India and the Awakening East.

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953 Stock Code: 140640

Presented by Eleanor Roosevelt to her official biographer

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First edition, first printing. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the half-title, "To dear Joe & Trude, with love, Eleanor Roosevelt". An outstanding provenance: the journalist and political activist Joseph P. Lash (1909-1987) has been described as the First Lady's "spiritually adopted son, confidant and counselor" (cited in American National Biography). He was to become her official biographer.

Born to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents in New York City, Lash was dubbed a "boy prodigy" by the metropolitan press. He played a prominent role in student radical politics during the 1930s and after leaving university became "the most prominent and persistent campus radical leader in depression-era America" (ANB). Needless to say, in 1939 his radicalism brought him to the attention of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). "Though battling Communist domination within the student movement himself, Lash had no desire to help HUAC in its crusade against leftist and liberal causes" (ibid.). Eleanor Roosevelt, in her role as "something of a patron saint of progressive student activism" (ibid.), attended the hearing at which Lash appeared and invited a group of them, including Lash, to the White House. It was the beginning of a friendship that would last until her death in 1962. In the 1940s it was Eleanor Roosevelt who helped bring Lash together with his future wife, Trude Pratt, an International Student Service organiser.

India and the Awakening East records the First Lady's impressions of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Pakistan, and India. "Travelling on an intensive schedule, she found time to meet many important officials, and to inspect the most significant developments which are modernising the face of India" (jacket blurb).

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Octavo. Original black quarter cloth, gilt-lettered spine, terracotta-coloured boards. With the dust jacket. Housed in a smart custom green cloth solander box.


Numerous monochrome illustrations from photographs, map endpapers.


Spine of price-clipped jacket faded, some nicks, chips, closed-tears and light creasing, binding with a few nicks at head of spine. A very good copy.


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