Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Mostly Radical Literature from Lorne Bair Rare Books


Radical books from Lorne Bair.

Lorne Bair Rare Books has issued their Catalog 24. Bair specializes in radical literature and related items, so that is most of what you will find. Overwhelmingly, it comes from the radical left, but they always add in a few items from the far right, and a couple of things that aren't really radical at all. That's enough about the exceptions. Here are some samples of the items mostly from the left, and many the far left.


We begin with an item that is painful to read because the issues are so similar to those of today. It's as if nothing has changed since it was published, circa 1969-1970. The title is Black Fury, Second Addition, edited by Mona Bazaar. It is a collection of essays, a followup to a similar collection issued in 1968. The issues concern police brutality, white racism, the Vietnam War, and the rise of the Black Panther Party. The same concerns arise today, except the wars are in the Middle East and the latest movement is Black Lives Matter. The publication focuses on the killing of Vivian Strong, an unarmed 14-year-old black girl shot by a white police officer in Omaha. You would think we could just deal with these issues already so such protests would no longer necessary. Item 4. Priced at $350.


The next item comes from a black leader and political activist, a journalist and first black columnist for the Chicago Tribune, as well as being one of the greatest orators of his day. Roscoe Conkling Simmons was a nephew of Booker T. Washington. His uncle got him a job as an office boy for Ohio Republican Senator Mark Hanna, a close associate of President McKinley. It led to Conkling's lifelong involvement with politics and the Republican Party. His outstanding oratorical skills made him influential on behalf of black concerns within the party. Conkling would even deliver a seconding speech on behalf of Herbert Hoover at the 1932 Republican convention. However, his influence within the black community waned as blacks, once mostly devoted to the party of Lincoln, switched sides with the onset of the Depression as a result of Roosevelt's programs to aid the poor. Conkling did not switch. Item 25 is Conkling's campaign booklet from 1936 supporting the presidential candidacy of Republican Alf Landon: The Republican Party and American Colored People. The cover depicts Landon, his running mate Frank Knox, and Abraham Lincoln. The pamphlet compares the records of the Democrats and Republicans going back to 1856, and while those comparisons would not have looked good for the Democrats, by 1936 times had changed. Landon did not carry the black or much of any other votes. $400.


Now we come to a far more radical activist, an anarchist who spent 14 years in prison for attempted murder. Item 33 is Alexander Berkman's account of those years: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, published in 1912 by Emma Goldman's Mother Earth Publishing. Berkman was close to Goldman, both politically and personally. Berkman had participated in the Homestead steelworkers strike. Andrew Carnegie sent Henry Clay Frick to Homestead to cut wages and break the strike. Berkman responded to Frick with a hail of gunfire. The latter survived, Berkman was sentenced to 22 years, but released after 14. Berkman would be deported to the Soviet Union during the First World War, become disillusioned with what was happening there, and end up moving to Germany and later France, where he died. $1,500.


Now for a word from the other side. Item 12 is a broadside headed Notice! To All White Citizens Greetings: Stop Buying Ford Cars and Trucks and other Ford Products. Was the problem Ford shipping jobs to Mexico? No, circa 1965 the White Citizens' Council of Greater New Orleans was unhappy that Ford was supporting racial integration. $650.


Here is a massive collection for a repeatedly attempted failed idea. For centuries, people have tried to come up with a universal language, a language everyone around the world could master so all people could communicate with each other. Despite the obvious logic, it has never succeeded. Item 43 is a collection of 118 items, 4.5 linear feet in length, offered jointly by Bair and fellow bookseller Garrett Scott. Most people have heard of the most familiar of these invented languages – Esperanto – but there have been many, many more. Bair notes that the collection includes "World English, Ro, America-Speak, Gestuno, Globalese, Ido, Interlingua, Volapuk, Magistri, Paralloidre, Lincos, Loglan, Isotype, Occidental, pasigraphy, shorthand, Paleneo, Nuwaubian, Prashad, Bordurian, Unilingua, Ithkuil, Kesh, Amtorian, Eldarin, Olingo, and others." These pieces date from 1774-2011. Bair notes that you are unlikely to ever find some of the pieces elsewhere, such as the handbill for a performance of Three Short Plays in Prashad. $25,000.


Do you remember the old movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Here is a somewhat similar sounding title, Seven Wives and Seven Prisons; or, Experiences in the Life of a Matrimonial Monomaniac. A True Story. Written By Himself. It was published in 1870. This may not be politically radical, but it is something of a radical lifestyle. Bair informs us that the despite the "true story" in the title, it is a bit of a fictionalized autobiography from one L.A. Abbott. Evidently, the serial bigamist spent some time in prison. The book's frontispiece includes a portrait of "My First And Worst Wife." Item 90. $200.


Lorne Bair Rare Books may be reached at 540-665-0855 or info@lornebair.com. Their website is www.lornebair.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> George Washington, Letter Signed to General James Clinton, preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, 1778. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising to send reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Thomas Edison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Western Union President William Orton, 1878. $10,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> William, Bishop of Coventry, vellum charter granting the church of Rochdale to the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw, in Latin, 1222. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> FDR, Photograph Signed & Inscribed, framed with wood removed from the White House roof, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Dubuffet, archive including many letters written while painting in NYC, 1951-72. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autograph Letter Signed, describing the source of his patience, 1939. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Lithograph portrait of Albert Einstein by Hermann Struck, signed by both, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Charles The Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Letter Signed to Johann IV of Nassau, in French, 1470. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Jean Cocteau, Autograph Letter Signed, in French, 1919. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Louis Armstrong, two Autograph Letters Signed to Erich Kauffmann, his lip salve purveyor, 1965-70. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 22:</b> Wernher von Braun, Autograph Letter Signed to Jonathan Cross, 1975. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <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. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. 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. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>

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