Genre Dust Jacket Backs of the Late Classical Period
The folks in Marketing at Modern Library often used the backs of dust jackets to try to get folks to buy more titles than just the one they were holding in their hands. Most of the time they referred to the complete list of titles on the dust jacket reverse.
Beginning with the flaps of i dust jackets in the 1950s, and moving on to the backs of style j djs in 1960, ML placed short lists of further recommended readings that related to the volume that the DJ was covering. Starting in 1967, they introduced a new genre list dust jacket style; the titles in the recommended list were the same genre as the book. This new style (or set of styles) lasted until the ML ceased publication in 1975 -- the one that, with variations, we've come to know as styles n, o, Gi, and Gj.
Using the information in the section labeled Fragmented Data & Future Possibilities toward the end of this page, you can sometimes verify that the dust jacket on a first edition book is quite likely the correct one—often a difficult task because late dust jackets don't have reliable current catalog lists on the back.
Genre backs came in five specific areas: Poetry & Drama, Classics of Modern Thought, Modern Fiction, Philosophy & Religion, and Classics of Literature:
The contents of each genre list seemed to change over time, perhaps reflecting the addition to, or removal of titles from, ML's active titles list:
Each genre back came in a variety of fetching colors, usually tied to the color scheme of the rest of the jacket:
There are at five variations of info at the bottom of genre pages. The first four variations display "For further information and complete catalogs write:" along with an address, the form of which varies. Listed in order of appearance:
Here's a table showing where we've seen these variations:
1 Style didn't exist yet
In looking through your own collection, please e-mail us if you have an example not noted in the chart (Gj5, Gi5, and any variation 4 including a confirmation of n4).