Fact, Fiction, and More from Bauman Rare Books
Computers may be looked on as the bane of books today, but here is a book that was essential to the beginning of the computer age: The Mathematical Theory of Communication, by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver. Shannon was able to reduce information to simple yes/no, on/off, 0/1 choices. These simple either/or choices are the basis of binary code, to which computers convert all types of complex information. He called each of these choices a "bit." The result is that all information is converted to zeroes and ones, a mathematical formula. This work was first published in the "Bell System Technical Journal" in 1948, with this 1949 edition being the first presentation in book form. This copy comes with an inscription from coauthor Warren Weaver. Item 169. $2,800.
Item 7 is one of the many first editions of notable authors of the past century. This is Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea, a first edition with the first state dust jacket. Published in 1952, it bears an inscription from Hemingway in the same year, "For Francesca with true affection and admiration." The identity of Francesca is uncertain, but Bauman believes she may be Francesca LaMonte, one-time Associate Curator of Fishes at the American Museum of Natural History, who attended the founding meeting of the International Game Fish Association with Hemingway in 1939. $33,000.
Another acclaimed author of this period was playwright Arthur Miller. He was only 33-years-old when he swept the top Broadway awards for his play, Death of a Salesman. It is the sad tale of Willy Loman, the salesman who eventually determines his insurance policy makes him more valuable dead than alive. Fortunately, Miller himself suffered no such fate, finally joining Willy earlier this year at the age of 89. Along the way, Miller spent five years married to Marilyn Monroe, and died engaged to a woman 55 years his junior, living on a plush Connecticut estate. Sometimes life doesn't imitate art. Item 137 is a 1949 first edition of this great play, in its first issue dust jacket, signed by Miller on the title page. $5,800.
For James Bond fans, items 79-82 are signed or inscribed first editions of Ian Fleming books. Offered are Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, and You Only Live Twice. All would become big screen classics as well as popular books. Priced at $17,000 each ($15,000 for You Only Live Twice).
One of America's great folk musicians emerged out of the Depression era Dust Bowl of the American West. That would be Woody Guthrie, and he retells those years in his autobiographical Bound For Glory. This copy includes an inscription from 1943 to a hometown friend, "Bud." "Here's a few old memories," Guthrie writes, "some good, some not so good, of your old home town and places around." Item 93. $13,500.