The Art of Prestige: The Formative Years at Knopf, 1915-1929 by Amy Root ClementsThe Art of Prestige: The Formative Years at Knopf, 1915-1929 by Amy Root Clements

The Art of Prestige: The Formative Years at Knopf, 1915-1929

byAmy Root Clements

Paperback | April 14, 2014

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In the American book trade, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and its inimitable logo featuring a borzoi wolfhound have come to signify the pinnacle of prestigious publishing. Launched in 1915 by a dynamic twenty-two-year-old and his refined fiancEe, Blanche Wolf, the firm soon developed a reputation for excellence, quickly overcoming outsider status to forge a unique identity that has endured well past its founders' lifetimes.

Capturing the little-known early history of Knopf, The Art of Prestige explores the origins of the company's rise to success during the Jazz Age, when Alfred and Blanche established themselves as literary impresarios on both sides of the Atlantic. Drawing on key archival documents from all phases of the publishing process, Amy Root Clements reconstructs the turning points and rhetorical exchanges that made Knopf's initial books noteworthy, from the acquisitions process to design, consumer marketing, and bookselling.

Lasting cornerstones of the young firm include alliances with pivotal figures in the world of graphic arts and book production and with European publishers who brought numerous Nobel Prize winners to the Borzoi list during the company's first fifteen years. Other featured luminaries include the American authors Willa Cather, Dashiell Hammett, and Langston Hughes. The Art of Prestige also examines Alfred Knopf's ancestry, up-bringing, and formal education at Columbia, as well as his apprenticeships with Frank Nelson Doubleday and Mitchell Kennerley - factors that would influence his business decisions for years to come.

The result is a portrait of innovative branding that seamlessly merged book production with book promotion in a literary landscape that was ripe for transformation.
Amy Root Clements is assistant professor of English at St. Edward's University. She previously served as an advertising and promotion manager for several publishing houses.For her book trailer, please see
Title:The Art of Prestige: The Formative Years at Knopf, 1915-1929Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:April 14, 2014Publisher:University of Massachusetts PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1625340931

ISBN - 13:9781625340931


Editorial Reviews

"This is the first book-length scholarly study of Knopf, and it provides an excellent account of the early development of a firm that is widely regarded as one of the finest and most significant American publishers." - Gordon Neavill, Wayne State University"For readers interested in the history of the publishing industry, this study may prove a good entry point." - Publishers Weekly"Engaging . . . Anyone interested in the history of American culture, book culture generally, the history of publishing, book design, the history of marketing and of advertising and business history should read this book. Recommended." - Hope Lehman on Medium"The book considers design, marketing, and sales at length, as well as Knopf and Wolf's process of meeting authors and acquiring good manuscripts." - ProtoView"A valuable primer for anyone who wants a case study of how a publishing company is built." - Pub Res Q