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“Governments don't produce economic growth people do”: First Edition of the 40th President of the United States Autobiography An American Life; Signed by Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev
New York: Simon & Schuster 1990.
First edition of the 40th President of the United States’ memoir. Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated. Signed and dated by the author on the half-title page, “Ronald Reagan Oct. 9- 92” and additionally signed by George H.W. Bush, Vice President in the Reagan Administration and later President and Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian counterpart to Reagan. “When it came to communism, socialism and other systems that denied people their basic human rights, President Reagan was tough as nails. A devoted anti-communist, he was not afraid to say what needed to be said or do what needed to be done to bring freedom to people who were living under repressive regimes. In that regard, of all the foreign policy achievements of the Reagan Presidency, none is more important, or had more lasting impact on the world, than the fundamental change in U.S.-Soviet relations. It was not due to luck or accident. Speaking of U.S.-Soviet relations and his steadfast determination to reduce arms, President Reagan would often say: “We don’t mistrust each other because we’re armed; we’re armed because we mistrust each other.” He believed that if the mistrust was eliminated, then so, too, could the dangerous, destabilizing weapons. President Reagan was confident that if he could just get his Soviet counterpart in a room and tell him face-to-face that America had no hostile intent, the mistrust would begin to evaporate. Instinctively he knew that could not be accomplished through the traditional diplomacy of a bureaucratic State Department. So, to the horror of some long-time career government employees, he did what no President had ever done. While recovering from the assassination attempt in 1981, he handwrote a letter to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in reply to Brezhnev’s rather belligerent letter sent less than six weeks after President Reagan’s assumption of office. In his reply, President Reagan sought to find common ground and to establish a better tone to relations between the White House and the Kremlin. But as things turned out, the President would have to be patient. Brezhnev died in November 1982, and was replaced by Yuri Andropov. Less than 2 years later, Andropov died, and was succeeded by Constantin Chernenko. Incredibly, Chernenko died just 13 months later. To replace him, the Soviet high command chose a younger leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. It was Gorbachev with whom President Reagan would finally have that long-sought opportunity to begin to form a new relationship, one that would lead to a lessening of tensions between Washington and Moscow, and eventually to meaningful arms reduction. The first of their five meetings was on “neutral turf.” It took place in Geneva, Switzerland in November 1985. In a small plain boat house just down a stone path from Fleur D’Eau, the grand chateau where their formal sessions took place, President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev sat down in two comfortable chairs in front of a roaring fireplace, and with only interpreters present, began to forge a relationship that would not only improve U.S.-Soviet relations, but would turn out to be the beginning of the end of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and ultimately, of the Soviet Union itself. Almost a year later, the two leaders got together again, this time in Reykjavik, Iceland. In a summit meeting not long in the making, they met at Hofdi House, a picturesque waterfront structure that was once the French consulate. There they came tantalizingly close to an agreement to eliminate all medium-range missiles based in Europe. But at the last minute, Gorbachev insisted that the United States abandon plans for a space-based missile defense system. Despite President Reagan’s offer to share the system’s technology with the Soviet Union so that both countries could be protected, Gorbachev dug in his heels and would not budge. The last thing Ronald Reagan would ever do would be to risk America’s safety for the sake of an agreement. The Summit was over. The anger and sadness was etched in President Reagan’s face as he emerged from Hofdi House. There was chatter that this was the end of the Reagan-Gorbachev relationship, and that there would be no more Summits. But President Reagan knew better. Partly because of his natural optimism, and partly because he believed that Gorbachev shared his desire to make the world safer, he was certain that eventually talks would resume. The President directed his team to keep the dialogue going and to see whether the progress made in Reykjavik could be the basis for successful negotiations going forward. That’s exactly what happened.It is a noteworthy measure of the confidence President Reagan had in the strength of his relationship with Gorbachev that just 8 months after Reykjavik, he boldly called on him to tear down the Berlin Wall. Just as he expected, in December, 1987, President and Mrs. Reagan welcomed the Gorbachevs to Washington for the third Summit. This time, the mood was upbeat and even celebratory. In a glittering East Room ceremony on December 8th, the two leaders signed the historic INF Treaty, eliminating all nuclear-armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,000 kilometers. For the first time ever, the amount of nuclear arms was actually being reduced rather than merely limited. In the Spring of 1988 the Reagans traveled to Moscow for Summit #4. From a historical perspective, the highlight of that trip was the Kremlin ceremony at which President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signed the now-ratified INF Treaty, but the Reagans also found time to enjoy some cultural treats including the Bolshoi Ballet and a visit to a monastery. The final Summit during the Reagan Presidency was in December, 1988. In what some called a “handing off” of the official relationship, President Reagan and President-elect (Vice President) George Bush traveled to New York to meet with Gorbachev. The unlikely pairing of a devoted anti-Communist advocate of capitalism with a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist resulted not only in the most significant arms reduction treaty in history, but in a permanent change in U.S.-Soviet relations. Neither country, nor the world, would ever be the same again” (Reagan Foundation). Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Robert Anthony, Inc. Rare and desirable signed by Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev.
First Edition of Reports of the Committee of Investigation: Sent in 1873 by the Mexican Government to the Frontier of Texas; From the Library of Ulysses S. Grant
Reports of the Committee of Investigation: Sent in 1873 by the Mexican Government to the Frontier of Texas.
New York: Baker & Godwin 1875.
First edition of the first English translation of the 1873 Mexican Border Commission’s investigative report on Texan allegations of Mexican robberies at the international border. From the library of Ulysses S. Grant, presented to him by Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affiars Ignacio Mariscal with a dedication card affixed to the second free endpaper. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, with three large hand-colored folding maps at rear. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise clamshell box. Rare and highly desirable from the library of President Grant.
Rare autograph letter signed by the leader of the Haitian Revolution, François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture
April 28, 1800.
Rare original letter signed and in the hand of the leader of the Haitian Revolution, François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture. One page, folded, bearing the original wax seal on the verso, containing both the original message sent by Toussaint L’Ouverture and a forwarded reply by its original recipient Michel Etienne Descourtilz to General Augustin Honore d’Hebecourt. The letter in Toussaint L’Ouverture’s hand translates as, “The Passport requested by the Petitioner cannot be granted at this time. Le Général en Chef Toussaint Louverture.” Descourtilz has written in reply, “Citizen, Our friend Huin, more occupied with general interest than his own in particular, reminded me when he left that he had forgotten to recommend that you obtain a passport to pick up animals in the Spanish section. He is economically and socially linked to one of my uncles to whom he has left the task of reinforcing the product of his cabin in Grand Islet. It is therefore for the same relative, and the men necessary for this voyage that I serve as interpreter to impose on your good graces. RSVP. Yours, Descourtilz P.S. My difficulty meeting you required me to write to you.” On the verso Descourtilz has also written, “If your care allows you to meet my three requests, you would very much oblige me to tell me at what time I can find you Décadi [part of the Republican calendar], my plans being to leave for Artibonite on Monday of the Décadi, where business awaits me.” Descourtilz was a French botanist, physician, taxonomist and historiographer of the Haitian Revolution. A passport from Toussaint L’Ouverture allowed him to serve as a physician with the forces of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in Haiti, where he arrived in 1799. In very good condition. Exceptionally rare.
"It is my hope to recall this great shade from the past, and not only invest him with his panoply, but make him living and intimate to modern eyes": First Editions of Marlborough: His Life and Times; Volume Three Inscribed by Winston Churchill
London: George G. Harrap & Company 1933-38.
First editions of each volume. Octavo, 4 volumes, original cloth, with hundreds of maps and plans (many folding), plates and document facsimiles, top edge gilt. Volume 3 is inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication, “Hailsham from Winston October 1936.” The recipient, Douglas McGarel Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham, PC was a British lawyer and Conservative politician who twice served as Lord Chancellor, in addition to a number of other Cabinet positions. On March 29, 1928, Hogg became Lord Chancellor in Stanley Baldwin’s government, succeeding to the Viscount Cave, and in April was created Baron Hailsham, of Hailsham in the County of Sussex. His elevation to the peerage barred him from the premiership, and would later interfere with the political ambitions of his elder son, Quintin Hogg, who was said to have stood in Christ Church’s Peckwater Quad to cry in frustration. He held the Great Seal until the government’s defeat in 1929. In that year’s Birthday Honours he was created Viscount Hailsham, of Hailsham in the County of Sussex. Between 1930 and 1931 Hailsham was the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. During that period, he was spoken of as Baldwin’s potential successor. He was passed over for the Lord Chancellorship in the National Government of August–October 1931, and refused to join it as Lord Privy Seal. After the October 1931 elections he joined the second National Government as Secretary of State for War and Leader of the House of Lords. In 1935, Hailsham returned to the Lord Chancellorship, first under Baldwin, then under Neville Chamberlain. During his second term, he was the last Lord High Steward to preside over the trial of a peer (the 26th Baron de Clifford) in the House of Lords. Fine in the original dust jackets which are in very good to near fine condition. A very nice association.
Silver Gelatin Print of Nelson Mandela in his law office in 1952. Signed by both Nelson Mandela on the image and the photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg (signed and stamped on the verso by Schadeberg and also signed on the front). The photograph was taken at Chancellor House, which is where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened the South Africa’s first black law firm in 1952. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 18.5 inches by 19 inches.
Silver Gelatin Print of Nelson Mandela during his treason trial in 1958. Signed by both Nelson Mandela on the image and the photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg (signed and stamped on the verso by Schadeberg and also signed on the front). The photograph measures 11 inches by 14 inches. Matted and framed.
New York: Charles Scribners Sons 1914.
First edition of this classic adventure taken by Theodore Roosevelt. Octavo, original cloth. Illustrated from photographs taken by Kermit Roosevelt and other members of the expedition, frontispiece with tissue-guard; 3 maps, including 1 folding in the rear. Presentation copy, warmly inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Frederic A. Ames, a first-class American, with all good wishes, from Theodore Roosevelt June 14th 1918.” The recipient, Frederic Ames was an early American automobile manufacturer in Owensboro, Kentucky, from 1910 to 1925. A beetle-backed “gentleman’s roadster” and a five passenger tourer were the first models offered for sale by the company. The company also produced replacement bodies for the Ford Model T. At its peak the company produced approximately 30,000 vehicles. In near fine condition with light toning to the spine. Housed in a custom half leather clamshell box. One of the more difficult titles in the Roosevelt canon to find signed and inscribed, and with such a warm inscription.
“A MAN DOES WHAT HE MUST — IN SPITE OF PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES”: PROFILES IN COURAGE; INSCRIBED BY JOHN F. KENNEDY
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1956.
First edition, early printing of Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Octavo, original half cloth, with eight pages of black-and-white photogravures. Foreword by Allan Nevins. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Philip Sang with best wishes John Kennedy Dec. 3, 1957.” Near fine in an excellent dust jacket with some rubbing and wear. Jacket design by Phil Grushkin. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often": Winston Churchills Collected Works; 38 Volumes In Full Vellum In the Original Slipcases
London: Library of Imperial History In association With Charles Scribner's Sons and The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited 1973-76.
Centenary limited edition of Churchill’s Complete Works, one of only 3000 sets produced. Octavo, original full vellum, 38 volumes. Boards gilt-stamped with the Churchill arms, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, original dark green slipcases, also gilt-stamped with the Churchill coat of arms. In fine condition in the fine original slipcases. An exceptional set.
Original carte de visite signed “U.S. Grant Lt. Gen. U.S.A.” Mounted on stiff ivory card stock, the carte-de-visite measures 2.6 inches by 4 inches. Signed below the image on the print. Matted and framed. Rare and desirable.
"This is remarkable book...reading it is a rich and rewarding experience (Eleanor Roosevelt); Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl; Inscribed by Eleanor Roosevelt
Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company 1952.
First edition, early printing with the same date and imprint as the first American edition of “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Octavo, original cloth. Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. Inscribed by Eleanor Roosevelt on the front free endpaper. Pictures of Anne Frank pasted opposite the inscription, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Jacket design by Ursula Suess. This is the first example we have ever seen of this title signed and inscribed by Eleanor Roosevelt. Translated from the Dutch by B.M. Mooyaart-Doubleday. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable.
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1958.
Early printing of Dr. Martin Luther King’s first book, author James Baldwin’s copy with his signature to the front free endpaper. James Baldwin was an American writer whose work dealt with race relations and sexuality. A native of Harlem, he left the United States for France in 1948 to pursue a writing career. While in Europe he published Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), his first novel, which catapulted him to literary fame. In 1957 he returned to the U.S. to lend his voice to the cause of civil rights. Baldwin dissected the American racial conundrum in fictional works and powerful essays, as well as in speaking engagements. He met Dr. King in 1957 when he was writing about the Civil Rights Movement for Harper’s magazine and attended the 1963 March on Washington. Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated. Very good in a very good dust jacket. From the library of James Baldwin. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association, linking two of the greatest African Americans of the twentieth century.
Rare original carte de visite signed by Ulysses S. Grant, “U.S. Grant Maj. Gen. U.S.A.” In near fine condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 9.5 inches by 8 inches.
“ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT TREATISES ON WAR THAT HAS EVER BEEN WRITTEN”: FIRST EDITION OF WINSTON CHURCHILL'S The World Crisis 1918-1928: The Aftermath; Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1929.
True first edition of the fourth volume of Churchill’s The World Crisis. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with numerous maps (many folding), charts, facsimiles, photographs. Presentation copy, inscribed by Churchill on the front free endpaper, “Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill Nov. 1929 for Aage Birger Nilsen.” The recipient, Aage Birger Nilsen of Norway, served in the Major Air Force in World War II. Laid in is a January 1965 issue of the British Record of Political and Economic Notes issued by British Information Services with a photograph of Churchill on the front panel. In fine condition.
“ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT TREATISES ON WAR THAT HAS EVER BEEN WRITTEN”: FIRST EDITION OF WINSTON CHURCHILL'S THE WORLD CRISIS 1911-1914; Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1928.
True first edition of the first volume of Churchill’s The World Crisis. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with numerous maps (many folding), charts, facsimiles, photographs. Signed by Churchill on the front free endpaper, “Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill 20 Nov 1928.” In fine condition.
"The history of the reformation is a book for all Christians, or rather for all mankind": First Editions of D'Aubergine's important history of the great reformation; from the library of Millard Fillmore, the first president who established the White House library, with his ownership signature in each volume
New York: Robert Carter & Brothers 1843-1853.
First edition set of Aubergine’s important history of the protestant reformation from the library of the thirteenth President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, who established the first White House library. Octavo, 5 volumes. Bound in three quarters contemporary black calf over olive green boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised tooled bands, marbled endpapers, all edges marbled, engraved frontispiece portrait of Martin Luther with tissue guard present. In very good condition with Millard Fillmore’s ownership inscription and library catalog notes on the title page of each volume, “Millard Fillmore March 26, 1857 Rebound April 16, 1860” who has also crossed out the “J-5” bookshelf designation, replacing it with “G-1” in pencil. An exceptional piece of American history from the President who created the White House Library.