Books: De Luxe

One fine spring-fever day in 1929 a high-keyed, hawk-nosed, 28-year-old publisher named George Macy paid a well-plotted call on a Wall Street broker named Jack O. (for nothing) Straus. Publisher Macy was in search of an angel. He outlined for Broker Straus a heavenly publishing scheme: limited editions. "Wait here for me," said Straus. A few minutes later he reappeared, handed Macy a fistful of checks. They were for $1,000 each. To fellow brokers downstairs on the floor of the Stock Exchange he had merely whispered the compelling cantrip of the bulls: "I've got a...

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