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Hippocrene Books is an independent US publishing press located at 171 Madison Avenue, New York City, NY 10016.

Hippocrene Books
Hippocrene Books, Inc. Logo 2color.png
Founded1970 (1970)
FounderGeorge Blagowidow
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsForeign language reference books, cookbooks

Hippocrene specializes in foreign language study guides and international cookbooks (particularly of less widely known languages and cuisines). The foreign language catalog includes the Concise, Practical, and Standard Dictionary series, the travel-oriented Dictionary & Phrasebook series, and the Hippocrene Beginner's textbook series. In the past, Hippocrene has published books on folklore, translations of classic literature, children's dictionaries, and travel guides.

The publishing side grew out of Optimum Book Marketing, established in 1970 by Polish immigrant George Blagowidow. The press takes its name from the mythical Hippocrene fountain associated with the Muses, as seen in the company logo.

Hippocrene Books, Inc. is distributed to the trade by Two River Distribution, an Ingram brand.


Hippocrene was started by George Blagowidow,[2] who was born in Poland to Russian parents and survived the Nazi occupation to escape communist Europe in 1945.[2] After attending university in Antwerp, Belgium, he came to New York City in 1951, where he earned master’s and doctorate degrees in business from New York University.[2] He worked at Doubleday, Macmillan, and Reader's Digest before starting his own publishing company with Hippocrene’s first list in spring 1972, featuring European literary classics in translation, including The Doll by Polish novelist Bolesław Prus.[2]

In 1973 the company began distributing foreign-language dictionaries for a German company and continued to thrive in that niche.[2] As of 2008, Hippocrene has published in over 112 languages, including Polish-interest books such as Quo Vadis by Nobel Prize-winning novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz.[2]

In 1983, Best of Polish Cooking, by Karen West, was the first cookbook published by the company.[2] Hippocrene has since expanded its line of ethnic cookbooks to include 64 cuisines. The company also publishes histories and illustrated histories. Its illustrated dictionaries for children, started in 1998, are available in 16 languages.[2]

Selected booksEdit

Top Selling Books

  • Beginner's Russian with Online Workbook by Kudyma, Anna et al. Hippocrene Books, 2012.
  • Mastering Arabic 1 with 2 Audio CDs: Third Edition by . Hippocrene Books, 2015.
  • Swahili Practical Dictionary. Hippocrene Books, 2000.
  • Tagalog-English/English-Tagalog Standard Dictionary by Carl Rubino. Hippocrene Books, 2002.

Out of Print Books (not a complete list)


  1. ^ "Book Publisher Catalogues From Gazelle Book Services, UK Book Distributors". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "About Hippocrene Books". Hippocrene Books. Retrieved 1 June 2011.

External linksEdit

Chapter about Hippocrene: