Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

To the Far Left and Right from Lorne Bair Rare Books

Bair14

Watch out for the bite of the fascist insect.

Lorne Bair Rare Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera has issued a new catalogue, and despite the image on the cover, which might lead you to believe its title is “Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys on the Life of the People,” it is actually simply called Catalog 14. That piece on the cover is not surprising for Bair, who generally specializes in material well to the left of center. However, the Winchester, Virginia, bookseller also frequently includes some items far to the other side of the spectrum (what you won't find here is much material from the center). This time, there is also a substantial amount of material from the far right, Nazis taking their place at the table with Communists. While the far left wing material offered tends to be more over-the-top, some of the pieces from the right can be horrifying, such as the Adolph Hitler photo album. Here, now, are some of the items from the farther edges of the spectrum being offered.

William Z. Foster was a labor organizer in the teens who joined the Communist Party in America in the early 1920s. He rose in the ranks as a result of taking the right side in the squabbles going on in Moscow at the time. He supported Stalin over Trotsky. Despite battles within the U.S. party, Foster managed to secure the party's nomination for President in 1932. It was in this year that he published this explanation of the party platform, Toward Soviet America. He was also stricken with heart problems that year, that reduced his power going forward. Still he managed to survive until 1961, dying in Moscow and receiving a state funeral. And, for those not familiar with the voting in 1932, he lost the election. Item 15. Priced at $150.

Item 80 is an unexpected sounding title, The Communistic Societies of the United States; From Personal Visit and Observation. One would not expect anyone to use the “C” word in describing a society at all sympathetically with the paranoia that surrounded the word. However, this book goes back to the days before it had such connotations, the pre-Soviet era. Those communistic societies were more often referred to as “utopian,” idealistic communes, often based on religious beliefs. The most notable such group was the Shakers, a devout, celibate group who made sturdy, but uncomfortable furniture, consistent with their no-frills, no-fun lifestyle. Author Charles Nordoff visited several of their communities and those of other groups, including Aurora, Bethel, Amana and Oneida communities. Published in 1875. $350.

We need to give the other side its due, so here is one from the very far, extreme right: Hitler and the 20th Century Hoax, by Kenneth Goff, published circa 1954. Goff was a minister from the Christian Identity movement, a white supremacist theology with little affection for anyone else. The Nazis would have fit in well with many of these people, but once the war started, it was hard to be pro-Nazi and develop any kind of following in America. What's a poor anti-semite to do? Goff had the answer. Call Hitler a Communist of Jewish background, bankrolled by Jewish bankers. Blame the victims. Item 32. $95.

Here is an item that shows just how involved its author was in his state. Huey Long was a Governor of and Senator from Louisiana who was assassinated in the year this songbook was published – 1935. He is a man hard to peg on a traditional left-right spectrum. He was an extreme populist, passing much legislation designed to help the average people of his poor state, but he was a dictatorial, bullying leader not above his share of corruption. His career came to an end when he was gunned down by the son-in-law of a political opponent, and though his family and political machine continued to operate in Louisiana almost to the next century, it was never close to the powerhouse it had been under Huey. Item 121 displays a bit of how much he had become embedded in every state institution. It is LSU Songs, containing music to the songs Darling of L.S.U. and Touchdown for L.S.U., with words and music by Long and L.S.U. Marching Band Director Castro Carazo (selected for the position, naturally, by Long). $200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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