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Penguin and the Lane Brothers: The Untold Story of a Publishing Revolution

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by Stuart Kells
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Penguin and the Lane Brothers: The Untold Story of a Publishing Revolution by Stuart Kells

A ground-breaking counter-history of Penguin Books - both amusing and and with a strong new Australian aspect.

How did the three Lane brothers enter publishing and build Penguin into a global powerhouse? As this new book shows, their innovation and the creative opposition among them would prove to be the company's secret weapon.

The Lane boys did their best thinking together in bathroom board-meetings, where at least one director would always be 'mother naked'. The war, though, brought tragedy for the family. John Lane's 1942 death in action during the North African landings shattered the brothers' intimate partnership.

Richard went on to share with Allen the leadership of one of the first global media businesses. The Lanes built a firm and a brand that became synonymous not only with paperbacks but also with a certain kind of publishing: switched-on, progressive, engaging. With its low-price, mass-distribution model, Penguin became a vast 'poor man's university', a proto-internet made from paper and ink.

Australia featured prominently in the lives of the Lanes. Richard came to the country as a young man, and later helped establish and lead Penguin Australia, which was so successful that it enabled its UK parent to stave off bankruptcy in the 1960s and 1970s.

Relying on unprecedented access to Lane family sources, including Richard's diaries and other papers, Penguin and the Lane Brothers sheds new light on the relationship between Allen, Richard and John, so crucial as a driver of Penguin's spirit and success. It restores the younger Lane brothers to their rightful place in the fascinating story of this unlikely publishing triumph.

Stuart Kells is the author of Rare and Penguin and the Lane Brothers. He is a member of the board of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers, the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, the Woodend Winter Arts Festival Foundation and the Book Collectors Society (Vic). He studied literature, economics and philosophy at the University of Melbourne, completed a PhD at Monash University, and was an economic advisor to three consecutive Victorian Premiers

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Ebook Details
Pages: 320
Size: 4.2 MB
Publisher: Black Inc.
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 2370006605539 (DRM-EPUB)
9781925203417 (DRM-PDF)

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