Rare Books, Stories About Books

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

“Who is John Galt?” With this question, Ayn Rand began her final novel, Atlas Shrugged, one of the most controversial, influential, and bestselling books of the 20th century. It’s a… Read more

American Ephemera, Miniseries

American Ephemera: Pamphlets

My countrymen… will come reluctantly into the idea of independency, but time and persecution brings many wonderful things to pass; and by private letters which I have lately received from… Read More

Stories About Books

The Story Behind Richard F. Burton’s Pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca

In the spring of 1853, noted linguist and explorer Richard Francis Burton started his most famous and important journey. Burton undertook the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, a trip… Read More

Miniseries, Modern American Literature: One Bookseller's Obsession

Collecting First Novels

I’ve always thought first novels would make for a cool book collection.  Something about these books always seemed inspiring and maddening to me at the same time.  Read More

Miniseries, Rare Books

Indian Tribes of North America by Thomas McKenney and James Hall

Thomas McKenney, Superintendent of Indian Affairs under presidents Madison, Monroe, Adams, and Jackson, sought to create an archive that would preserve the American Indian heritage and traditions of the time…. Read More

American Ephemera, Miniseries, Rare Books

American Ephemera: History as it Happened

What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the… Read More

First Editions, Miniseries, Rare Books

Follies and Disasters: the four books of francisco goya

Francisco José de Goya produced four major series of etchings in his lifetime. The first, Los Caprichos (Caprices), the artist finished and published as a rather ambitious book of 80 captioned… Read More

First Editions, Miniseries, Modern American Literature: One Bookseller's Obsession, Rare Books

The Greatest Year in American Literature

Was 1929 the greatest year in American literature?  I think so.  1850-1855 had a run that’s still unmatched: The Scarlet Letter (1850), Moby-Dick (1851), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), Walden (1854), and… Read More

First Editions, Miniseries, Rare Books

Zebulon Pike: Account of Expeditions

In 1806, as Lewis and Clark were wending their way homeward, the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, James Wilkinson, summoned his protégé Zebulon Pike to his office. Captain Pike had proven… Read More

Legends of Photography, Miniseries

In Memoriam Jerry Berndt (1943-2013)

I am dedicating this post to the civil rights photographer Jerry Berndt, who sadly passed away in Paris earlier this month. Read More

Illustrated Books You've Never Heard Of, Miniseries

The Knave of Hearts Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to hear the truth of an old legend that has persisted wrongly through the ages; Read More