To Top
[ Books | Comics | Dr Who | Kites | Model Trains | Music | Sooners | People | RVC | Shows | Stamps | USA ]
[ About | Terminology | Legend | Blog | Quotes | Links | Stats | Updates | Settings ]

G P Putnam's Sons
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


In 1838, twenty-four year-old George Palmer Putnam, a bookseller in New York City, joined with John Wiley in founding the firm of Wiley & Putnam. Under the direction of Putnam, the company soon expanded from the retail book business into publishing. Ten years later, when the two men parted ways, George P. Putnam conducted business under his own name. From the beginning, he exhibited an astute sense of literary foresight, publishing such luminaries as William Cullen Bryant, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, James Russell Lowell, Francis Parkman, and Edgar Allan Poe.

After the Civil War, Major George Haven Putnam joined his father, and soon his brothers John Bishop and Irving followed. When the elder Putnam died in 1872, his three sons continued the business under its present name, G. P. Putnam's Sons. George Haven, who assumed principal responsibilities for publishing activities, remained head of the firm until 1924. John Bishop was concerned chiefly with book production, and Irving managed the Putnam bookstore.

In the late nineteenth century, the company continued to demonstrate a knack for publishing bestsellers and an ability to keep pace with changes in American reading habits and interests. Its list diversified and grew steadily, emphasizing biography, history, travel, science, theology, and political philosophy, along with such distinguished novelists as Joseph Conrad, Walter de la Mare, E. M. Forster, John Galsworthy, and William Henry Hudson. In 1880, Putnam accepted a 200,000-word manuscript written in pencil on yellow paper submitted by nineteen-year-old Anna Katherine Green; her book, published as The Leavenworth Case, is credited today with helping to establish the detective novel as a genre.

In 1884, a young Theodore Roosevelt convinced the Putnam brothers of his fervor for a career in publishing and was made a special partner. With characteristic exuberance, Roosevelt barraged the firm with proposals, few of which were practical. He did, however, make a valuable contribution with his Naval War of 1812, and later, after entering public office, wrote several works published by Putnam, including The Winning of the West.

In 1930, George Haven Putnam died, followed a year later by Irving, and in l932, George Putnam's grandson Palmer C. Putnam retired. By then, Putnam had merged with the publishing firm of Minton, Balch, and with the passing of the Putnams, Minton and Balch were in control. The father-and-son tradition was over.

In 1936, Putnam joined with the firm of Coward-McCann (which became Coward, McCann & Geoghegan in l971), to publish such writers as Elizabeth Goudge (Green Dolphin Street, The Child from the Sea) playwrights Thornton Wilder (Our Town) and Philip Barry (The Philadelphia Story), Knut Hamsen, Elmer Rice, Siegfried Sassoon, Christopher La Farge, Alexander Woollcott, John Le Carre (The Spy Who Came In from the Cold) and William Golding (Lord of the Flies).

With the 1955 publication of Norman Mailer's Deer Park, then Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Putnam shook the literary world. Deer Park had been rejected by many publishers because of its sexual content; Putnam bought the novel, turned the storm of controversy to its advantage, and created a bestseller. When Lolita was released in l958, the protest was international in scope and far more heated; the book was banned in several U.S. cities and even in France. The book has since come to be regarded, of course, as a masterpiece. Both books were significant not only because of their success, but also because of the important victory against censorship each represents.

Today, Putnam has broadened its list with outstanding works that reflect contemporary interests. Among the distinguished roster of modern authors Putnam publishes today are Nevada Barr, Dave Barry, Lilian Jackson Braun, Dale Brown, Tom Clancy, Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Clive Cussler, Dick Francis, Kaye Gibbons, William Gibson, W. E. B. Griffin, Jack Higgins, Alice Hoffman, Greg Iles, Jayne Ann Krentz, Steve Martini, Bebe Moore Campbell, Robert B. Parker, Nora Roberts, Lawrence Sanders, John Sandford, Lee Smith, Amy Tan, Kurt Vonnegut, Minette Walters, and Stuart Woods. In nonfiction, authors include Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, Lance Armstrong, A. Scott Berg, Art Buchwald, George Burns, Bill Cosby, Linda Ellerbee, T.D. Jakes, Spencer Johnson, Charles Kuralt, Jim Lehrer, Joe McGinniss, Leah Rabin, Pat Riley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Neale Donald Walsch.

All Covers for this Publisher

See my goodreads icon goodreads page. I almost never do reviews, but I use this site to catalogue books.
See my librarything icon librarything page. I use this site to catalogue books and it has more details on books than goodreads does.

Presented: 17-Jun-2024 07:54:52

Website design and original content
© 1996-2024 Type40 Web Design.
Page: bksPubDetails.aspx
Section: Books

This website uses cookies for use in navigating this site only. No personal information is gathered or shared with anyone. If you don't agree, then don't use this site.