Macmillan Inc. was a now mostly defunct American publishing company. Once the American division of the British Macmillan Publishers, remnants of the original American Macmillan are present in McGraw-Hill Education's Macmillan/McGraw-Hill textbooks and Gale's Macmillan Reference USA division. The German publisher Holtzbrinck, which bought Macmillan UK in 1999, purchased most US rights to the name in 2001 and rebranded its American division with it in 2007.[1]

Macmillan Publishers
FounderGeorge Edward Brett
SuccessorSimon & Schuster
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City, New York


Brett familyEdit

George Edward Brett opened the first Macmillan office in the United States in 1869 and Macmillan sold its U.S. operations to the Brett family, George Platt Brett, Sr. and George Platt Brett Jr. in 1896, resulting in the creation of an American company, Macmillan Publishing.[2] Even with the split of the American company from its parent company in Britain, George Brett Jr. and Harold Macmillan remained close personal friends.[3]

George P. Brett Jr. made the following comments in a letter dated 23 January 1947 to Daniel Macmillan about his family's devotion to the American publishing industry:

For the record my grandfather was employed by Macmillan's of England as a salesman. He came to the United States with his family in the service of Macmillan's of England and built up a business of approximately $50,000 before he died. He was succeeded . . . by my father, who eventually incorporated The Macmillan Company of New York and built up business of about $9,000,000. I succeeded my father, and we currently doing a business of approximately $12,000,000. So then, the name of Brett and the name of Macmillan have been and are synonymous in the United States.

Under the leadership of the Brett family, MacMillan served as the publisher of American authors, Winston Churchill,[4] Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone with the Wind,[5] and Jack London,[6] author of White Fang and Call of the Wild.

The Bretts remained in control of the American offices of Macmillan from its creation in 1869 to the early 1960s, "a span matched by few other families in the history of United States business."[3]

Mergers and endEdit

Through its merger with Crowell Collier Publishing Company in 1961 and other acquisitions (notably The Scribner Book Companies in 1984), the US publisher became a media giant in its own right, as Macmillan, Inc. It was acquired by the controversial British tycoon Robert Maxwell in 1989 and eventually sold to Simon & Schuster in 1994, in the wake of Maxwell's death (in 1991) and the subsequent bankruptcy proceedings.[7] (At the time, Viacom had just purchased S&S via the acquisition of its former parent company Paramount Communications; it is now owned by CBS Corporation.) The Macmillan and Atheneum adult trade publications were merged into Scribner.[8] Macmillan Publishing USA became the name of Simon & Schuster's reference division. Pearson acquired the Macmillan name in America in 1998 (and merged Macmillan Computer Publishing with Addison Wesley Longman to form Pearson Tech Group division of Pearson Education), following its purchase of the Simon & Schuster educational and professional group (which included various Macmillan properties).[1] Pearson sold the Macmillan Reference USA division (which included Scribner Reference) to Thomson Gale in 1999.

Macmillan's school publishing operations were merged into a joint operation with McGraw-Hill in 1989. McGraw-Hill acquired full ownership of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill in 1993 after Maxwell's death.[9]


Holtzbrinck purchased most of the rights to the Macmillan name from Pearson in 2001,[10] but not any of the businesses then associated with it. Holtzbrinck rebranded its US division with the name in 2007.[1]

The online user-maintained database Jacketflap reports these constituent American publishers of Holtzbrinck's Macmillan division (August 2010):[11]

Farrar Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt & Company, W.H. Freeman and Worth Publishers, Palgrave Macmillan, Bedford/St. Martin's, Picador, Roaring Brook Press, St. Martin’s Press, Tor Books, and Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishing Group.



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Milliot, Jim (October 9, 2007). "Holtzbrinck's U.S. Arm Now Macmillan". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "PUBLISHING: Crofter's Crop" Time January 22, 1951.
  3. ^ a b Macmillan from
  4. ^ Kershaw, Alex (1999). Jack London: A Life. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 110. ISBN 0-312-19904-X.
  5. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (February 15, 1984). "George P. Brett is dead at 91; Headed Macmillan Company". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  6. ^ Jack London (1943) - Full cast and crew
  7. ^ Kelley, Claire (24 October 2012). "After 65 years, Free Press to be absorbed into Simon & Schuster flagship". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Paramount putting its stamp on Macmillan". Publishers Weekly. 1994-01-31. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  9. ^ Bloomberg News (27 August 1993). "COMPANY NEWS; McGRAW-HILL TO BUY STAKE IN SCHOOLBOOK PUBLISHER". NY Times. The New York Times Company. p. 3. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Holtzbrinck shows Macmillan sales rise". The Bookseller. February 23, 2001. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "Publisher information: MacMillan". JacketFlap. August 15, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-30.

Further readingEdit

  • James, Elizabeth (2002) Macmillan: a Publishing Tradition. Basingstoke: Palgrave ISBN 0-333-73517-X