IT was easy to miss, because of the chaos created by Sandy, but publishing may be on the verge of a serious contraction or at least rearrangement. It’s hard to tell what is going on — a lot of only vaguely related issues are coming together at once — but this is not good news for people working in the business.
Here is my story from Salon, the latest in my series on the pressure exerted on the creative class. For now, my focus is on the announced merger of Penguin and Random House, but there could be more.
I speak to a number of people here, including FSG boss Jonathan Galassi and publishing veteran Ira Silverberg, now at the NEA.
Please don’t let the story’s provocative headline distract you from my argument. Capitalism is part of the problem here, indeed, but capitalism also allowed publishing (and the creative class itself) to develop and thrive.
What I fear is the wrong kind of capitalism — the kind that would trouble not just people on the left, but folks like Teddy Roosevelt in his trust-busting days — is taking over.