New American Library

The New American Library (NAL) is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works, as well as popular and pulp fiction but now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.

New American Library
New American Library
Parent companyBerkley Books (Penguin Random House)
FounderVictor Weybright and Kurt Enoch
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City, New York
ImprintsNAL Accent, Obsidian, Plume, Roc, Signet, Signet Eclipse, Signet Select


20th century

New American Library (NAL) began life as Penguin U.S.A. and as part of Penguin Books of England. Because of complexities of exchange control and import and export regulations—Penguin made the decision to terminate the association and the New American Library of World Literature was founded in 1948[1] by Victor Weybright and Kurt Enoch (formally head of Albatross Books).

Enoch served as president of New American Library from 1947-1965.[2][3] He later served as head of Book Publishing at Times Mirror and then stepped down to Vice-President when John P. R. Budlong became president of New American Library in 1965.[3]

NAL's productions were not limited to softbound reprints. Original works of mystery, romance, and adventure proved to be profitable and popular. In 1963 the company began publishing original publications in hardback format,[4] such as the immensely popular James Bond "007" series written by Ian Fleming. NAL also published new "quality" paperback editions of classic works — for example, a Shakespeare series — which featured renowned scholars, editors, and translators. Many of those editions were oriented toward a high school and college readership. Those paperbound books included subjects in the humanities, the arts, and the sciences.

NAL also published at least two notable "magazines in book form": New World Writing in the 1950s and early 1960s, and New American Review in the latter 1960s and early 1970s (which then moved on to other publishers as American Review).

NAL enjoyed great success: by 1965, its Mentor and Signet books annually sold over 50 million volumes. In 1956 NAL reported that "over 3 million copies" of the Signet Books edition of From Here to Eternity had been sold.[5]

The McCarthy era of the 1950s is notorious for its attacks upon communism and communistic influences in American life, and the object of federal investigations and trials was to eliminate this perceived threat and extinguish any and all communistic elements. NAL became involved with the censorship trials when certain books were deemed inflammatory and subsequently banned. Victor Weybright was asked to testify before a 1952 House Committee that examined pornography. Rather than accept government restrictions, Weybright endorsed a self-regulated censorship policy on the part of publishing companies. Weybright commented thus:

I pointed out with some justification, but certainly not as my basic argument, that the Mentor list was essential as part of the character and prestige of our company and an indispensable exhibit when our more daring fiction — by Faulkner, Farrell, and Caldwell — was attacked by the censors.[6]

New York University Library received the NAL archive as a gift from the NAL in the spring of 1965.[7]

Acquisitions and mergers

NAL witnessed several changes in ownership beginning in the 1960s. In 1960 Times Mirror of Los Angeles bought NAL;[8] however, NAL continued to operate autonomously within the Mirror Company and management remained unchanged. In 1983 Odyssey Partners and Ira J. Hechler bought NAL[9] from the Times Mirror Company for over $50 million. At the time of the sale New American Library had over 1 billion paperback books in print.[10]

In 1985 New American Library acquired E.P. Dutton, an independent hardcover and trade publisher.[9] During this period there was pressure for paperback publishers to add hardcover divisions. NAL had started publishing hardcovers in 1980 with mixed success and determined that Dutton would give them an edge in that space.[9]

In 1987, the NAL was reintegrated into the Penguin Publishing Company.[11] Penguin had been purchased by Pearson PLC in 1970.

21st century

In 2013, Pearson PLC merged Penguin with Bertelsmann owned Random House to form Penguin Random House.[12] New American Library is currently part of the Penguin Publishing Group, where it is a sister imprint to the Berkley Publishing Group. In June 2015 it was announced by Penguin that starting in fall of 2016, Berkley would publish fiction titles while New American library would publish only non-fiction titles. According to Berkley/NAL Publishing Group president Leslie Gelbman this "will delineate the two publishing lines and sharpen their publishing identities."[13][14]


Series past and present have included:[9]

  • Meridian
  • Mentor Books, (mostly) non-fiction (with the slogan, "Good reading for the millions")[15][16]
  • Mentor-Omega, featuring Catholic philosophers
  • Mentor Executive Library, for businesspeople
  • NAL Trade
  • Plume
  • Signet Books[17][18][19]
  • Signet Classics, paperback reprints of classics from Giovanni Boccaccio to Sinclair Lewis, accompanied by introductions and in newer editions, afterwords.[20][21][22]
  • Signet Fiction
  • Signet Science
  • Signet Key, for young readers ages 10 to 14.[23]

At the time that they broke away from Penguin Books, Signet and Mentor correlated to Penguin's original series of Penguin and Pelican.[1]

Notable authors

Notable cover illustrators

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "People Who Read and Write". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  2. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (1982-02-17). "KURT ENOCH, 86; PIONEER IN PAPERBACK PUBLISHING". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  3. ^ a b "John Budlong Heads Library of Literature". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  4. ^ "Publisher Adds Hardcover Line". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  5. ^ Signet Books T1075 - James Jones - From Here to Eternity, Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  6. ^ Victor Weybright, The Making of a Publisher (New York, Reynal and Company, 1967), p.207
  7. ^ The Fales Library of NYU's Guide to the New American Library Archive
  8. ^ "OTHER SALES, MERGERS; Times-Mirror Co. COMPANIES PLAN SALES, MERGERS". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  9. ^ a b c d Mcdowell, Edwin (1985-02-07). "E.P. DUTTON TO BE PURCHASED BY NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  10. ^ a b Mcdowell, Edwin (1983-11-08). "TIMES MIRROR IS SELLING NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  11. ^ Mcdowell, Edwin (1986-10-01). "PENGUIN AGREES TO BUY NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  12. ^ "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  13. ^ "NAL Is Merged Into Realigned Berkley Publishing Group - Publishers Lunch". Publishers Lunch. Retrieved 2016-04-10. at Publishers Weekly
  14. ^ "Penguin Merges Berkley, NAL". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  15. ^ Mentor Books (New American Library, Inc.) - Book Series List, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  16. ^ Mentor Books, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  17. ^ Signet Books (New American Library) - Book Series List, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  18. ^ Signet, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  19. ^ Signet Books, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  20. ^ Signet Classics (New American Library, Inc.) - Book Series List, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  21. ^ Signet Classics 1 - 199, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  22. ^ Signet Classics, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  23. ^ Signet Key, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  24. ^ Ed Schilders, James Avati - Cover Story, This page includes five Avati-designed covers of Signet Books. Retrieved on 29 September 2017.
  25. ^ a b c Dare to Judge This Book: Some Great Pulp & Paperback Cover Artists, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Artist List for Penguin and Signet Books, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  27. ^ Piet Schreuders, "The Paperback Art of James Avati", in: Illustration, Vol. 1, No.1, October 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  28. ^ Designed by Milton Glaser, Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  29. ^ Victor Kalin Covers, Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  30. ^ Gary Lovisi, "The Magic of Robert Maguire", in: Illustration, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  31. ^ Gary Lovisi, "Rudy Nappi: Celebrating the Artist and his Work", in: Illustration, Issue 28, Winter 2009-10. Retrieved 29 September 2017.

Further reading

  • Thomas L. Bonn, Heavy Traffic & High Culture: New American Library as Literary Gatekeeper in the Paperback Revolution, Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.

External links

Berkley Books

Berkley Books is an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) that began as an independent company in 1955. It was established by Charles Byrne and Frederick Klein, who were working for Avon and formed "Chic News Company". They renamed it Berkley Publishing Co. in 1955. They soon found a niche in science fiction works. They were bought out in 1965 by G. P. Putnam's Sons and became their paperback publisher.

In 1982, Putnam bought Grosset & Dunlap and Playboy Press, and the Ace and Playboy paperback lists were added to Berkley. The Playboy list was eventually absorbed into Berkley, while the Jove and Ace lists have continued as distinct imprints.

Following its publication of Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, Berkley Books became increasingly interested in publishing military fiction and technothrillers. The publicity campaigns at military bases were part of the success Dale Brown's Flight of the Old Dog.Penguin Group purchased Putnam in 1996. Penguin merged with Random House in 2013 to form Penguin Random House. Today, Berkley is part of PRH's Penguin Adult group and prints in mass-market paperback, trade paperback, and hardcover formats. In 2015, sister paperback group New American Library was merged into Berkley.In December 2008, Berkley canceled publication of the Herman Rosenblat Holocaust memoir titled Angel at the Fence when it was discovered that the book's central events were untrue.

Bibliography of Ayn Rand and Objectivism

This is a bibliography for Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Objectivism is a philosophical system initially developed in the 20th century by Rand.

Dial Press

The Dial Press was a publishing house founded in 1923 by Lincoln MacVeagh.

Dial Press shared a building with The Dial and Scofield Thayer worked with both. The first imprint was issued in 1924.Authors included Elizabeth Bowen, W. R. Burnett and Glenway Wescott, Frank Yerby, James Baldwin, Roy Campbell, Susan Berman, Herbert Gold, Thomas Berger, Vance Bourjaily, Judith Rossner, and Norman Mailer.

In 1963, Dell Publishing Company acquired 60% of the Dial Press stock but the Press remained an independent subsidiary. It was jointly owned by Richard Baron and Dell Publishing; E. L. Doctorow was editor-in-chief. In 1969 the Dial Press became wholly owned by Dell Publishing Company. In 1976 Doubleday bought Dell Publishing and the children's division of Dial Press (Dial Books for Young Readers) was sold to E. P. Dutton. Dutton would be bought by New American Library, which in turn became a part of the Penguin Group, a division of Pearson PLC. Doubleday dissolved Dial Press in 1985. The adult imprint was revived by Carole Baron the publisher of Dell at the time part of Bantan/Doubleday/Dell under the leadership of Susan Kamil. It went on to gain awards and bestsellers. It was bought when BDD was sold to Random House. Penguin and Random House merged in 2013, forming Penguin Random House, with the main division part of Random House and the Young Readers division part of Penguin.

E. P. Dutton

E. P. Dutton was an American book publishing company founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton.

Federalist No. 11

Federalist No. 11 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the eleventh of The Federalist Papers. It was published on November 23, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It is titled "The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy".

Federalist No. 13

Federalist No. 13 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the thirteenth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on November 28, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It is titled "Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government".

Federalist No. 24

Federalist No. 24 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the twenty-fourth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on December 19, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It is titled "The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered".

Federalist No. 25

Federalist No. 25 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the twenty-fifth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on December 21, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It continues the discussion begun in Federalist No. 24. No. 25 is titled "The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered".

Federalist No. 49

Federalist No. 49 is an essay by James Madison, the forty-ninth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on February 2, 1788 under the pseudonym "Publius", the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It is titled "Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a Convention".

Federalist No. 76

Federalist No. 76, written by Alexander Hamilton, was published on April 1, 1788. The Federalist Papers are a series of eighty-five essays written to urge the ratification of the United States Constitution. These letters were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the name of Publius in the late 1780s. This paper discusses the arrangement of the power of appointment and the system of checks and balances. The title is "The Appointing Power of the Executive", and is the tenth in a series of 11 essays discussing the powers and limitations of the Executive branch. There are three options for entrusting power: a single individual, a select congregation, or an individual with the unanimity of the assembly. Of all of the options, Hamilton supports bestowing the president with the nominating power and the ratifying power to the senate in order to have a strategy with the least bias.

Federalist No. 80

Federalist No. 80 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the eightieth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on June 21, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. It is titled "The Powers of the Judiciary", and it is the third in a series of six essays discussing the powers and limitations of the judicial branch.

Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie (; French: [kyʁi]; Polish: [kʲiˈri]; born Maria Salomea Skłodowska; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element she discovered polonium, after her native country.Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.

New Dimensions 3

New Dimensions 3 is an anthology of original science fiction short stories edited by Robert Silverberg, the third in a series of twelve. It was first published in hardcover by Nelson Doubleday/SFBC in October 1973, with a paperback edition under the variant title New Dimensions III following from Signet/New American Library in February 1974.The book collects eleven novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor.

New Dimensions IV

New Dimensions IV is an anthology of original science fiction short stories edited by Robert Silverberg, the fourth in a series of twelve. It was first published in paperback by Signet/New American Library in October 1974.The book collects ten novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors.

Penguin Group

The Penguin Group is a trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House. It is owned by Pearson PLC, the global education and publishing company, and Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson controlling the remaining 47%.Penguin Books has its registered office in City of Westminster, London.Its British division is Penguin Books Ltd. Other separate divisions can be found in the United States, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil and South Africa.

Plume (publisher)

Plume is a publishing company in the United States, founded in 1970 as the trade paperback imprint of New American Library. Today it is a division of Penguin Group, with a backlist of approximately 700 titles.

Roc Books

Roc Books is a fantasy imprint of Penguin Group, as part of its New American Library. It was launched in April 1990 after Penguin Chairman Peter Mayer asked John Silbersack, the editor in chief of New American Library's science-fiction program, to launch a new imprint that would draw more attention to Penguin's SF presence. The name Roc Books was chosen as a homage to Penguin's many famous bird-named publishing imprints. Roc was named after the enormous predatory bird of the Arabian Nights. After Penguin's merger with G.P. Putnam's Sons the imprint was aligned with Ace books and the current editorial team at Roc is the same team that edits the Ace imprint, although the two imprints maintain a separate identity.

There Will Be Time

There Will Be Time is a science fiction novel by American writer Poul Anderson. It was published in 1972 in a hardback edition by Doubleday and in 1973 in a paperback edition by New American Library.

The story is about a young man who has a genetic mutation that allows him to move through time. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973.

Walter Kaufmann (philosopher)

Walter Arnold Kaufmann (July 1, 1921 – September 4, 1980) was a German-American philosopher, translator, and poet. A prolific author, he wrote extensively on a broad range of subjects, such as authenticity and death, moral philosophy and existentialism, theism and atheism, Christianity and Judaism, as well as philosophy and literature. He served more than 30 years as a professor at Princeton University.

He is renowned as a scholar and translator of Friedrich Nietzsche. He also wrote a 1965 book on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and published a translation of Goethe's Faust.


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