Michele K. Troy. Strange Bird: The Albatross Press and the Third Reich. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. 2017. 440p. Hardbound, $40.00 (ISBN: 978-0300215687).

Hendrik Edelman

Abstract

The paperback revolution in Europe and North America of the mid-twentieth century has received much written attention from journalists and historians. This publishing innovation opened up reading markets theretofore largely unserved, and it, in turn, spurned a social and intellectual movement the effects of which are still with us today. The unlikely precursor of the modern paperback was the German-based Tauchnitz Editions, active between 1840 and 1940, which comprised some five thousand titles of contemporary British and American literature, printed and distributed with copyright in continental Europe, for the use of international travelers and the educated public. It was a most successful venture, ultimately selling millions of inexpensive copies, which greatly benefited authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers alike. With their distinctive covers, these books have now become collector’s items. Although there had been occasional competitors over the years, it was not until late 1931, with the founding of Albatross Press, that the battle of survival began. And it is at this moment that Michele K. Troy, professor of English at Hartford University, decided to begin her fascinating tale. 

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