Free Press (publisher)

Free Press was an independent book publisher that later became an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It was one of the best-known publishers specializing in serious nonfiction, including path-breaking sociology books of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. After a period under new ownership in the 1980s of publishing neoconservative books, it was purchased by Simon & Schuster in 1994. By 2012, the imprint ceased to exist as a distinct entity, however some books were still being published using the Free Press imprimatur.[1][2]

Free Press
Parent companySimon & Schuster
FounderJeremiah Kaplan and Charles Liebman
SuccessorSimon & Schuster
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York
Key peopleMartha K. Levin, publisher


Free Press was founded by Jeremiah Kaplan (1926–1993) and Charles Liebman in 1947 and was devoted to sociology and religion titles. They chose the name Free Press because they wanted to print books devoted to civil liberties.[1] It was launched with three classic titles: Division of Labor by Emile Durkheim, The Theory of Economic and Social Organization by Max Weber and The Scientific Outlook by Bertrand Russell.[1] It was headquartered in Glencoe, Illinois, where it was known as The Free Press of Glencoe.

In 1960, Kaplan was recruited by Macmillan to provide new editorial leadership and he agreed to move to New York if Macmillan Publishing Company would buy Free Press, and thus Free Press was sold in 1960 for $1.3 million ($500,000 going to Kaplan and $800,000 going to Liebman).[1]

In 1994, Simon & Schuster acquired Macmillan and Free Press.[1] In 2012, it was announced that Free Press would cease to exist as a distinct entity and would be merged into Simon & Schuster, the company's flagship imprint.[1][2] "We plan to continue publishing thought leaders and other important cultural voices under the Free Press imprimatur, while also introducing many other Free Press authors, such as novelists and historians and business writers, to the flagship Simon & Schuster imprint."[1]

During the 1960s and 1970s Free Press was under the direction of a variety of publishers including George McCune (who later co-founded Sage Publishing with his wife Sara), Valery Webb, Ed Barry and Robert Wallace.[1] Under Barry's leadership in 1974, Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death won the Pulitzer Prize.[1] In 1983, Erwin Glikes, a well-known political neoconservative, took over leadership.[1] This began an era of controversial[1] conservative books including The Tempting of America by Robert Bork, and The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom.[1] Glikes was succeeded by Adam Bellow, who also published neoconservative books including Illiberal Education by Dinesh D'Souza, The Real Anita Hill by David Brock, and The Bell Curve by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein.[3][1] In 1994, Simon & Schuster acquired Macmillan and Free Press was led by publishers Michael Jacobs, Paula Barker Duffy, and William Shinker for short stints.[1]

Free Press was led by publisher Martha Levin from 2001 until 2012, when it ceased to exist as a distinct entity and merged into Simon & Schuster's flagship imprint.[1][4] In 2003, two of the five finalists for the 2003 National Book Award in the non-fiction category were Free Press titles, including the winner, Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire.[5] In 2008, Free Press published The White Tiger, Indian author Aravind Adiga's debut novel, which won the Man Booker Prize.[6]

Notable books


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Claire Kelley (October 24, 2012). "After 65 years, Free Press to be absorbed into Simon & Schuster flagship". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Ben Sisario (October 23, 2012). "After Consolidation at Simon & Schuster, Top Two at Free Press Are Leaving". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  3. ^ Bellow, By Adam (2005-05-21). "My Escape From The Zabar's Left". New York. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  4. ^ "A Publisher is Appointed at the Free Press". The New York Times. April 9, 2001.
  5. ^ "2003 National Book Award Winner: Nonfiction". 2003.
  6. ^ "'White Tiger' cub Aravind Adiga roars to Booker Prize win". USA Today. October 15, 2008.

External links

A Conspiracy So Immense

A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy is a Hardeman Prize-winning book by David Oshinsky first published in 1983 by Free Press and later reprinted by Oxford University Press. The book covers the life of Joseph McCarthy from his birth to his death.

A Thousand Lives

A Thousand Lives: the Untold Story of Jonestown (2011) is a history of the Jonestown settlement and massacre in 1978. Written by journalist Julia Scheeres, the book chronicles the lives of five people who resided in Jonestown before the mass murder suicides that claimed 918 lives.

American Fascists

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America is a non-fiction book by American Pulitzer Prize journalist Chris Hedges, published in January 2007. Hedges is a former seminary student with a master's degree in divinity from Harvard Divinity School and was a long-time foreign correspondent for The New York Times.

Brain on Fire

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is a 2012 New York Times Bestselling autobiography by New York Post writer Susannah Cahalan. The book details Cahalan's struggle with a rare autoimmune disease and her recovery. It was first published on November 13, 2012 through Free Press in hardback, and was later reprinted in paperback by Simon & Schuster after the two companies merged.

Bringing Down the House (book)

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions is a book by Ben Mezrich about a group of MIT card counters commonly known as the MIT Blackjack Team. Though the book is classified as non-fiction, the Boston Globe alleges that the book contains significant fictional elements, that many of the key events propelling the drama did not occur in real life, and that others were exaggerated greatly.

The book was adapted into the movies 21 and The Last Casino.

Darwin's Black Box

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (1996; second edition 2006) is a book by Michael J. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. In the book Behe presents his notion of irreducible complexity and argues that its presence in many biochemical systems therefore indicates that they must be the result of intelligent design rather than evolutionary processes. In 1993, Behe had written a chapter on blood clotting in Of Pandas and People, presenting essentially the same arguments but without the name "irreducible complexity", which he later presented in very similar terms in a chapter in Darwin's Black Box. Behe later agreed that he had written both and agreed to the similarities when he defended intelligent design at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.The book has received highly critical reviews by many scientists, arguing that the assertions made by Behe fail with logical scrutiny and amount to pseudoscience. For example, in a review for Nature, Jerry Coyne panned the book for what he saw as usage of quote mining and spurious ad hominem attacks. The New York Times also, in a critique written by Richard Dawkins, condemned the book for having promoted discredited arguments. Despite this, the book has become a commercial success, and, as a bestseller, it received a mostly supportive review from Publishers Weekly, with it claimed as having a "spirited, witty critique of neo-Darwinian thinking" that may "spark interest". The politically conservative magazine National Review also voted Darwin's Black Box one of their top 100 non-fiction books of the century, using a panel that included Discovery Institute member George Gilder

Free press

Free press or Free Press may refer to:

Freedom of the press, legal protections for public communications media

Free Press (organization), a USA media advocacy organization founded by professor Robert W. McChesney and journalist John Nichols

Free Press (publisher), an imprint of Simon & Schuster publishing

The House of the Free Press (Casa Presei Libere), a building in Bucharest, Romania

Holy War, Inc.

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden is a book by CNN investigative journalist and documentarian Peter Bergen. It was published in November 2001, two months after the September 11 attacks, and was a New York Times Best Seller in 2001.In the book, Bergen discusses the meteoric rise of Osama bin Laden during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and the subsequent evolution and expansion of his terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda. Bergen interviewed bin Laden in person with former CNN journalist Peter Arnett in Afghanistan in 1997.

Holy War, Inc. provides a multi-faceted context that details: (1) how jihadist terrorism evolved from being primarily state-sponsored groups to the independent and sophisticated multinational organization that is Al Qaeda; (2) who made up the groups of people that were willing to leave behind the comforts of home to join what would later become Al Qaeda; (3) where the US went wrong in its covert sponsorship of militants who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s; (4) what motivates bin Laden and his disciples to attack the US and other Western targets; and (5) why bin Laden is revered by many throughout the Muslim world.

As Bergen finds, the Soviet–Afghan War had the dual result of making bin Laden famous while also giving bin Laden a feeling that he could go toe-to-toe against a superpower with his "holy warriors" and prevail. These factors, coupled with bin Laden's strong feelings of resentment toward the US for its presence in Saudi Arabia (or the "Land of the Two Holy Places" as he called it) during and after the Persian Gulf War, led to his plotting multiple attacks against the US, and then later to an all-out declaration of war against the West. Ultimately, by green-lighting the September 11 attacks on the United States, bin Laden would then get his desired war.

Holy War was published by Free Press in 2001 as a hardcover (ISBN 0-7432-0502-2). In the same year, Simon & Schuster audio released an abridged audiobook on CD (ISBN 0-7435-2465-9) and audio cassette (ISBN 0-7435-2464-0). Thorndike Press published a largeprint edition in hardcover in 2002 (ISBN 0-7862-4035-0). Free Press released a paperback edition in 2002 (ISBN 0-7432-3495-2). Orion Publishing Company published a paperback in 2004 (ISBN 0-7538-1668-7). The book was translated into 18 languages: Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, and Turkish.

Intercourse (book)

Intercourse is a 1987 book by Andrea Dworkin, in which the author offers a radical feminist analysis of sexual intercourse in literature and society. Dworkin is often said to argue that "all heterosexual sex is rape", based on the line from the book that says "violation is a synonym for intercourse." However, Dworkin has denied this interpretation, stating, "What I think is that sex must not put women in a subordinate position. It must be reciprocal and not an act of aggression from a man looking only to satisfy himself. That's my point."

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

Covey defines effectiveness as the balance of obtaining desirable results with caring for that which produces those results. He illustrates this by referring to the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs. He further claims that effectiveness can be expressed in terms of the P/PC ratio, where P refers to getting desired results and PC is caring for that which produces the results.

Covey's best-known book, it has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since its first publication. The audio version became the first non-fiction audio-book in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies. Covey argues against what he calls "the personality ethic", that he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels "the character ethic": aligning one's values with so-called universal and timeless principles. In doing this, Covey is deliberately and mindfully separating principles and values. He sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Our values govern our behavior, while principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence through independence on to interdependence.

The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is a 1994 book by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray, in which the authors argue that human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and that it is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, birth out of wedlock, and involvement in crime than are an individual's parental socioeconomic status. They also argue that those with high intelligence, the "cognitive elite", are becoming separated from those of average and below-average intelligence. The book was controversial, especially where the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences.

Shortly after its publication, many people rallied both in criticism and defense of the book. A number of critical texts were written in response to it.

The End of History and the Last Man

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity's sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Fukuyama's position contradicts that of Karl Marx, who predicted that communism would displace capitalism. Fukuyama himself identifies on some level with Marx, but more strongly with the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, by way of Alexandre Kojève. Kojève argued that the progress of history must lead toward the establishment of a "universal and homogenous" state, most likely incorporating elements of liberal or social democracy; but Kojève's emphasis on the necessarily "post-political" character of such a state (and its citizens) makes such comparisons inadequate, and is irreducible to any mere "triumph" of capitalism.

The Nurture Assumption

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do is a book by the psychologist Judith Rich Harris, with a foreword by the psychologist Steven Pinker, originally published 1998 by the Free Press, which published a revised edition in 2009. It has been published in at least 20 languages. The book was a 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist (general non-fiction). Its answer to "Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do" is that "Parents Matter Less Than You Think and Peers Matter More".

The Real Anita Hill

The Real Anita Hill is a controversial 1993 book written by David Brock in which the author claimed to reveal the "true motives" of Anita Hill, who had accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearings.

The State of Africa

The State of Africa: A History Of Fifty Years Of Independence (republished in 2011 as The State of Africa: A History Of The Continent Since Independence) is a 2005 book by British writer Martin Meredith.

The White Tiger

The White Tiger is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year. The novel provides a darkly humorous perspective of India's class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy. In detailing Balram's journey first to Delhi, where he works as a chauffeur to a rich landlord, and then to Bangalore, the place to which he flees after killing his master and stealing his money, the novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. Ultimately, Balram transcends his sweet-maker caste and becomes a successful entrepreneur, establishing his own taxi service. In a nation proudly shedding a history of poverty and underdevelopment, he represents, as he himself says, "tomorrow."

The novel has been well-received, making the New York Times bestseller list in addition to winning the Man Booker Prize. Aravind Adiga, 33 at the time, was the second youngest writer as well as the fourth debut writer to win the prize in 2008. Adiga says his novel "attempt[s]

to catch the voice of the men you meet as you travel through India — the voice of the colossal underclass." According to Adiga, the exigence for The White Tiger was to capture the unspoken voice of people from "the Darkness" – the impoverished areas of rural India, and he "wanted to do so without sentimentality or portraying them as

mirthless humorless weaklings as they are usually."

Waiting for Snow in Havana

Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy is a 2003 book by Carlos Eire and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. The book is autobiographical, about the author's experiences as part of Operation Peter Pan.

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