At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf

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Overview

Part of the vanguard of young New York publishers who revolutionized the book business in the 1920s and '30s, Cerf helped usher in publishing's golden age. Cerf was a true personality, whose other pursuits (columnist, anthologist, author, lecturer, radio host, collector of jokes and anecdotes, perennial judge of the Miss America pageant, and panelist on What's My Line?) helped shape his reputation as a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm and brought unprecedented attention to his company and to his authors. At...
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At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf

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Overview

Part of the vanguard of young New York publishers who revolutionized the book business in the 1920s and '30s, Cerf helped usher in publishing's golden age. Cerf was a true personality, whose other pursuits (columnist, anthologist, author, lecturer, radio host, collector of jokes and anecdotes, perennial judge of the Miss America pageant, and panelist on What's My Line?) helped shape his reputation as a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm and brought unprecedented attention to his company and to his authors. At once a rare behind-the-scenes account of book publishing and a fascinating portrait of four decades' worth of legendary authors, from James Joyce to William Faulkner to Ralph Ellison and Eudora Welty, At Random is a feast for bibliophiles and anyone who's ever wondered what goes on inside a publishing house.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Random House reprinted cofounder Bennett Cerf’s 1977 At Random with a new introduction by Cerf's son Christopher. This engaging memoir is one of the true classics of American publishing history. Cerf’s raconteur’s tour of his encounters with legendary authors will keep you entranced or in stitches.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375759765
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Bennett Cerf was born in 1898 in Manhattan and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in journalism. In 1925 he acquired the Modern Library with Donald Klopfer, providing the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. A major figure of American publishing for more than four decades, Bennett Cerf died in 1971.

Christopher Cerf is an author, editor, and Emmy- and Grammy-winning songwriter and television producer. A longtime contributor to Sesame Street, and cofounder and creative producer of the PBS literacy-education series Between the Lines, Christopher Cerf is a former contributing editor of National Lampoon and a former senior editor at Random House.

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Read an Excerpt

“I’ve got the name for our publishing operation. We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random. Let’s call it Random House.” So recounts Bennett Cerf in this wonderfully amusing memoir of the making of a great publishing house. An incomparable raconteur, possessed of an irrepressible wit and an abiding love of books and authors, Cerf brilliantly evokes the heady days of Random House’s first decades.

Part of the vanguard of young New York publishers who revolutionized the book business in the 1920s and ’30s, Cerf helped usher in publishing’s golden age. Cerf was a true personality, whose other pursuits (columnist, anthologist, author, lecturer, radio host, collector of jokes and anecdotes, perennial judge of the Miss America pageant, and panelist on What’s My Line?) helped shape his reputation as a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm and brought unprecedented attention to his company and to his authors. At once a rare behind-the-scenes account of book publishing and a fascinating portrait of four decades’ worth of legendary authors, from James Joyce and William Faulkner to Ralph Ellison and Eudora Welty, At Random is a feast for bibliophiles and anyone who’s ever wondered what goes on inside a publishing house.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2007

    the book business the way it was

    this is one of the most inspiring books i've ever read about any business.the founder of random house reminisces about founding random house and all the interesting people in books like ayn rand and others. cerf comes across warm and smart.his story about founding a book company at the outset of the great depression is very interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    Pretty Interesting

    A very urbane, smooth flowing reminiscence of Cerf's life and work, primarily building Random House. He certainly seemed to move with ease through life. It helps to be interested in publishing and the eccentricities of bygone writers, not quite my burning interest. Dated.

    One thing that annoys me about this ebook is, you can't see the dust jacket full size. It's there on the screen as an icon, but when you open the book the dust jacket enlarges and gives way to the page you're on. The jacket shows Cerf coming home from work. The "cover" referred to in the toc is the hard back cover, not the dust jacket and is almost nothing. Very annoying that you can't see it full size.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Heather to nick

    I vknow we were messin around ita joke u said u hada gf

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Ken

    I just did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Chris

    Sits at his forge

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Carter

    Thanks man. This is cool. *takes it and walks back*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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