We the Living.New York, The Macmillan Company, 1936 Stock Code: 125120
NotesFirst edition, sole printing, presentation copy of Rand's first novel, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper just a few days after publication on 7 April, "Johnny and Lucille - - who sympathize with my cause - Ayn. 4-13-1936". The first printing of 3,000 copies sold out within 18 months of the book's publication, but in the meantime Macmillan had destroyed the plates, violating their contract. The rights reverted to Rand, and the book remained out of print in the US for more than 20 years. She issued a revised edition in 1959, following the success of Atlas Shrugged (1957). Since then, it has never been out of print, and has sold over 3 million copies.
While searching for a publisher for We the Living, Rand commented that the book, originally titled "Airtight", "is the first novel on Russia written in English by a Russian. Throughout the entire book, I have tried to write it from the viewpoint of and for the American public Our American readers have been crammed full, too full, of Russian aims, projects and slogans on red banners. No-one - to the best of my knowledge - has spoken of what goes on every day and in every home and kitchen behind the red banners" (Ralston, p. 160). Set in Soviet Russia, whence Rand had emigrated ten years earlier, it was the semi-autobiographic story of three young people whose lives are sacrificed by an all-powerful state, through which Rand resolved to expose the "noble ideal" of collectivism.
Octavo. Original buff cloth, titles to spine and front cover in blue, top edge yellow. Housed in a turquoise quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Spine a little browned, light spotting to covers, internally fresh and clean. A very nice copy.
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