October 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Lorne Bair

Catalogue Review: Lorne Bair, #13

LorneBair.pngLorne Bair Rare Books of Winchester, VA, offers here 159 items relating to radical politics and American social movements from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Just reading that had me rubbing my hands together in excitement of what I was about to see: Anarchism, Crime, Revolution (Mexican & Russian), Radical Fiction, Socialism, Utopia, and so much more. The catalogue is beautiful too--eye-popping cover (pun intended), fine glossy pages, nice images, and descriptions that educate and entertain.

One bright poster caught my eye in the early pages. It's a scarce offset litho designed by Milton Glaser to promote David Loeb Weiss' 1968 documentary, No Vietnamese Ever Called Me N--er ($850). There are several books and ephemera in the African American subject. Another interesting offset litho broadside shows a gruesome graphic from the 1968 Detroit race riots and is titled Being a cop is more than just a gig ($150).
Another stunner is an original illustrated manuscript, "Wunsch und Klate" [Wishes and Complaints] created c. 1940 by German emigre journalist and poet Heinz Pol. The pages are filled with pen-and-ink drawings and eight lengthy compositions on the topics of war, exile, and internment. Striking, one-of-a-kind book ($2,800).

Is There A Pink Fringe in the Methodist Church? was printed by The Committee for the Preservation of Methodism in 1951 as an expose of the supposed "communist activity" within the church ($75). Sounds like an interesting read! Ditto the "warmy inscribed" Motor City Madam by Helen (Rocking Chair) McGowan ($350).

There are several prison/outlaw narratives, such as an inscribed Bighouse Banter ($350) with this wonderful description: "We are still trying to form an adequate mental picture of what it must have been like to attempt to convey the sunnier aspects of Dale Carnegie's philosophy to the hardened criminals of Jacktown in 1953."

One last looker--there are too many to write about--is graced with the face of Frank Sinatra. The scarce 1945 leaflet, Let's Not Forget We're ALL Foreigners, is a plea for racial and ethnic tolerance ($250). Never knew Ol' Blue Eyes was so politically correct.

Superb catalogue. Download it here http://www.lornebair.com/images/upload/CAT13FORWEB.pdf or contact them for a print copy.