Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 152

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 152

now), he is convinced he would never have been happy in it. He might have found this out in a year or more, after the novelty of travelling had worn off, and asked release from his contract; in that case he would have broken his line of progress in the publishing business. From whatever viewpoint he has looked back upon this, which he now believes to have been the crisis in his life, he is convinced that his mother’s instinct saved him from a grievous mistake.

The Scribner house, in its foreign-book department, had imported some copies of Bourrienne’s Life of Napoleon, and a set had found its way to Bok’s desk for advertising purposes. He took the books home to glance them over, found himself interested, and sat up half the night to read them. Then he took the set to the editor of the New York Star, and suggested that such a book warranted a special review, and offered to leave the work for the literary editor.

“You have read the books?” asked the editor.

“Every word,” returned Bok.

“Then, why don’t you write the review?” suggested the editor.

This was a new thought to Bok. “Never wrote a review,” he said.

“Try it,” answered the editor. “Write a column.”

“A column wouldn’t scratch the surface of this book,” suggested the embryo reviewer.

“Well, give it what it is worth,” returned the editor.

Bok did. He wrote a page of the paper.

“Too much, too much,” said the editor. “Heavens, man, we’ve got to get some news into this paper.”

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