Cover image for Publishing : a leap from mind to mind
Publishing : a leap from mind to mind
Miller, Harold T., 1923-2012.
Publication Information:
Golden, Colo. : Fulcrum Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 316 pages : map ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z473.H83 M55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Told by the people who lived it and made it happen, this is the story of the independent publishing firm of Houghton Mifflin from World War II through the 1990s.

Author Notes

Harold T. Miller: President and Chairman Houghton Mifflin Company

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Miller was with Houghton Mifflin for more than 40 years, serving as chairman from 1973 until his retirement in 1990. During his tenure, Houghton Mifflin grew from a privately held, modest-sized publisher to a publicly traded company that was one of the largest publishing firms in the country when Miller stepped down. In a wide-ranging account that is far more than a memoir, the author documents Houghton Mifflin's growth while tackling a variety of educational publishing issues with the company as a focal point. Miller relied not only on his own experience but interviewed nearly 100 people who were associated with the company over the last 50 years to illuminate the major events in its evolution into a major publishing force. The development of Houghton's highly successful math and reading programs, for example, is revealed in a q&a format with many of the people who worked on the projects. He also recounts how Houghton managed to remain independent until the "mysterious" sale to Vivendi in 2001, and takes a firm stand against further ownership of American publishers by foreign conglomerates. More broadly, Miller discusses such subjects as the influence of statewide adoptions on the publishing process and the value of standardized testing. Readers without any background in publishing may find Miller's work too much of an insider's look at the industry, but the topics Miller covers make it a must read for anyone in educational publishing and for those in government circles who deal with educational issues. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Miller served as Houghton Mifflin's president and chair from 1973 to 1990. But his affiliation with the company began much earlier when he joined its ranks as a textbook salesman in 1950. Miller's longevity with the company, coupled with his ascendancy through the company's ranks, gives him a unique perspective on publishing. His goal is to document the history of the Houghton Mifflin Company from World War II through its takeover by foreign conglomerates in 2001 and to highlight its special culture and relationships with authors. Through a multitude of interviews with authors, editors, salesmen, and other Houghton employees and associates, Miller describes a dynamic company that fostered innovation and entrepreneurship. This book will be of special interest to educators because of its detailed accounts of Houghton's shift in emphasis from trade to education publishing and the methods the company used in developing educational materials. The book also offers a publisher's views on the benefits and drawbacks of state textbook adoption and the dangers of the foreign conglomerate ownership of education publishing in the United States and, by default, ownership of "the living memory of a nation." Recommended for academic libraries.-Mark Alan Williams, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Rocky Stinehour
Preface: On Readingp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Abbreviation Key to Intervieweesp. xv
Chapter 1 Houghton's Culture: How It Evolvedp. 1
Chapter 2 Betting the House of Houghton on Manuel Fenollosa: How Houghton Mifflin's Educational Division Came into Its Ownp. 21
Chapter 3 Preaching the Gospel: The Houghton Mifflin Teaching/Learning Approach to Readingp. 33
Chapter 4 State Textbook Adoptions: How They Worked and How They Affected Publishingp. 41
Chapter 5 What Was It Like to Revise a Reading Program?: A Group Discussionp. 73
Chapter 6 A Generation of Great Creators: Publishing Children's Literaturep. 105
Chapter 7 Using What Pupils Know to Teach New Concepts: Mathematics Instructionp. 127
Chapter 8 Kill the Messenger: Standardized Testsp. 157
Chapter 9 A Growing, Changing Phenomenon: College Publishingp. 211
Chapter 10 Independence: How We Protected It and Whyp. 259
Acknowledgmentsp. 303
A Note of Clarificationp. 307
List of Intervieweesp. 309
Bibliographyp. 315