Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Mostly Radical Literature from Lorne Bair Rare Books

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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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Rackham (Arthur). The Old Hag Standing Outside a Cottage, original drawing, signed by the artist, [c.1909]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first printing, signed by the author, original pictorial wrappers, 1997. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Castiglione (Giuseppe, after). Twelve plates from <i>Twenty views of the European Palaces of the Yuanming yuan,</i> 1783-1786. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Spanish Antiphonal.- Antiphonal manuscript, [Spain], ca. 1650. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Almanach de Gotha.- Almost complete run 1769 to 1945, 12mo & 8vo, Gotha, C.W. Ettinger [- Justus Perthes]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Bible, Greek.- New Testament [Greek], Novum Iesu Christi D.N. testamentum, ex bibliotheca regia, 2 parts in one, Robert Estienne, Paris, 1550. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Lithgow (William). <i>The Total Discourse of the rare Adventures… from Scotland, to the most famous kingdoms in Europe, Asia, and Affrica…,</i> woodcut illustrations, 4to, I. Oakes, 1640. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Spanish Interest.-16th -18th Century. Large collection of letters related to prominent members of the Spanish court and clergymen,; v.s., late 16th-mid 18th century. £1,800 to £2,200.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Darwin (Charles). <i>The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,</i> 2 vol., FIRST EDITION, first issue8vo, John Murray, 1871. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>Including Autographs & Memorabilia<br>31 March 2020</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Loewy (Raymond) ARR. Mickey Mouse, original gouache and air brush illustration of Mickey Mouse, signed by artist., n.p. [1946]. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Potter (Beatrix) & Sendak (Maurice). <i>The Tale of Peter Rabbit,</i> NUMBER 2 OF 250 SIGNED COPIES, WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING BY SENDAK, New York, 1995. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Mar. 31:</b> Wolstenholm (Jonathan) ARR. Books on Books, original watercolor, signed and dated by the artist, 2005.

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