The Press: Battle of the Books

For years, book publishers have grumbled among themselves about U.S. newspapers' bestseller lists; the book trade held that they should be made more accurate or they should be abolished. This week the Saturday Review of Literature shouted the same thing out loud with a three-page blast at the "respectable [but] hardly scientific" Sunday lists of the New York Times and Herald Tribune.

Saturday Review started out with an observation that any casual reader could make: the lists disagree on many books. Example: in 1948, the Times had The Naked and the Dead in first...

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