Émigrés: The Transformation of Art Publishing in Britain
I am sure the story of Thames and Hudson and Phaidon are interesting and would make an excellent story. Both started in Vienna Austria around the same time–in between the two World Wars. It was an exciting time to be a book publisher. But with the rise of the Nazi party and Fascism in general, they had to leave, along with many others. They settled in London and stayed there through the war and after. This book also looks at other people involved in the publishing business that had to escape and how they fared.
There are several problems with this book, so I will just focus on a few. The story is all over the place and really lacks a focus. The author starts off focusing on Thames and Hudson and Phaidon, but quickly goes off on another track. As a reader, you do not know where it is going. Also the author introduces so many people and quickly attempts to explain their entire life’s story and why they are important, that the narrative thread easily gets lost. Also the writing style is not conductive to tell a story like this. I kept falling asleep, and it is not a thick book either.