The Way It Wasn't: From the Files of James Laughlin, by James Laughlin
James Laughlin, founder of New Directions, was still at work on his autobiography when he died at 83. He left behind personal files crammed with memories and memorabilia.
"The last of the great gentlemen publishers, he was also the most important avant-garde editor of the immediate post World War II period." - Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
"Readers who revel in literary gossip are in for a real treat... The Way It Wasn't retails amusing anecdotes and outrageous opinions about all these writers... along with rants about the book industry, memories of childhood and youth and affectionate reminiscences of old girlfriends." - Michael Dirda - The Washington Post.
"Laughlin was more than the greatest American publisher of the twentieth century: His press was the twentieth century."—Eliot Weinberger, The Nation.