Page 68 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

Basic HTML Version

J EW I S H BOOK A N N U A L
62
of print and are being re-printed — at the publishers’ expense —
should be illuminating.
These are all books that have sold in the open market without
any extraneous help and have survived on their merits, reinforced
of course by the interest the topics with which they deal have
aroused. The histories of the Jews in England by Cecil Roth
(Oxford University Press, 1941) and the present writer (Methuen,
1928) are both out of print and new editions are with the pub-
lishers. Cecil Roth’s valuable
A Short History of the Jewish People
(1936) is now in a third edition, one produced on a more sumptuous
scale than either of its predecessors and at a price not only well
above either of them but above the normal price of books in
England. Israel Cohen’s
Jewish Life in Modern Times
has ex-
hausted its second edition (Methuen, 1929) and although the
author does not contemplate a third edition he has completed a
new book which, brought up to date, will in effect take the place
of his earlier work.
NEW INTEREST IN JEWISH BOOKS
Other indications of the expansion of the Jewish book reading
public in and about Anglo-Jewry are the appearance of new Jewish
publishers and the development of an interest in Jewish literature
among longer established firms. There are some half a dozen
general publishing firms of standing in England under Jewish
control, none of which has until very recently specialized in any
way in books of Jewish interest. They have published such books
occasionally, but only occasionally. Recently however they or
some of them have given more attention to the possibilities. I
will mention only two such firms. Dr. B. Horovitz, with a world-
wide reputation before he left Vienna some fifteen years ago as
a publisher of art books through the Phaidon Press, transferred
his business to England when he settled here. An office in New
York has also been established recently. During the last three
or four years he has included among his undertakings the “East
and West Library,” a series of books of Jewish interest, beautifully
produced at a low cost. Dr. Horovitz has by this undertaking
put the whole of the Anglo-Jewish reading public and also a
larger one under an obligation to him. An older established
publisher, Victor Gollancz, who, in the course of only a few years,
placed his business in the forefront of English general publishers,
strongly influenced by Jewish feelings and interest, perhaps at
first, turned to the publication of Jewish books as a means of
putting the Jewish case and the Jewish point of view before the
world. He soon found however that even on a less idealistic basis