ON AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

America and Cosmic Man.

London and Brussels, Nicholas and Watson Ltd., [1948].

8vo, pp. 231, [1]; publisher’s blue cloth, dust-jacket printed in blue and black; a fine copy in a very good jacket; booklabel of Lewis’s friend the BBC journalist D. G. Bridson, with his pencil marks in the margins and notes on the rear endpapers.

£200

Approximately:
US $245€232

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First edition, second state binding as always (the first, in green cloth, was rejected by Lewis as ‘hideous’ and was used on only 3 trial copies). In hand by 1943, not finished until 1946 and then rejected by American publishers until it finally found a British home in 1948, America and Cosmic Man is ‘a work of considerable interest’, ‘concerned with the nature of American democracy, and the formative influences which have made it what it is’, namely the ‘beautiful polarity’ of Hamiltonian centralizing authoritarianism and Jeffersonian decentralizing libertarianism (Bridson, Filibuster). Lewis’s earlier distrust of FDR and the New Deal was here put fully in reverse, though he still, as ever, has plenty of time for criticism – lack of culture, over-commercialism, discrimination, etc.

See Bridson, ‘Western Man Goes Cosmic’, The Filibuster pp. 230-252. Pound & Grover A35a; Morrow & Lafourcade A34a.

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