Giovan Battista Palumbo established this Publishing House in 1939. Unfortunately the start of its publishing activity coincided with the outbreak of World War II and Italy's entrance into war the year after ended up by stopping any project carried out by the new-born Publishing House. After the dark years of war, publishing started again at full steam, in spite of many postwar difficulties.
From 1945 to the end of the Fifties
Giovan Battista Palumbo's activity was characterised right from the start by a close professional and personal collaboration with some of the most famous prominent figures of contemporary Italian culture: Giovanni Papini, Fernando Palazzi, Enzo Palmieri, Vito Fazio Almayer, Giuseppe Cocchiara, Raffaello Morghen, as well as -later on- with a new generation of prominent intellectuals: Bruno Lavagnini, Giusto Monaco, Emidio De Felice. Between the end of the Forties and the beginning of the Fifties, the Publishing House worked mainly in the university sector.
At the beginning of the Sixties, Palumbo became more and more interested in school publishing.At that time, it started a collaboration with one of the main scholars and intellectuals of that time, Giuseppe Petronio, who published the celebrated textbook "L'attività letteraria in Italia" with Palumbo in 1964. This book has deeply changed the study of Italian literature and it has been used by generations of upper school and university students.
Petronio was also editor of the book series "Storia della critica" which soon became a point of reference for Italian studies' scholars - as well as of the literary magazine "Problemi" for Palumbo in 1967, which - besides publishing essays of great cultural value - dealt with methodology and teaching problems and published studies on mass and consumer literature by Petronio.
The literary magazine has been supplemented with the series "Problemi-Libri" since 1972. This series published books aiming at providing critical information as well as bringing into focus contemporary culture's aspects and trends. Among its most representative titles are "Il caso Verga", edited by Alberto Asor Rosa, "Folklore e antropologia" by Alberto Maria Cirese, "Società e comunicazione di massa" by Gianni Statera, "Il cinema di Luis Buñuel" by Giorgio Tinazzi.
Giovan Battista Palumbo published il "Vocabolario della lingua e della civiltà italiana contemporanea", edited by Emidio De Felice -a linguist of the University of Genova – and Aldo Duro - director of the "Vocabolario della lingua italiana Treccani", in 1975.
In 1980 Palumbo involved in a school operation another great intellectual of that time, Leonardo Sciascia, by publishing his Italian anthology for Middle School "L'età e le età", edited with Giuseppe Passarello and Susi Siino.
The history of Latin literature "L'attività letteraria nell'antica Roma" by Giusto Monaco, Gaetano De Bernardis and Andrea Sorci was published at the beginning of the Eighties and it was followed by the history of Greek literature "L'attività letteraria nell'antica Grecia" by Giusto Monaco with Mario Casertano and Gianfranco Nuzzo.
Giovan Battista Palumbo died in 1986, leaving direction of his Publishing House to his sons Giorgio and Mario.
Between the end of the Eighties and the beginning of the nineties new and bold publishing enterprises were started together with the intense cultural activity of the "Centro Studi" in the company founder's name (which was inaugurated exactly in 1986).
The most significant result of the new publishing production innovating school handbooks was the book "La scrittura e l'interpretazione", an history of Italian literature by Romano Luperini, Pietro Cataldi and Lidia Marchiani. This work soon (1996) became a point of reference in the teaching sector, also because it was supported by a sequence of publishing and cultural projects managed by Romano Luperini: a series of monographs on Twentieth-Century authors and a series of educational audiovisual media ("Le idee e le immagini. Testi, autori e movimenti della letteratura italiana") providing teachers with new teaching tools closer to students' sensitivity in their communicative approach. During those years, Palumbo also published the literary magazine "Allegoria", whereas "Chichibìo" - a bimonthly literary magazine dealing with topics concerning school and cultural policy in our country – was first published in 1999.
From the year 2000 to nowadays
The catalogue of our Publishing House has gradually increased by covering many branches of learning as well as by including a constant production of audiovisual media (a docudrama by Giovanna Taviani - with the contribution of the greatest Italian directors: Risi, Monicelli, Bertolucci, Bellocchio, Moretti, Salvatores, Virzì, Giordana - entitled "I nostri trent'anni" was produced in 2005). Although our Publishing House is known mainly for its humanistic production, the company also distinguished itself for several scientific works supported by multimedia aids integrating usual textbooks.
Palumbo Multimedia was set up in 2005 in order to combine traditional teaching and training methods with resources and potentialities characterising a masterly use of new technologies.