Robert Gottlieb edited Caro, le Carré and ‘Catch-22’ but it will be ‘invisible’: NPR

0 15

Robert Gottlieb describes publishing as service work: “Our job is to serve the word, serve the author, serve the text.”

Thomas Victor/Courtesy of Estate of Thomas Victor, LLC/Sony Pictures Classics

hide caption

change caption

Thomas Victor/Courtesy of Estate of Thomas Victor, LLC/Sony Pictures Classics


Robert Gottlieb describes publishing as service work: “Our job is to serve the word, serve the author, serve the text.”

Thomas Victor/Courtesy of Estate of Thomas Victor, LLC/Sony Pictures Classics

At 91, Robert Gottlieb is perhaps the most acclaimed book publisher of his time. He started in 1955 and has worked in publishing ever since – as an editor for Simon & Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf and the new yorker. The list of authors he edited includes Joseph Heller, Toni Morrison, John le Carré, Katharine Graham, Bill Clinton, Nora Ephron, and Michael Crichton.

“He’s edited and published so many great writers over the last 70 years — and he still does,” says Robert Gottlieb’s daughter, documentary filmmaker Lizzie Gottlieb.

Lizzie Gottlieb’s latest movie, turn every page, focuses on her father’s decades-long publishing relationship with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Caro. Caro’s bestseller in 1974 The Wealth Broker was an exhaustive examination of how urban planner Robert Moses reshaped New York and how he used and abused power.

Robert Gottlieb says he knew after reading just 15 pages of Caro’s manuscript The Wealth Broker that he had a masterpiece in his hands. Yet it took him a year to edit the book, not because Caro had written badly, but because Caro had written enough to fill two volumes.

“It was impossible that I could publish two volumes on Robert Moses. I remember telling Bob [Caro]”Maybe we can interest readers in a book about Robert Moses, but I can’t interest them in two books,” recalled Robert Gottlieb. “Finally, after years of amicable deliberation, we decided that we would cut 350,000 words from the original manuscript.”

Not all news on the site expresses the site’s point of view, but we automatically transmit and translate this news through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.