In 1951, Grove Press was a tiny, almost-defunct publisher with just three titles in its catalog. But then Barney Rosset took over and, with a few choice books, helped push America past its Puritanical roots and into the sexual revolution. His memorial was held this week – he died a few months ago at the age of 89. In an interview from 2008, Brooke talks to Rosset about fighting charges of obscenity over books like Naked Lunch and Tropic of Cancer.
Feisty publisher Barney Rosset was responsible for bringing exposure in America to greats Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Jean Genet through his Grove Press imprint. He also defied censors, and ultimately won celebrated First Amendment battles by publishing D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. He just died this week at the age of 89. And you can hear some of his interviews with Leonard below.
When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his book nearly died with him. Today it stands as a milestone in America’s struggle with race.