Pantheon Books

Pantheon Books

Pantheon Books is an American imprint with editorial independence that is part of the Knopf Publishing Group, which was acquired by Random House in 1960.Random house, inc. Datamonitor Company Profiles Authority: Retrieved 6/20/2007, from EBSCO Host Business Source Premier database.]

The current editor-in-chief at Pantheon Books is Dan Frank.


Bertelsmann AG, the German company that also owns Bantam Doubleday Dell, Times Books, the Modern Library, Everyman's Library, Vintage, Crown, Schocken, Ballantine, Villard, Del Rey and Fawcett),Miller, M. C. (1998, Mar 26). And then there were seven. New York Times, pp. A.27.] acquired Random House in 1998, making Bertelsmann the largest publisher of American books.

In addition to classics, international fiction, and trade paperbacks, recently Pantheon has moved aggressively into the comics market. It has published many critically acclaimed graphic novels and comics collections, including "Ice Haven", "La Perdida", "Read Yourself RAW", "In the Shadow of No Towers", and "Black Hole". Many of its comics publications are high-quality collected editions of works originally serialized by other publishers such as Fantagraphics Books.


Pantheon Books was founded in 1942 in New York City by European intellectuals who had come to the United States to escape fascism and the holocaust Schiffrin, A. (2000). The business of books : How international conglomerates took over publishing and changed the way we read. London: New York : Verso.] . Important early works published by Pantheon were "Zen and the Art of Archery" by German scholar Eugen Herrigel, the Bollingen series (composed of C.G. Jung's collected works in English and books of noted Jungian scholars), the first complete translation of the "I Ching", and Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago".

When Random House bought Alfred A. Knopf in 1960, the front page of the "New York Times" reported that the merger "united two of the nation's most celebrated publishers of quality writing"TALESE, B. G. (1960, Apr 17). Random House will buy Knopf in merger. New York Times (1857-Current file), pp. 1.] The following year, Random House would buy Pantheon, which would be moved into the Knopf Publishing Group. Also in 1961, Pantheon hired Andre Schiffrin as Executive Editor of Pantheon Books.

Under the direction of Schiffrin, Pantheon continued to publish important works by European writers such as "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass, who would later receive a Nobel Prize for his work; "Madness and Civilization" by Michel Foucault, "The Lover" by Marguerite Duras, and "Adieux" by Simone de Beauvoir. By the late 1960s, Pantheon started to bring American writers such as Noam Chomsky, James Loewen and Studs Terkel to European readers. In 1965, RCA bought Random HouseFunding Universe Company Profile on Random House:] . Throughout the 1970s, Pantheon continued to publish intellectual and often leftist works of fiction and nonfiction "without a profit-and-loss sheet in sight"Engelhardt, T. (1990). Pantheon purge. The Progressive, 54(5), 46.] . In other words, Pantheon editors prided themselves on subsidizing the cost of publishing less commercially successful (but socially or intellectually important) works with the profits from more commercially successful books.

In 1980, RCA sold Random House to Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr., and Pantheon Books came under pressure to increase profits.


Pantheon and Random House which, at the time, was owned by SI Newhouse, were plagued with controversy throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. In December 1989, Alberto Vitale, a former banker, replaced Robert L. Berstein as chairman and president of Random House McDOWELL, E. (1990, Feb 28). New pantheon head named amid resignation protest. New York Times, pp. D.2.] . In February 1990, Schiffrin was "asked to resign after he refused to reduce the number of titles published [by Pantheon] or to trim Pantheon's 30-member staff"McDOWELL, E. (1990, Mar 6). 250 protest resignation at pantheon. New York Times, pp. D.21.] . In protest of Schiffrin's forced resignation and other changes in staffing, such as the hiring of Erroll McDonald, editors and staff Tom Englehardt, David Sternbach, Helena Franklin, Diane Wachtel, Gay Salisbury, and several others resigned in the following months More pantheon editors resign in protest. (1990, May 3). New York Times, pp. C.21.] . Authors of books published by Pantheon, Random House, and other related imprints, including Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and Oliver Sacks, held a protest outside of Random House in March of 1990 during which they argued that the termination of Schiffrin amounted to corporate censorship of the books that would not be printed without him. Novelist E.L. Doctorow used his acceptance speech for a fiction prize at the March 1990 National Book Critics Circle award ceremony to criticize Random House for ousting Schiffrin Cohen, R. (1990, Mar 9). THE MEDIA BUSINESS; top random house author assails ouster at pantheon. New York Times, pp. D.18.] .

In the week following the protests, forty Random House editors and publishers signed a statement that defended the personnel changes at Pantheon, stating: "like Pantheon, we abhor corporate censorship. We have never experienced it, nor do we believe that Pantheon has ever experienced it. We would not tolerate censorship of any form, and we are offended by any suggestion to the contrary. But, unlike Pantheon, we have preserved our independence and the independence of our authors by supporting the integrity of our publishing programs with fiscal responsibility"McDOWELL, E. (1990, Mar 13). THE MEDIA BUSINESS; 40 at random house critical of pantheon. New York Times, pp. D.23.] . Another supporter of Schiffrin's termination wrote that the protests and resignations were "a hilarious specimen of people intoxicated by self-importance. It also is a case study of the descent of intellectuals' leftism into burlesque" Will, G. F. (1990, Mar 25). The `Right' to lose other people's money. The Washington Post, pp. c.07.] .

In 1998, Random House made news again when it was bought by Bertelsmann. The Authors Guild approached the Fair Trade Commission, arguing that "the $1.4 billion acquisition of Random House by Bantam's parent, Bertelsmann A.G., the German media conglomerate, would create a 'new economic behemoth' with the potential to restrict readers' choices and authors' ability to market their works" Barringer, F. (1998, May 30). F.T.C. clears merger path for publishers. New York Times, pp. D.1.] . Bertelsmann was allowed to make the purchase, however, making it the largest publisher of English-language trade books. Again, Schiffrin protested, noting that in the eight years since Random House had come under the direction of Vitale, "Random House's 'high end'--the literary translations and books of criticism, cultural history and political analysis that had built the reputation of the Knopf and Pantheon imprints--were being sacrificed" and that concerns for the "bottom line" would outweigh intellectual and social concerns Schiffrin, A. (1998, Apr 30). Eyes on the bottom line. The Washington Post, pp. A.21.] .

Schiffrin published a memoir in 2000, in which he explains his side of the controversies surrounding Pantheon and Random House called "The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read", in which he accused Vitale and those with money-making interests of homogenizing the publishing industry by focusing too much on profits and warns, "the resulting control on the spread of ideas is stricter than anyone would have though possible in a free society". In a 2003 interview, former Pantheon editor Tom Englehardt reflects on the Pantheon controversy in light of the acquisition by Bertelsmann: "Pantheon was a very specific place, publishing a very specific kind of book, and we felt that was being wiped out. As it turned out, what happened at Pantheon was the beginning of the gargantuan feasting on the independent publishing house and not-so-independent houses as well" Lara, A. (2003, Jul 6). Q & A /Tom Engelhardt / Getting the business end of publishing. San Francisco Chronicle, pp. M.2.]

Pantheon Today

Pantheon continues to publish well respected fiction and non-fiction, and has more recently expanded further into graphic novels. Pantheon published a graphic-based "for beginners" series in the 1970s and 1980s, and decided to bring the series back in 2003MacDonald, H. (2003). Pantheon re-offers 'for beginners' series. Publishers Weekly, 250(51), 26.] . One of the first graphic novels Pantheon published was the highly acclaimed "Maus: A Survivor's Tale" by Art Spiegelman in 1986. Spiegelman has become somewhat of a comics consultant, advising editor-in-chief Dan Frank. The GN imprint that isn't. Publishers Weekly, 252(10), 46.] . In 2005, Pantheon published "The Acme Novelty Library" by Chris Ware Wolk, D. (2005). ] . That same year, Pantheon published "The Rabbi's Cat", a graphic novel by Joann Sfar which "tells the wholly unique story of a rabbi, his daughter, and their talking cat"Pantheon Web Site: ] .

Books published by Pantheon in 2007 that are doing well (ranked by number of holdings in libraries according to OCLC Worldcat) are: "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" by Alexander McCall Smith, "The Little Book of Plagiarism" by Richard Posner, "Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business" by David Mamet, and "Toussaint Louverture: A Biography" by Madison Smartt Bell.

elected Pantheon Publications

(titles retrieved from [ OCLC World Cat Database] by searching for "Pantheon Books" in the publisher field and ranking results by number of library holdings and publication year; this is a sampling; not all results are included)

Literature and Criticism

"Force and Freedom: Reflections on History" by Jacob Burckhardt (1943)
"The World is Not Enough, A Novel" by Zoé Oldenbourg (1948)
"The I Ching; Or, Book of Changes" translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes (1950)
"Doctor Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak (1959)
"The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass (1963)
"Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason" by Michel Foucault (1965)
"Division Street: America" by Studs Terkel (1967)
"American Power and the New Mandarins" by Noam Chomsky (1969)
"At War with Asia" by Noam Chomsky (1970)
"Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression" by Studs Terkel (1970)
"The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences" by Michel Foucault (1970)
"Problems of Knowledge and Freedom" by Noam Chomsky (1971)
"The Archaeology of Knowledge" by Michel Foucault (1972)
"For Reasons of State" by Noam Chomsky (1973)
"Peace in the Middle East: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood" by Noam Chomsky (1974)
"Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" by Studs Terkel (1974)
"Mississippi: Conflict & Change" by James Loewen and Charles Sallis (1974)
"Reflections on Language" by Noam Chomsky (1975)
"Sound Effects: Youth, Leisure, and the Politics of Rock'n'Roll" by Simon Frith (1981)
"When Things of the Spirit Come First: Five Early Tales" by Simone de Beauvoir (1982)
"The Empire's Old Clothes: What the Lone Ranger, Babar, and Other Innocent Heroes Do to Our Minds" by Ariel Dorfman (1983)
"Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre" by Simone de Beauvoir (1984)
"After The Second Sex: Conversations with Simone De Beauvoir" by Alice Schwarzer and Simone de Beauvoir (1984)
"The Lover" by Marguerite Duras (1985)
"Women Writing About Men" by Jane Miller (1986)
"The Woman Destroyed" by Simone de Beauvoir (1987)
"The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography" by Angela Carter (1988)
"Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
"The Death of Rhythm & Blues" by Nelson George (1988)
"On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word" by Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (1990)
"Stop the Violence: Overcoming Self Destruction" by Nelson George (1990)
"Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat" by John Canemaker (1991)
"Rhythm Oil: A Journey Through the Music of the American South" by Stanely Booth (1991)
"The Birth of the Beat Generation: Visionaries, Rebels, and Hipsters, 1944-1960" by Steven Watson (1995)
"Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays, and Conversations" by Toni Cade Bambara and Toni Morrison (1996)
"In the Country of Country: People and Places in American Music" by Nicholas Dawidoff (1997)
"Holy Clues: Investigating Life's Mysteries with Sherlock Holmes" by Stephen Kendrick (1999)
"Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society" by Daniel Barenboim, Edward W. Said, and Ara Guzelimian (2002)
"Boogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music" by Arthur Kempton (2003)
"The End of Blackness: Returning the Souls of Black Folk to Their Rightful Owners" by Debra Dickerson (2004)
"Give our Regards to the Atomsmashers! Writers on Comics" by Sean Howe (2004)
"Shakespeare After All" by Marjorie B Garber (2004)
"Tango: The Art History of Love" by Robert Farris Thompson (2005)
"On Michael Jackson" by Margo Jefferson (2006)
"The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" by Alexander McCall Smith (2007)
"The Little Book of Plagiarism" by Alexander Posner (2007)
"Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business" by David Mamet (2007)
"Toussant Louverture: A Biography" by Madison Smartt Bell (2007)
"The Father of all Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam" by Tom Bissell (2007)

elections from the Bollingen Series

"Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization", eds. Heinrich Robert Zimmer and Joseph Campbell (1946)
"The Collected Works of C.G. Jung" by Carl Jung (1953)
"Psychological Reflections: An Anthology of the Writings of C.G. Jung" by Carl Jung(1953)
"Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry" by Jacques Maritain (1953)
"The Origins and History of Consciousness" by Erich Neumann (1954)
"Painting and Reality" by Étienne Gilson (1957)
"Yoga: Immortality and Freedom" by Mircea Eliade (1958)
"Zen and Japanese Culture" by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1959)
"Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation" by E.H. Gombrich (1960)
"Of Divers Arts" by Naum Gabo (1962)
"The "I" and the "Not-I": A Study in the Development of Consciousness" by Mary Esther Harding (1965)
"Birds" by Saint-John Perse and Georges Braque (1966)
"Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter" by Karl Kerényi (1967)

Comics, "...for Beginners" Books, and Graphic Novels

"Lenin for Beginners" by Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate (1978)
"Freud for Beginners" by Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate (1979)
"Trotsky for Beginners" by Tariq Ali (1980)
"Ecology for Beginners" by Stephen Croall and William Rankin (1981)
"Marx's Kapital for Beginners" by David N. Smith, and Phil Evans, and Karl Marx (1982)
"Nuclear Power for Beginners" by Stephen Croall and Kaianders Sempler (1983)
"Economists for Beginners" by Bernard Canavan (1983)
"Love is Hell" by Matt Groening (1985)
"Maus: A Survivor's Tale" by Art Spiegelman (1986)
"Read Yourself Raw" by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly (1987)
"School is Hell: A Cartoon Book" by Matt Groening (1987)
"Childhood is Hell: A Cartoon Book" by Matt Groening (1988)
"The Big Book of Hell: A Cartoon Book" by Matt Groening (1990)
"" by Art Spiegelman (1990)
"Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began" by Art Spiegelman (1991)
"Love is Still Hell: A Cartoon Book" by Matt Groening (1994)
"The Jew of New York" by Ben Katchor (1998)
"Ethel & Ernest" by Raymond Briggs (1998)
"" by Ben Katchor (200"0)
"David Boring" by Daniel Clowes (2000)
"In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary" by Sarah Boxer (2001)
"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi (2003)
"In the Shadow of No Towers" by Art Spiegelman (2004)
"Persepolis II" by Marjane Satrapi (2004)
"Amy and Jordan" by Mark Beyer (2004)
"The Rabbi's Cat" by Joann Sfar (2005)
"Ice Haven" by Daniel Clowes (2005)
"Embroideries" by Marjane Satrapi (2005)
"" by Chris Ware (2006)
"La Perdida" by Jessica Abel (2006)
"A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K. Dick (2006)
"Chicken with Plums" by Marjane Satrapi (2006)


External links

* [ Pantheon Books Web Site]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pantheon Books — est un éditeur américain qui fait partie du groupe Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Le chef éditeur actuel est Dan Frank. Histoire Cet éditeur fut fondé en 1942 à New York par des intellectuels européens ayant fui la seconde guerre mondiale et l …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pantheon — (from Greek Πάνθειον [ bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2377433] pantheion , literally a temple of all gods ) may refer to: *Pantheon (gods), a word used to describe the set of gods of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Pantheon (Begriffsklärung) — Pantheon / Panthéon (von griechisch παν pan „alles“ und θεός theós „Gott“) steht für: Pantheon, ein allen Göttern geweihtes Heiligtum Pantheon (Rom), das einzige gut erhaltene Pantheon als Bauwerk in Rom Pantheon Basel, ein Forum für Oldtimer und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pantheon (comics) — Pantheon, in comics, may refer to:*Pantheon (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics superhero team * Pantheon (Lone Star Press), a superhero comic series from Bill Willingham *Pantheon, a DC Comics team who appeared in World s Finest Comics… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne — Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne Motto Omnibus Sapientia, Unicuique Excellentia (Latin) Established 1971 …   Wikipedia

  • Censorship of Books — • Either ecclesiastical or civil, according as it is practiced by the spiritual or secular authority, and it may be exercised in two ways, viz.: before the printing or publishing of a work, by examining it (censura prævia); and after the printing …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Virgin Books — Country of origin United Kingdom Headquarters location London Distribution The Book Service Publication ty …   Wikipedia

  • List of Star Wars books — This is a list of Star Wars novels, novellas, and short stories. Beginning with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Lucasfilm has divided their titles into different eras with symbols designating such. Consequently this list… …   Wikipedia

  • Del Rey Books — Type Subsidiary of Random House Industry Books, Publishing Founded 1977 Founder(s) Lester del Rey, Judy Lynn del Rey Products Books …   Wikipedia

  • David Fickling Books — is an imprint of Random House which has published books by authors including Philip Pullman, Mark Haddon, John Boyne, Nick Ward and Linda Newbery. List of Books Published Date Title Author ISBN 2006 January 5 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.