Rosset, Barney Lee, Jr.

Rosset, Barney Lee, Jr., 1922–2012, American publisher, b. Chicago. As head (1951–85) of Grove Press, he published literary works previously deemed too obscene or unconventional for the reading public. Among the the avant-garde, countercultural, and revolutionary authors he championed were Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugéne Ionesco, William S. Burroughs, Pablo Neruda, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Octavio Paz, Marguerite Duras, Kenzaburo Oe, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, and Malcolm X. Rosset won two groundbreaking obscenity cases: The first (1959) reversed a U.S. Post Office ban on distributing the uncensored edition of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover by mail; the second (1964) overturned bans on the sale of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. He also published (1957–73) the Evergreen Review, a literary journal.

See his autobiography, My Life in Publishing and How I Fought Censorship (2016); biography by M. Rosenthal (2017); D. O'Connor and N. Ortenberg, dir., Obscene (documentary, 2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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