About James Monaco

James Monaco, an expert on electronic publishing, film, and the media industry, is president of UNET, which he founded in 1992. He also founded Baseline and its subsidiary, New York Zoetrope. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interactive Services Association and was Chairman of the Videotext Marketing Consortium. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Copyright Clearance Center.

UNET is active in all forms of electronic publishing, from online services to CDs, DVD-Videos, and DVD-ROMs, and has capabilities in Internet communications software and e-commerce. The company's stated aim is the integration of advanced multimedia and communications technologies to serve traditional publishing media.

UNET operates a number of websites including,,,, and

How To Read a Film: multimedia edition, a DVD-ROM, appeared in 2000 in conjunction with the third edition of the book from Oxford University Press. The disc won the DVD-ROM Excellence Award of the DVD Association in 2001 and has been adopted by scores of university film courses.

The Fourth Edition of How to Read a Film appeared in 2009.

Monaco is also active as a book publisher via Harbor Electronic Publishing. Titles include Herbert Biberman's Salt of the Earth: The Story of a Film, Jack Newfield's The Life and Crimes of Don King: The Shame of Boxing in America, and Doug Pratt's DVD. HEP also produces a list of titles devoted to the East End of Long Island, including nature study and local history.

With Baseline, Leonard Maltin, Pauline Kael, and others, Monaco contributed material for Microsoft's best-selling multimedia CD Cinemania. A landmark in multimedia production, Cinemania sold more than 2.8 million copies in the mid-1990s.

Baseline, which Monaco founded in 1982, provides advanced information services for the entertainment industry worldwide. The company is now a division of the New York Times Company, which acquired it in 2006. Baseline's subsidiary, New York Zoetrope, was a specialty book-publishing company founded in 1975 which concentrated on titles in film and entertainment. Zoetrope's publications included more than 40 reference and specialized titles including The Laser Video Disc Companion, The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, and Who's Who in American Film Now.

Monaco has spoken often to media industry forums in the U.S. and Europe. Engagements have included Yale's Watson School of Management, the Information Industry Association's Senior Management Symposium, the International Conference and Exposition on Multimedia and CD-ROM, Digital Video/Multimedia Expo, and Digital Hollywood.

Monaco is the author of a number of books on the film industry and the media, including The Dictionary of New Media (HEP 2000), The Connoisseur's Guide to the Movies (Facts on File 1985); American Film Now (Oxford University Press 1979, 1984); and the best-selling How to Read a Film (Oxford University Press 1977, 1981, 2000, 2009). Translations have appeared in German, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Czech, Turkish, Indonesian, and Farsi. He has also edited a number of basic references, including Who's Who in American Film Now (New York Zoetrope 1981, 1987), The Movie Guide (Putnam, Virgin 1992, 1993), and The Encyclopedia of Film (Putnam, Virgin 1991).

Monaco's journalism and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, American Film, The Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. In the 1970s, he was a contributing editor of [More] and Cineaste and associate editor of Take One. As a media commentator for National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" in the early 1980s, Monaco's analysis reached more than 250 affiliate stations. His television credits include appearances on all the major American networks, ABC (Sydney), BBC (London), NHK (Tokyo), CBC (Montreal), WDR (Frankfurt) and more than a hundred local stations around the country.

A former member of the faculty of The New School for Social Research in New York, Monaco also taught at Columbia University, The City University of New York, New York University, and elsewhere. He has lectured to a wide variety of professional, academic, and general audiences. Monaco has degrees from Muhlenberg College and Columbia University.

Monaco is a long-time member of the Author's Guild and was a founder of the American Book Producers Association. He is a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, London. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Carron Trading Corp. and Galloway Internet Ltd. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Program for Art on Film, Inc.

Born and raised in New York City, Monaco currently lives and works in Manhattan and Sag Harbor with his wife, Susan Schenker, an educator. They are the parents of three adult children.


The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette. Why these five directors came to influence a generation of filmmakers. Includes film-by-film discussions of their work. (Oxford University Press, 1976, 372 pp.)

How to Read A Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond. A comprehensive overview of the history of movies, television, and new media concentrating on how the modern media have changed the way we perceive the world and ourselves. (Oxford University Press, 1977, 1981, 2000, 2009.)

Celebrity. Ed. Illuminates the star-making machinery to show how and why celebrities are made and how personalities and personas merge (by matthew at tforge). With "special guests": Nora Ephron, Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, Ingmar Bergman, Norman Mailer, Wilfrid Sheed, Donald Barthelme, Garrison Keillor. (Dell, 1978, 258 pp.)

Media Culture. Ed. A twentieth-century American culture "reader" presenting close-ups of the people and products that create mass culture. From the early days of radio to People magazine. (Dell, 1978, 335 pp.)

Alain Resnais: The Role of Imagination. A film-by-film survey of the unique French director, including Resnais's unrealized projects or "non-films." (Oxford University Press, 1978, 234 pp.)

American Film Now: The People, The Power, The Money, The Movies. Landmark examination of the financial, political, and artistic complexities of movies. (Oxford University Press, 1979. New York Zoetrope, updated edition 1984, 560 pp.)

Who's Who in American Film Now. Ed. Credits for more than 11,000 artistic and technical personnel in thirteen categories, culled from Baseline's databases. (New York Zoetrope, 1981, updated edition 1987, 389 pp.)

The French Revolutionary Calendar. Includes illustrated commentary on the French Revolution. (New York Zoetrope, 1982.)

The Connoisseur's Guide to the Movies. The 1,450 most significant movies in the world, ranked and rated. (Facts on File Publications, 1985, 313 pp.)

The International Encyclopedia of Film. Ed. Critical bios for more than 3,000 stars and filmmakers by Baseline's editors. (Putnam and Virgin, 1991, 596 pp.)

The Movie Guide. Ed. "A comprehensive listing of the most important films ever made" selected from Baseline's databases. (Putnam and Virgin, 1992, 1994, 1099 pp.)

Cinemania: Interactive Movie Guide. Contributor. The first multimedia guide to film and a landmark CD-ROM. (Microsoft. 1992ñ1996, 650 megabytes.)

The Dictionary of New Media. A comprehensive glossary of film and new media terminology including an essay on the digital revolution and covering such new media as DSS, DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, SACD, DVD-Audio, HDTV, digital photography. (Harbor Electronic Publishing. 1999. 288 pp.)

How To Read a Film: Multimedia Edition. DVD-ROM based on the book, and including three additional books (The Dictionary of New Media, Reading about Film, and Reading about New Media) as well as a thousand illustrations in black and white and color, more than 130 movie clips (including The Interface, shot especially for the disc), audio interviews with movers and shakers, interactive labs, audio author's notes, virtual reality tours, and more. (Harbor Electronic Publishing. 2000. 4.5 gigabytes.)