New American Library
|Country of origin|
|NAL Accent, Obsidian, |
The New American Library (NAL) is an American
New American Library (NAL) began life as Penguin U.S.A. and as part of Penguin Books of England. Because of complexities of exchange control and import and export regulations—Penguin made the decision to terminate the association and the New American Library of World Literature was founded in 1948 by
Enoch served as president of New American Library from 1947-1965. He later served as head of Book Publishing at Times Mirror and then stepped down to Vice-President when John P. R. Budlong became president of New American Library in 1965.
NAL's productions were not limited to softbound reprints. Original works of mystery, romance, and adventure proved to be profitable and popular. In 1963 the company began publishing original publications in hardback format, such as the immensely popular
NAL also published at least two notable "magazines in book form":
NAL enjoyed great success: by 1965, its Mentor and Signet books annually sold over 50 million volumes.[
The McCarthy era of the 1950s is notorious for its attacks upon communism and communistic influences in American life, and the object of federal investigations and trials was to eliminate this perceived threat and extinguish any and all communistic elements. NAL became involved with the censorship trials when certain books were deemed inflammatory and subsequently banned. Victor Weybright was asked to testify before a 1952 House Committee that examined pornography. Rather than accept government restrictions, Weybright endorsed a self-regulated censorship policy on the part of publishing companies.[
I pointed out with some justification, but certainly not as my basic argument, that the Mentor list was essential as part of the character and prestige of our company and an indispensable exhibit when our more daring fiction — by Faulkner, Farrell, and Caldwell — was attacked by the censors.
New York University Library received the NAL archive as a gift from the NAL in the spring of 1965.
NAL witnessed several changes in ownership beginning in the 1960s. In 1960
In 1985 New American Library acquired E.P. Dutton, an independent hardcover and trade publisher. During this period there was pressure for paperback publishers to add hardcover divisions. NAL had started publishing hardcovers in 1980 with mixed success and determined that Dutton would give them an edge in that space.
In 2013, Pearson PLC merged Penguin with