“Co-operative and corporate farming would have saved them all": First Edition of Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road; Inscribed by Him

  • Tobacco Road.
  • Tobacco Road.
  • Tobacco Road.

Tobacco Road.


Item Number: 84570

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932.

First edition of Caldwell’s classic work. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “To Aquilla B. Hanson Jr from Erskine Caldwell.” Laid in is an autograph letter signed by Caldwell on his letterhead addressed to the same recipient and an addressed envelope in Caldwell’s hand. Some offsetting to the title page, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with some professional restoration. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed.

Unsentimentally realistic, this classic novel is a reflection of the effects of poverty on tenant farmers in the South during the Great Depression. It focuses on the Lester family, former cotton farmers who continue to live on their ancestors' plantation even though it has long ceased to be prosperous. Jeeter and Ada Lester have 17 children, two of whom still live at home: Ellie May, their only unmarried daughter who has a cleft lip, and Dude, their youngest son who is mentally handicapped. The family's antics, while at times vile and perverse, depict the racism and moral ambiguity that existed among some impoverished Southerners at that time and represent Erskine Caldwell's critique of the failed economic system and its consequences.

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