better, a solidly done portrait of a brilliant, often infuriating champion of subversion in all forms.Out of 10 9.5 Revolutions of all types are generally organized by those who have time, education, and money and the revolution that Barney Rosset helped to open up American publishing and expand the concept of free speech was no exception While his erratic career choices and ultimately his publishing would never make him rich, he came from a powerful family and his father gave him a firm foundation on which to explore and build The first half of this biography looks at Barney s relationship with his father, Revolutions of all types are generally organized by those who have time, education, and money and the revolution that Barney Rosset helped to open up American publishing and expand the concept of free speech was no exception While his erratic career choices and ultimately his publishing would never make him rich, he came from a powerful family and his father gave him a firm foundation on which to explore and build The first half of this biography looks at Barney s relationship with his father, his relationship with women, and his ever changing interests that led in and out of higher education, military service, and different careers until he acquired Grove Press His attitudes and privilege may annoy some readers but we don t need to like people to recognize the change they help create in the world.Change he did push in America through a few courts cases that went all the way to the Supreme Court Today where sex and violence is nearly overwhelming in any form of media and self publishing is easy, we often forget that the Comstock Laws severely limited what could be published and sold without risk of legal repercussions I think it is debatable whether or not Barney truly believed in complete freedom of speech but he certainly believed that Grove Press should have the right to republish whatever books it wanted in the USA The second half of the book looks closely at these legal cases as well as other books that Grove Press published under Barney s control Many of these books should have at least title recognition for many readers even if they haven t read the books The reasons for each book s publication is an interesting read The entire second half of the book wasinteresting to me personally as someone who has erotica books published herself Grove Press and Barney are not painted as heroes just as realistic portraits of what was happening in the USA in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s While some may consider Barney a hero I see him as a good example of what anyone who has a good start in life can do if he she is stubborn and charismatic enough to keep pushing The prose isn t exciting but it is honest and the evidence it is drawn from is fascinating as well including government investigations into him and his publishing What a good read Romping through the 20th century with Barney Rossett is a singular pleasure For literary junkies to art enthusiasts and believers in the freedom to read without censorship, this is a book that is irresistible Funny and factual a refreshing departure from today s fraught conversations Well written, entertaining read of the life of Barney Rosset, the founder of Grove Press and a pioneer in establishing the broad constitutional breadth of the First Amendment with such books as Tropic of Cancer and the film I Am Curious Yellow He made J Edgar s and the CIA s watch lists of American citizens for other reasons as well, including Grove s publication of radical literature of the 1960s and the Diaries of Che Guevera He outright supported the Cuban Revolution and visited Cuba af Well written, entertaining read of the life of Barney Rosset, the founder of Grove Press and a pioneer in establishing the broad constitutional breadth of the First Amendment with such books as Tropic of Cancer and the film I Am Curious Yellow He made J Edgar s and the CIA s watch lists of American citizens for other reasons as well, including Grove s publication of radical literature of the 1960s and the Diaries of Che Guevera He outright supported the Cuban Revolution and visited Cuba after the US boycott But Rosset s profligate spending and bad timing finally brought down Grove until he was forced to sell out I liked this book because it peeks behind the curtain of fiction publishing in postwar America Barney Rosset s role in thwarting obscenity censorship is portrayed in great detail and it is interesting to see how the fiction market reacted after Burroughs s Naked Lunch became legal The author s research in Grove s Rosset s archives and his interviews with the publisher s family and co workers make the complete picture come together.The downside is that the text is difficult to navigate The nar I liked this book because it peeks behind the curtain of fiction publishing in postwar America Barney Rosset s role in thwarting obscenity censorship is portrayed in great detail and it is interesting to see how the fiction market reacted after Burroughs s Naked Lunch became legal The author s research in Grove s Rosset s archives and his interviews with the publisher s family and co workers make the complete picture come together.The downside is that the text is difficult to navigate The narrative is not chronological and Rosenthal jumps from one topic to another without context or even as much as a subheading It s often hard to understand what the author means without remembering a previous reference, which is nearly impossible to find because there is no timeline, no index, no notes, not even a space between paragraphs.PERSONAL NOTEI bought this book in The City Lights bookstore in San Francisco It was at the beginning of a road trip to Portland with Matt We both got a bunch of books there, downed a couple of cocktails in Vesuvio and had a belated birthday dinner for his 31st in Little Italy Censorship s been in the news a lot lately, for some reason cough cough , so I guess this biography is pretty timely Barney Rosset, for those who haven t read the book yet, ran a printing house Grove Press from 1951 to 1986, and made it famous for publishing avant garde work, unpublishable work, counter culture pieces such as work by Malcolm X and Henry Miller , and anti Vietnam war pieces The works that resulted led to numerous court battles over censorship, which Grove Press largely w Censorship s been in the news a lot lately, for some reason cough cough , so I guess this biography is pretty timely Barney Rosset, for those who haven t read the book yet, ran a printing house Grove Press from 1951 to 1986, and made it famous for publishing avant garde work, unpublishable work, counter culture pieces such as work by Malcolm X and Henry Miller , and anti Vietnam war pieces The works that resulted led to numerous court battles over censorship, which Grove Press largely won This is a classic biography, with the first chapter beginning on Barney Rosset s childhood and the last chapter ending on his death in 2012 Rosset s life was pretty extraordinary His press introduced no less than 5 Literature Nobel Prize winners to American audiences, and was influential in taking a counter culture stance on and within dozens of large American stories and movements the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, CIA involvement in the rest of the Americas At one point Grove Press, under Barney s leadership, published the full version of a book that the U.S Postal Service found offensive, and so postal service workers confiscated the copies of the book sent out via the United States mail service Bottom life I enjoyed the book, and think it s a great introduction to Grove Press I would have likedanalysis on the effects of Grove Press within the print industry and American culture, but in fairness the book was focused primarily on Barney and secondarily on Grove Press `Book ⇡ Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset, America's Maverick Publisher and His Battle against Censorship ↙ An impetuous outsider who delighted in confronting American hypocrisy and prudery, Barney Rosset liberated American culture from the constraints of Puritanism As the head of Grove Press, he single handedly broke down the laws against obscenity, changing forever the nature of writing and publishing in this country He brought to the reading public the European avant garde, among them Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, radical political and literary voices such as Malcolm X, Che Guevara, and Jack Kerouac, steamy Victorian erotica, and banned writers such as D H Lawrence, Henry Miller, and William Burroughs His almost mystical belief in the sacrosanct nature of the First Amendment essentially demarcates the before and after of American publishing Barney explores how Grove s landmark legal victories freed publishers to print what they wanted, and it traces Grove s central role in the countercultural ferment of the sixties and early seventies Drawing on the Rosset papers at Columbia University and personal interviews with former Grove Press staff members, friends, and wives, it tells the fascinating story of this feisty, abrasive, visionary, and principled cultural revolutionary a modern Huckleberry Finn according to Nobel Prize winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe who altered the reading habits of a nation