Heavy traffic & high culture: New American Library as literary gatekeeper in the paperback revolution

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Southern Illinois University Press, Jul 1, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
The story of New American Library from 1946 to 1961 and of Victor Weybright, the publisher whose talismanic phrase "luster and lucre" set the cultural and financial formulas that guided this giant paperback house.

Bonn employs the "gatekeeper" theory of communication to account for much of NAL’s success. Explaining this theory as Weybright applied it, Bonn notes that "the tension on the gate’s spring is created by the cultural contribution the work is likely to make tempered by its projected balance sheet." Weybright brought harmony to the conflicting interests of culture versus commerce; his goal was "heavy traffic, high culture," or John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, and Ernest Hemingway at the dimly remembered quarter per copy.

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User Review  - mpho3 - LibraryThing

High Traffic is a very interesting biography of the publisher New American Library (NAL) and those who ran it. With the slogan "Rich reading at low prices," NAL was instrumental in changing the face ... Read full review


Shakespeare at Hampton Court
The Publishing Side of Our Private Lives
A Richly Furnished Mind at Work

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About the author (1989)

Thomas L. Bonn is Librarian at State University of New York College at Cortland.