The Years with Ross Jan 27, 2008
Unless you are of an older vintage or a devotee of publishing history, the title of James Thurber?s book ?The Years with Ross? just doesn?t reach out and grab you. If the sign reads: Joe?s Bar and Grill, you will know what you will get inside. But Thurber?s book, published in 1957, captures the great publishing story of the 20th century: The New Yorker. The prospectus, created in 1924, carried that memorable line: ?The New Yorker will not be edited for the old lady from Dubuque.? Thurber takes the reader on a cultural Odyssey covering his years with Harold Ross, who created a magazine that became the very epitome of sophistication. Plus, you will get Thurber?s drawings. Linking up with Raoul H. Fleischmann, scion of the yeast-bakery family, Ross created the F-R Publishing Company ? Fleischmann supplied the money, and what Ross supplied is still being debated. Ross was simply not a New Yorker writer; he was a editor, but how he did it is still being debated; for this is a man who sent out a note to his staff asking, ?Is Moby Dick the whale or the man?? Debuting on February 17, 1925, with the February 21st issue, the New Yorker is still gaining readership today, although it was threadbare for the first three years. Upon being asked where was her piece, expected last week, Dorothy Parker replied, ?Somebody was using the pencil.? In this volume you will encounter not only Mrs. Parker but also other great artists, writers, and sundry characters of the first half of the 20th century, including those who graced the Round Table at Frank Case?s Algonquin Hotel.