Book League of America

The Book League of America, Inc. was a US book publisher and mail order book sales club. It was established in 1930, a few years after the Book of the Month Club.[1] Its founder was Lawrence Lamm, previously an editor at Macmillan.[1] The company was located at 100 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York[2] in a 240,000-square-foot (22,000 m2) office building that was constructed in 1906.[3] It printed and distributed a variety of volumes in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. A victim of the Great Depression,[1] the Book League of America was purchased by Doubleday in 1936.

Book League of America
IndustryBook publishing/Bookselling
SuccessorLiterary Guild
Area served
United States
Key people
Lawrence W. Lamm
ProductsContemporary and world classic books
ServicesMail order book sales club
OwnerDoubleday, 1936


Book League of America printed and published contemporary and classic books. The clothbound hardcover was commonly a dark navy-blue, though sometimes red or black. There was an embossed logo on the front. Depending upon a variety of exposure conditions and perhaps publishing years, the spine cloth faded differently, with some of the spines remaining dark navy, while others turned purple or navy-green. The spine featured book title and author in gold or silver gilt lettering, along with decorative scrolling, sometimes in an art deco motif.

Most of the pages were smooth-cut on the top and bottom edges, and deckled on the outer edge. Some books contained the note: "This book is standard length, complete and unabridged. Manufactured under wartime conditions in conformity with all government regulations controlling the use of paper and other materials." This explains the yellowed or tanning paper condition, more noticeable in some books than others. Some books were illustrated. Many of the books did not include a publish date. Dust jackets were not included.


Approximately 5,000 subscribers received monthly fliers that offered a selection from a variety of contemporary and world classic literature choices.[1]

"The famous Board of Editors selects for you 2 books each month: the best new book -AND- one of the greatest classics. The Book League of America supplies these 2 books each month at 1/3 of the usual cost![4]

Some books, published by other companies but carrying the Book League of America imprint, were included in the club sales offerings. These publishers included:

  • A. S. Barnes & Company, New York
  • Bartholomew House, Inc., New York
  • Blakiston Company, Philadelphia
  • Caxton House Inc., New York
  • Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., New York
  • E. M. Hale and Company, Wisconsin
  • Everybody's Vacation Publishing Company, New York
  • Literary Classics Inc., New York
  • Puritan Publishing Company, Chicago & Philadelphia
  • William H. Wise & Co., New York

There was no membership fee to join the plan.[5] The subscription cost $16.68 and entitled the subscriber to twelve books each year.[6]

Partial list




See also


  1. ^ a b c d Van Gelder, Lawrence (1995-08-30). "Lawrence Lamm, 99, Pioneer in Book Packaging". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  2. ^ "Book Clubs". Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  3. ^ "Atlas flips 100 Fifth Avenue for $152M". The Real Deal Online. February 21, 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  4. ^ "1930s - The Book league of America ad". Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  5. ^ "1948 Book League of America Club Ad". Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  6. ^ Welky, David (2008-05-02). Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression (History of Communication). University of Illinois Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-252-07504-8.
  7. ^ "David Taylor (3) [1900–1965]". Retrieved March 9, 2017.

External links

And Be a Villain

And Be a Villain (British title More Deaths Than One) is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948. The story was collected in the omnibus volumes Full House (Viking 1961) and Triple Zeck (Viking 1974).

Andean civilizations

The Andean civilizations were a patchwork of different cultures and peoples that mainly developed in the coastal deserts of Peru. They stretched from the Andes of Colombia southward down the Andes to northern Argentina and Chile. Archaeologists believe that Andean civilizations first developed on the narrow coastal plain of the Pacific Ocean. The Norte Chico civilization of Peru is the oldest civilization in the Americas, dating back to 3200 BCE.Despite severe environmental challenges, the Andean civilizations domesticated a wide variety of crops, some of which became of worldwide importance. The Andean civilizations were also noteworthy for monumental architecture, textile weaving, and many unique characteristics of the societies they created.

Less than a century prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the Incas, already established in Peru, united most of the Andean cultures into one single state which encompasses all of what is usually called Andean civilization. The Muisca of Colombia and the Timoto Cuica of Venezuela remained outside the Inca orbit. The Inca Empire was a patchwork of languages, cultures and peoples.

Spanish rule ended or transformed many elements of the Andean civilizations, notably influencing religion and architecture.

Book sales club

A book sales club is a subscription-based method of selling and purchasing books. It is more often called simply a book club, a term that is also used to describe a book discussion club, which can cause confusion.

Clarence P. Hornung

Clarence Pearson Hornung (June 12, 1899 – January 2, 1997) was an American trademark and industrial graphic designer and illustrator.

Doubleday (publisher)

Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House. In 2019 the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.

Ida Tarbell

Ida Minerva Tarbell (November 5, 1857 – January 6, 1944) was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism. Born in Pennsylvania at the onset of the oil boom, Tarbell is best known for her 1904 book, The History of the Standard Oil Company. The book was published as a series of articles in McClure's Magazine from 1902 to 1904. It has been called a "masterpiece of investigative journalism", by historian J. North Conway, as well as "the single most influential book on business ever published in the United States" by historian Daniel Yergin. The work would contribute to the dissolution of the Standard Oil monopoly and helped usher in the Hepburn Act of 1906, the Mann-Elkins Act, the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Clayton Anti-trust Act.

Tarbell also wrote several biographies over the course of her career which spanned 64 years. She wrote biographies on Madame Roland and Napoleon Bonaparte. Tarbell believed that "the Truth and motivations of powerful human beings could be discovered." That Truth, she became convinced, could be conveyed in such a way as "to precipitate meaningful social change." She wrote numerous books and works on Abraham Lincoln including ones that focused on his early life and career. After her exposé on Standard Oil and character study of John D. Rockefeller, she wrote biographies on businessmen Elbert H. Gary, chairman of U.S. Steel, as well as Owen D. Young, president of General Electric.

A prolific writer and lecturer, Tarbell was known for taking complex subjects—the oil industry, tariffs, labor practices—and breaking them down into informative and easy to understand articles. Her articles drove circulation at McClure’s Magazine and The American Magazine and many of her books were popular with the general American public. After a successful career as both writer and editor for McClure’s Magazine, Tarbell left with several other editors to buy and publish The American Magazine. Tarbell also traveled to all then 48 states on the lecture circuit and spoke on subjects including the evils of war, world peace, American politics, trusts, tariffs, labor practices, and women’s issues.

Tarbell took part in professional organizations and served on two Presidential committees. She helped form the Authors’ League (now the Author’s Guild) and was President of the Pen and Brush Club for 30 years. During World War I, she served on the President Woodrow Wilson’s Women’s Committee on the Council of National Defense. After the war, Tarbell served on President Warren G. Harding’s 1921 Unemployment Conference.

Tarbell, who never married, is often considered a feminist by her actions, although she was critical of the women's suffrage movement.

Lawrence Lamm

Lawrence William Lamm (April 28, 1896 - August 28, 1995) was a pioneer in the U.S. book packaging industry. An editor at Macmillan, he became a founder of the Book League of America.

List of English-language book publishing companies

This is a list of English-language book publishers. It includes imprints of larger publishing groups, which may have resulted from business mergers. Included are academic publishers, technical manual publishers, publishers for the traditional book trade (both for adults and children), religious publishers, and small press publishers, among other types. The list includes defunct publishers. It does not include businesses that are exclusively printers/manufacturers, vanity presses (publishing and distributing books for a fee), or book packagers.

List of book sales clubs

This is a list of book sales clubs, both current and defunct.

Book League of America

Book of the Month Club

Collins Crime Club

Folio Society

Junior Library Guild

Left Book Club

Literary Guild

Mystery Book Club

Quality Paperback Book Club

Scholastic Corporation

Science Fiction Book Club

Time Reading Program

Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft

Pat Pattle

Marmaduke Thomas St John Pattle, (3 July 1914 – 20 April 1941), usually known as Pat Pattle, was a South African-born Second World War fighter pilot and flying ace (an aviator credited with the destruction of five or more enemy aircraft in aerial combat) of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Pattle applied to join the South African Air Force at 18, but was rejected. He travelled to the United Kingdom and joined the RAF in 1936 on a Short Service Commission. Pattle was a pilot by 1937 and was posted to No. 80 Squadron based in Egypt upon the outbreak of war in September 1939. In June 1940, Italy entered the war on the side of the Axis Powers and he began combat operations against the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force), gaining his first successes during the Italian invasion of Egypt.

After the Italian invasion, his squadron was sent to Greece in November 1940, where Pattle achieved most of his victories. Pattle claimed around 20 aircraft shot down and in March 1941 was promoted to squadron leader. After the German intervention, and in fourteen days of operations, Pattle claimed victories 24–50. Pattle claimed five or more aircraft destroyed in one day on three occasions, which qualified him for ace in a day status. Pattle achieved his greatest success on 19 April 1941, claiming six victories. The following day, having claimed more aerial victories than any other Western Allied pilot, he took off against orders, while suffering from a high temperature, to engage German aircraft near Athens. He was last seen battling Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighters. His Hurricane crashed into the sea during this dogfight and Pattle was killed.

Pattle is sometimes noted as being the highest-scoring British Commonwealth pilot of the war. If all claims made for him are correct, his total could have been more than 51. It can be stated that his final total was at least 40 and could exceed this number. Log-books and semi-official records suggest this figure, while personnel attached to his squadron suspect the figure to be closer to 60. A total of 26 of Pattle's victims were Italian; 15 were downed with Gloster Gladiators, the rest with Hawker Hurricanes. He is considered to be the highest-scoring ace on both Gladiator and Hurricane (35 victories) fighters.

Pitts Sanborn

Pitts Sanborn (1879–1941), was born John Pitts Sanborn in Port Huron, Michigan. He dropped the "John" for most of his professional career. After graduating Harvard in 1900, he established himself as a music critic, writing for the New York Globe, New York Mail and finally New York World-Telegram. As a poet he was published in Trend, for which he served as an editorial staffer beginning in 1914. As a novelist, his 1929 novel Prima Donna was called by one New York Times critic “an amazing achievement; nothing quite like it has been done in this country before.” He went on to put Sanborn in the same league with Willa Cather, Edith Wharton and Thornton Wilder. Sanborn was remarked upon as one of the great originals of 1920’s-30's culture. Sanborn’s wealth of connections in intellectual and cultural circles included Van Wyck Brooks, Rosa Ponselle, Mark Van Doren and Llewelyn Jones. His friendship with Wallace Stevens (whom he met at Harvard) included a great influence upon Stevens’ interest in music and thus his poetry. He was a good friend and sometimes lover of Carl Van Vechten, who he convinced to assume editorship of Trend. He was also a radio commentator for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Sanborn died at 61 of an apparent heart attack in his Greenwich Village apartment a few hours after he had attended a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House. He had just completed the first paragraph of his review.


“Mortality,” the Harvard Advocate

Vie De Bordeaux. 1916. Nicholas L. Brown, Philadelphia. (Author’s first book);

“Anatole France-The Host.” Nov. 5, 1924. The Nation, page 489;

“A Note on Gluck” Dec. 10, 1924. The Nation, page 661;

“Puccini and Faure.” Dec. 24, 1924. The Nation, page 714;

Prima Donna. 1929. The Book League of America. 2 vols.;

Greek Night. 1933. Lincoln Mac Veagh/Dial Press, New York;

Metropolitan Book of Opera. 1937;

Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies. 1939. Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York;

Brahms and Some of His Works. 1940. Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York

Rebecca (novel)

Rebecca is a Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. A best-seller, Rebecca sold 2.8 million copies between its publication in 1938 and 1965, and the book has never gone out of print. The novel is remembered especially for the character Mrs Danvers, the fictional estate Manderley, and its opening line: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight

Dame Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, known on Wikipedia as Rosiestep, is an American Wikipedia editor who is noted for her attempts to address gender disparity in the encyclopedia by running a project to increase the quantity and quality of women's biographies. She has contributed thousands of new articles and was named co-Wikipedian of the Year in 2016. In May 2018, she was honored with a Serbian knighthood.

Signed with Their Honour

Signed with Their Honour is a 1942 novel by Australian author James Aldridge. It was set during World War II in Greece. The novel is a fictional depiction of the activities of 80 Squadron during the British intervention in Greece. It is dedicated to the Commonwealth Ace of Aces, Pat Pattle, and Squadron Leader Hickey. The title is derived from a 1933 poem by Stephen Spender titled "The Truly Great."It was much acclaimed in the US on publication.

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885), subtitled A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, is an English language translation of One Thousand and One Nights (the “Arabian Nights”) – a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age (8th−13th centuries) – by the British explorer and Arabist Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890). It stood as the only complete translation of the Macnaghten or Calcutta II edition (Egyptian recension) of the "Arabian Nights" until the Malcolm C. and Ursula Lyons translation in 2008.

Burton's translation was one of two unabridged and unexpurgated English translations done in the 1880s; the first was by John Payne, under the title The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (1882–84, nine volumes). Burton's ten volume version was published almost immediately afterward with a slightly different title. This, along with the fact that Burton closely advised Payne and partially based his books on Payne's, led later to charges of plagiarism. Owing to the sexual imagery in the source texts (which Burton made a special study of, adding extensive footnotes and appendices on "Oriental" sexual mores) and to the strict Victorian laws on obscene material, both translations were printed as private editions for subscribers only, rather than being published in the usual manner. Burton's original ten volumes were followed by a further six entitled The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night (1886–88). Burton's 16 volumes, while boasting many prominent admirers, have been criticised for their "archaic language and extravagant idiom" and "obsessive focus on sexuality"; they have even been called an "eccentric ego-trip" and a "highly personal reworking of the text". His voluminous and obscurely detailed notes and appendices have been characterised as “obtrusive, kinky and highly personal”.In 1982, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) began naming features on Saturn's moon Enceladus after characters and places in Burton's translation because “its surface is so strange and mysterious that it was given the Arabian Nights as a name bank, linking fantasy landscape with a literary fantasy”. (See List of geological features on Enceladus.)


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.