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>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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