Manager as Muse: Maxwell Perkins’ Work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe

“My goodness, Miss Donnelly, Maxwell Perkins was one of the worst businessmen who ever lived.”

–Interview with Charles Scribner, Jr., chairman of Scribner’s

One of the many legends surrounding Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins (1884-1947) is that he was a terrible businessman. Manager as Muse: Maxwell Perkins’ Work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe shows that he was definitely good at managing creative people.

How did he manage to get such classic work out of such volatile creative personalities as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, among others? And how did so many of his authors contribute to Scribner’s financial success over the decades?

Starting with the excellent biography, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, I combined information from numerous other sources, including several collections of letters, to determine what management skills Perkins used to motivate these three larger than life characters.

Based on my thesis for my MBA at Duquesne University in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the new version of Manager as Muse focuses on developing guidelines which today’s managers of creative people can use in working with writers, artists, performers—any of those in the creative industries. The principles of management remain the same. What did Perkins do to keep these novelists writing? How much did he push? How much did he keep hands off?’

Through a detailed analysis of the relationships between Perkins and his three most well-known authors, Manager as Muse will give you insights in to how best to work with the creative people you manage, to motivate them to achieve success.

Manager as Muse by Kathleen Dixon Donnelly

Manager as Muse by Kathleen Dixon Donnelly

Manager as Muse is available in the UK on Amazon.co.uk and in the States on Amazon.com, in both print and Kindle versions.

You can also buy the original academic thesis on Lulu, but I highly recommend the download so you can sort through the academic theory to find the parts you like: www.lulu.com/spotlight/suchfriends.

2 thoughts on “Manager as Muse: Maxwell Perkins’ Work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe

  1. Pingback: ‘Such Friends’: The Quinn family, my brother and me | SuchFriends Blog

  2. Pingback: ‘Such Friends’: John Quinn, my brother and me | SuchFriends Blog

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