Jacques Schiffrin: A Publisher in Exile, from Pléiade to Pantheon
972 5th Avenue
Jacques Schiffrin changed the face of publishing in the twentieth century. As the founder of Les Éditions de la Pléiade in Paris and cofounder of Pantheon Books in New York, he helped define a lasting canon of Western literature while also promoting new authors who shaped transatlantic intellectual life. In his biography to be released by Columbia University Press in a translation by Sandra Smith, Amos Reichman tells the poignant story of a remarkable publisher. Born in Baku in 1892, Shiffrin fled after the Bolsheviks came to power, eventually settling in Paris, where he founded the Pléiade, which published elegant and affordable editions of literary classics as well as leading contemporary writers. After Vichy France passed anti-Jewish laws, he fled to New York, later establishing Pantheon Books with Kurt Wolff. Following Schiffrin’s death in 1950, his son André continued in his father’s footsteps, preserving and continuing a remarkable intellectual and cultural legacy at Pantheon. Panelists including Amos Reichman, Robert Paxton, Mark Mazower and Anya Schiffrin, will recount Schiffrin’s life and shed new light on French and American literary culture, European exiles in the United States, and the transatlantic ties that transformed the world of publishing.