Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team.

"Many thanks for your lucid thoughts and interest in my work": First edition of Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team; inscribed by John Steinbeck to Legendary literary critic Edmund Wilson

Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team.



Item Number: 109635

New York: The Viking Press, 1942.

First edition of Steinbeck’s riveting account of his experiences with several bomber crews of the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with 60 photographs by John Swope. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Dear Mr. Wilson, Many thanks for your lucid thoughts and interest in my work, John Steinbeck.” The recipient, Edmund Wilson, was an American literary critic and progenitor of the Library of America publication series. His critical works helped foster public appreciation for many of the foremost American writers of the 20th century including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and William Faulkner. Steinbeck’s inscription refers, in jest, to Wilson’s harsh critique of his work in his 1941 publication The Boys in the Back Room: Notes on California Novelists. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in very good condition. An exceptional association, linking these two great American men of letters.

Steinbeck was commissioned to write the present volume by the United States Army Forces as part of an effort to increase Air Force recruitment and morale. In order to write the book, Steinbeck traveled more than 20,000 miles in 30 days, visiting dozens of training corps and flying fields with John Swopes, himself a flier who took the 60 photographs that illustrate the book documenting the various jobs needed to form a bombing team. All royalties of the author and photographer, as well as publishing profits, were endowed to the perpetual Air Forces Aid Society Trust Fund to provide emergency aid for the families of fliers lost in the line of duty.

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