Rude Assignment. A Narrative of my Career up-to-date … Illustrated with works by the Author.

London, Hutchinson & Co., [1950].

8vo, pp. 251, [1], with a frontispiece portrait and numerous black & white plates; publisher’s red cloth, pale grey glazed paper jacket with a design by Lewis; half-title and final blank page slightly foxed but a very good copy in a somewhat worn jacket (edges chipped, old tape repairs); bookplate of Lewis’s friend the BBC broadcaster D. G. Bridson, with his pencil markings in the margin throughout.


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First edition, first impression, ‘one of the most readable of his later works ... also one of the most illuminating’ (Bridson, Filibuster). Written throughout the late ’40s, and originally titled The Politics of Intellect, Rude Assignment is divided into three parts, the first devoted to ‘the ambivalent position of the intellectual in the modern world; the nature of satire; and the overriding influence of politics in contemporary thought. The second part provides ‘the personal background to his career’; and Part Three re-examines earlier works, trying to square away his politics of the ’30s, and reaffirming his sympathies for both Socialism and Internationalism.

See Bridson, ‘The Circle Rudely Squared’, The Filibuster pp. 253-271. Pound & Grover A36; Morrow & Lafourcade A35.

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