• <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> <i>The Massachusetts Magazine: or Monthly Museum of Knowledge and Rational Entertainment,</i> 1789. Signed by George Washington. $28,000 to $32,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> George Washington Signed Letter to John Marshall. $12,000 to $14,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Picasso Signed “Vallauris” 1952 Exhibition Poster. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Military appointment commission document signed by both President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, dated January 27, 1803. $2,400 to $2,800
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Doris Ulmann and Julia Peterkin. <i>Roll, Jordan, Roll.</i> New York, 1933, deluxe edition, preceding first edition of the same year. No. 74 of 350. $5,000 to $6,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> John Marshall. <i>The Life of George Washington,</i> Philadelphia, 1832. Signed by author. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Samuel L. Margolies (American, 1897-1974). Aquatint and etching, "Builders of Babylon," 1937. $4,000 to $4,500
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Two Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) signed documents as President of Washington College. $3,000 to $3,500
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> William C. Harris. <i>The Fishes of North America That Are Captured on Hook and Line</i>, Vol I., New York, 1898. 40 chromolithograph plates. $2,000 to $2,500
    <b>Case Antiques: Historic Winter Fine Art and Antiques Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> $100 "Date Back" bank note 1902 from the Clarksville National Bank, Clarksville, Tennessee, depicting the portrait of John Jay Knox, Jr. $1,400 to $1,800
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> View of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and Monticello, Taken from Lewis Mountain, drawn and lithographed by Edward Sachse. $800 to $1,000
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 27:</b> Large Civil War photograph mounted on card stock depicting Rossville Gap in Missionary Ridge. $400 to $450
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 39: Presidential Pardon Signed by John F. Kennedy. November 1962. $7,000 to $9,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 537: Marc Chagall. <i>Illustrations for the Bible</i>. Features 28 lithograph plates. First American edition, 1956. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 252: Jack Kerouac. <i>On the Road</i>. 1957. First edition. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 143: Arthur Rimbaud. <i>A Season in Hell</i>. With photogravures by Robert Mapplethorpe. The Limited Editions Club, 1986. $600 to $800
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 72: Group of 11 Harry Truman Signed Letters. Typed & signed by the former President. 1962-1970. $1,500 to $2,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 157: Arthur Conan Doyle. The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by The Limited Editions Club. 8 vols. 1950-52. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 173: Jacob Lawrence. <i>The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis</i>. Illustrated with silkscreens by Lawrence. 1989. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 239: William Faulkner. <i>Sartoris</i>. First edition. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Company, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 286: Walt Whitman. New Year’s Eve Postcard Signed, “Walt Whitman,” to the poet Gabriel Sarrazin. January, 1891. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 351: Pair of European Fine Bindings. Including Gesanbuch (1831) & Naboznych Vylevov (1911). $200 to $300
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 423: August Luben. <i> Naturhistorischer Atlas der Saugethiere </i>. Includes complete set of 30 loose plates. Leipzig: 1858. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions Jan. 27:</b><br>Lot 386: <i>Famous Monsters of Filmland No 1</i>. Art by Will Elder, text by Forrest Ackerman. Warren’s first monster magazine. Feb, 1958. $2,000 to $3,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2017 Issue

Dear Mrs. Trump – A Librarian's Snarky Attack on the First Lady and Dr. Seuss Not a Great Moment in Library Science

D1c3101a-958f-44e4-a0a4-fdad6b34ef26

Of what race was the Cat in the Hat? Black? White? Feline?

A Massachusetts librarian managed to deliver an embarrassing blow to what was presumably her cause, tolerance and racial justice, with one of the more inept public attacks you will ever see. Her obvious target was the President, fair game for criticism, but instead attacked his wife and an American icon, Dr. Seuss.

 

It all started harmlessly enough. First Lady Melania Trump sent out a letter in honor of National Read a Book Day. In it, the First Lady emphasized the importance of reading and noted she was recognizing a school in each state that "achieved high standards of excellence." In Massachusetts, the school selected was Cambridgeport Elementary School in Cambridge. Along with the recognition each school would receive ten books, all by the wondrous Dr. Seuss.

 

Reading is a good, thoroughly noncontroversial cause. It's the type most First Ladies have settled upon. Laura Bush was a heavy promoter of reading. This was not enough for Ms. Soeiro, who in the name of sensitivity issued a most insensitive reply online, one mercilessly picked up by the press across the nation. After beginning with a sarcastic comment about how "expensive" it must have been to send the books by second-day air, she went on to lecture the First Lady on ethnic diversity, socioeconomic status, gender, differing abilities, per pupil spending, free all-day kindergarten, white supremacy and the miserable policies of the Secretary of Education, whom Mrs. Trump did not appoint. She pointed to libraries in inner city schools being closed, not a problem in this wealthy Boston area community that is home to Harvard University. She exclaimed that her school did not have a "NEED" for these books, undoubtedly true, but ten books with the First Lady's seal is evidently more like an award certificate than an attempt to build a library.

 

If this wasn't bad enough, Ms. Soeiro then proceeded to lambaste Dr. Seuss. She explains to the First Lady something I did not know either - "You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature." Those are fighting words. I don't think it's Dr. Seuss who is the tired cliché here. The good doctor was beloved not only by me but my children as well. If today children don't appreciate him, which I cannot believe, then they are missing the most important part of their young lives – childhood. He did more to get children to read then probably anyone else on earth. Perhaps if Ms. Soeiro had to endure Dick and Jane as a child in school she would better appreciate just how wonderful this man was.

 

The librarian then continues, "Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a [sic – the] Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art." No longer possessing those books myself, I would go to the library to check them out and see, but either they got rid of them, or it must be a racist institution I wouldn't want to patronize. She cites a book entitled Was the Cat in the Hat black and another titled Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? The answer is of course he was. After all, he wears a top hat, bow tie, and white gloves. What could be more racist than that? Never mind that Abe Lincoln wore a top hat, Bill Nye a bow tie, and Mickey Mouse white gloves. Apparently, these are indicia of blackface minstrel shows. Still, I think I would be less offended by someone wearing a top hat than by someone saying the Cat in the Hat looks like people of my race. He barely even resembles someone of the feline race let alone the human race. And he wore whiteface.

 

Now Dr. Seuss, like all of us, was a product of his times. George Washington owned slaves, Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves until three years into the Civil War, one Roosevelt was an imperialist, the other interred the Japanese. All were ahead of their time in terms of humane and compassionate sentiments, but they were not perfect. So should we smugly condemn them for failing to meet today's standards? You can be certain that our descendants, 100 years from now, could similarly condemn us for behavior we do not even see as wrong from the vantage point in which we live. Seuss was actually way ahead of his time in terms of being progressive and tolerant, and a bizarre target for a thinly veiled attack on President Trump. In the days before the Second World War, he churned out many cartoons forcefully attacking the original "America First" movement. This despite the pro-Nazi movement being concentrated with ethnic Germans, just like Theodore Seuss Geisel himself. Seuss did not see Nazi sympathizers as "fine people." Believe me.

 

He was not only sympathetic to Jews, he was to African-Americans. That leads us to a specific criticism. In the 1930s, before writing his books, he did some advertising drawings which depicted Africans in a stereotypical, demeaning manner. That was common in his day and even black entertainers of the era performed in ways that would be considered demeaning today. Mulberry Street depicts a Chinese man in stereotypical dress with a set of chopsticks, and this has led to calls to remove a mural containing this image from the Seuss Museum. But, even when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Irish comedians still played drunkards, Italians gangsters. When boys and girls played doctor and nurse, the boys were always the doctor, the girls the nurse. Were we all misogynists? By today's standards, yes, but none of us, girls included, saw anything wrong. It took the women's movement to open our eyes to understanding the subtle harm to the stereotypes we were unconsciously promoting. People need to be judged within the context of their times.

 

Dr. Seuss did have one blind spot for which criticism is fair. During the war years, he let his anger at Japan spill over to unfair attacks on Japanese Americans. He portrayed them as disloyal and supported their internment, one of America's darker episodes. Of course, so did Franklin Roosevelt, a very progressive President, and many other Americans, caught up in the hysteria of war. He should have known better. Even in those times, that was too far, though in the 1950s, when boys played war games, we were still fighting the "Japs." Seuss' attitude toward the Japanese slowly evolved, and a decade later he visited Japan and dedicated his 1954 book, Horton Hears a Who!, to a Japanese friend. That is a book whose message is steeped in tolerance, just as The Lorax presents a powerful environmental message. Perhaps unlike some of today's pro-diversity books, Dr. Seuss may have imparted that message in a way that better reached the young, as he also entertained them and encouraged their imaginations to run wild. Dr. Seuss was a good man who changed with the times. Do not denigrate him.

 

Returning to Melania Trump's books, it should be noted that the Cambridge school system quickly issued a message saying that while Ms. Soeiro had a right to express her views, the decision on whether to accept or reject the books was not hers to make. As for Mrs. Trump herself, she seems to be a decent and well-meaning lady. She did not grow up in America and probably does not understand all the nuances of our culture and politics. I grew up here and I haven't mastered them all. It undoubtedly never occurred to her that giving some books out as a reward to high performing schools could somehow be construed as evil. If this was an opportunity to point out the greater needs of poorer schools, that could have been done with a helpful, respectful reply, not a snarky one. If Mrs. Trump doesn't understand all the nuances of American sensitivity, she has spent her years here with a husband who probably doesn't teach sensitivity all that well. If a day goes by where he doesn't say something to offend me, I worry that he has taken ill. Attack her husband all you like, leave the family alone. Instead of helping the cause of tolerance, you set it up for ridicule. That is not helpful. Liz Phipps Soeiro, will you please go now.


Posted On: 2017-11-25 14:43
User Name: jklaw77

Michael, to answer one point of yours: my 8 and 10 year old kids love and appreciate Dr Seuss (along with millions of their contemporaries I am sure!)--John Kirsner


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 15:</b> Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 1:</b> Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 8:</b> Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 13:</b> 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 29:</b> Printed & Manuscript African Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Apr 12:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Apr 26:</b> Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 3:</b> Graphic Design
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 15:</b> 19th & 20th Century Literature
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jun 7:</b><br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jun 21:</b> Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III
  • <b>Arader Galleries Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> Snowy Heron, Plate 242. John James Audubon (1785-1851). First Edition Engravings with Original Hand Color. London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> Great Blue Heron, Plate 211. John James Audubon (1785-1851). First Edition Engravings with Original Hand Color. London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> The Clouded Leopard. Charles Robert Knight (1874-1953). Oil on canvas.
    <b>Arader Galleries Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> A Bouquet of Daffodils and Other Flowers with a Butterfly on the Stem. Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840). Black Chalk, Watercolor And Gum Arabic On Vellum.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> CELLARIUS, Andreas (ca 1596-1665). <i>Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et Novus</i>. Amsterdam: Pieter Schenk and Gerald Valk, 1708.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> HOMANN, Johann Baptist (1663-1724). <i>Grosser Atlas über die gantze Welt</i>. Nuremburg: J.H.G. Bieling for the heirs of Homann, 1737.
    <b>Arader Galleries Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> LEVAILLANT, Francois (1753-1824). <i>Histoire naturelle des perroquets</i>. Paris: Levrault frères (later Levrault, Schoell & Co.), 1801-1805.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> FUCHS, Leonhard (1501-1566). <i>De historia stirpium commentarii insignes. adiectis earundem vivis plusquam quingentis imaginibus</i>… Basel: Michel Isingrin, 1542.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> Original Manuscript Map "Plano De Una Parte De La Provincia De La Luisiana..." AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT MAP SHOWING THE ORIGINS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS AT THE TURN OF THE 19TH CENTURY.
    <b>Arader Galleries Auction<br>January 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> J. De Cordova's Map of the State of Texas Compiled from the records of the General Land Office of the State by Robert Creuzbaur, Houston. Hand-colored lithograph. New York: J. Atwood, 1850.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> Texas. David Burr (1803-1875). Engraved Map with original hand color in full. New York: J. H. Colton & Co., 1834. Second Edition.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Jan. 27:</b> Map of Texas with Parts of Adjoining States Compiled by Stephen F. Austin. Engraved Map with original hand color. Philadelphia, 1830. First Edition.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books and Works on Paper. January 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> <i>Verve: Revue Artistique et Littéraire/An Artistic and Literary Quarterly,</i> nos.1-38 in 26 vol [a complete set], numerous colour lithographs by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse & others. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Wesley (John, Church of England clergyman and a founder of Methodism, 1703-91). Autograph Letter signed to Rev. John Bredin, 1782. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Austen (Jane). Brock (Charles Edward). A group of seventeen ink and watercolour drawings for Dent's edition of Jane Austen's <i>Sense and Sensibility,</i> 1908. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books and Works on Paper. January 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Tibullus (Albius) and Gaius Valerius Catullus. <i>Elegiae, sive Carmina,</i> Venice, Andreas de Paltasichis, 1487. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Doves Press. English Bible (The), 5 vol., one of 500 copies, signed and inscribed by Laurence Hodson, Doves Press, 1903. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Africa. Smith (Andrew). <i>Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa,</i> 5 vol., first edition, original cloth, [1838-50]. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books and Works on Paper. January 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Longitude. <i>An Act for providing a Publick Reward for such Person or Persons as shall Discover the Longitude at Sea,</i> first edition of this highly important act, John Baskett, 1714. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Shirley (James). <i>Six new playes, viz. The Brothers. Sisters. Doubtfull Heir. Imposture. Cardinall. Court secret,</i> first edition, 1653. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Heaney (Seamus). <i>Ugolino,</i> number 77 of 125 copies, Dublin, Dolmen Press, 1979. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books and Works on Paper. January 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Lasinio (Carlo, 1759-1838). <i>[Ritratti Originali de Pittori Esistenti Nella Reale Galleria de Firenze],</i> 99 engravings, circa 1791-96. £1,800 to £2,200
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Japan. Kusakabe Kimbei. Photograph Album, 50 hand-coloured albumen prints, oblong folio, [c.1890-1900]. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Jan. 25:</b> Polar. Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Arctic Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, printed flyer, 1852. £1,000 to £1,500

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