About

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening the marketplace of ideas and engaging in educational activities to help preserve democratic culture.

Our Name

ENCOUNTER BOOKS draws its name from Encounter magazine, an Anglo-American literary journal founded in 1953 by poet Stephen Spender and journalist Irving Kristol.

Encounter was a liberal, anti-Soviet monthly dedicated to two things: “a love of liberty and a respect for that part of human endeavour that goes by the name of culture.”

The magazine seemed to have come “out of nowhere”with an immediate impact.

Kingsley Amis, W. H. Auden, Isaiah Berlin, Albert Camus, Robert Conquest, Philip Larkin, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Lionel Trilling, Richard Wilbur, and Edmund Wilsonto name just a fewall wrote for Encounter. Evelyn Waugh and Nancy Mitford debated in its pages. Even Virginia Woolf appeared there, posthumously of course.

Melvin J. Lasky, who succeeded Irving Kristol as editor in 1958, cultivated dissident writers from across the Soviet Bloc. Joseph Brodsky, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Arthur Koestler, Leszek Kołakowski, and Václav Havel all made their mark in Encounter.

For a time, it was probably the finest magazine goingon either side of the Atlantic.

IN 1967Ramparts, a San Francisco-based New Left magazine, published an exposé on the CIA’s infiltration of the National Student Association. As an aside, the piece implied that the CIA also supported The Congress for Cultural Freedom—Encounter’s parent foundation.

It was true. Fearing that Soviet propaganda was winning over Europe’s intelligentsia, the CIA had secretly funded Encounter—and many other publications—to promote a classically liberal, anti-totalitarian standpoint in Europe.

Although the revelation was a scandal in the intellectual world and several prominent writers defected, Encounter continued to publish through the end of the Cold War, not closing its doors until 1991.

Did the Cultural Cold War have an impact? Former-Ramparts editor Peter Collier described the CIA’s involvement with Encounter as “part of a shadow boxing match of containment with the Soviets that allowed us to get through the most dangerous period of the Cold War without having to throw thermonuclear punches.”

Franklin Foer called it “the best money that the CIA ever spent.”

In 1998, three decades after his magazine broke the CIA story, a more politically mature Peter Collier revived the Encounter name, founding Encounter Books on the maxim that the printed word can drive intelligent debate and influence the world in a positive way.

Now edited by Roger Kimball, Encounter Books continues to advance its love of liberty and the cultural achievements of the West against a rising tide of collectivist sentiment and the soft totalitarianism of intellectual conformity.

Senior Staff

Nola Tully

Executive Director of Operations

Sam Schneider

Director of Marketing

Heather Ohle

Director of Production

Katherine Wong

Production Manager

Lauren Miklos

Directory of Publicity

Caitlin Kiley

Operations Assistant

Publicity

For publicity inquiries, contact publicity [at] encounterbooks.com.

Academic Review Copies

For academic review copies, visit www.perseusacademic.com.

Distribution

For bookstore and individual orders placed within the United States, Canada and Australia, please contact:

Perseus Books Group
Phone: 800-343-4499
Fax: 800-351-5073
www.perseusbooks.com