Mastering the art of knowing your audience -
If the editor-in-chief at Houghton Mifflin had had his way in 1959, Julia Child's best-selling Mastering the Art of French Cooking -- possibly the most influential work in American cookbook history -- would never have been published. Even after Julia spent over a year tightening her manuscript at the editor's request, condensing it as far as she felt she could, he still rejected it, judging it "so huge, expensive, and elaborate that it was certain to seem formidable 'to the American housewife.'" * This editor thought he knew his audience. He was wrong. Julia knew her audience. She changed publishers. In 1961, Alfred A. Knopf served up this monumental pièce de résistance -- all 734 pages -- to the cooking world. That world, like Knopf's, has never been the same... Continue reading →