You Can't Win

Jack BLACK

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Item#: 125387 price:$8,500.00

You Can't Win
You Can't Win

"HOUSES WERE BUILT TO BE BURGLARIZED, CITIZENS TO BE ROBBED, POLICE TO BE AVOIDED AND HATED, STOOL PIGEONS TO BE CHASTISED, AND THIEVES TO BE CULTIVATED AND PROTECTED": FIRST EDITION OF JACK BLACK'S YOU CAN'T WIN, 1926, IN THE SCARCE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET

BLACK, Jack. You Can't Win. New York: Macmillan, 1926. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8500.

First edition of this cult autobiography about life as a burglar before automatic guns and getaway cars, with a foreword by acclaimed realist author Robert Herrick, in scarce original dust jacket.

"The America of career burglar Jack Black's 1926 novel You Can't Win is one of rampant crime, drug use, fugitivity, and punitive justice" (Art in America). "It is a good thing that many law-abiding people are reading this remarkable autobiography of an ex-criminal, 13 years removed from the criminal class, but in his time as complete a criminal as any seeker for authentic information could desire. The effort of organized society to protect itself from the outlaw element may reasonably gain power from understanding the enemy, and in this book the reader meets and mingles with criminals almost, one might say, as he meets and mingles with actual friends and acquaintances… Sincerity has perhaps created art; at any rate the law-abiding reader will never come nearer feeling like a burglar at work" (The Atlantic). Contemporary owner signature.

Book near-fine, with a few small spots of soiling to interior, tiny mark to front board, and small bump to top edge. Dust jacket very good, with only minor soiling, a couple tiny open tears just affecting "W" of cover title, light rubbing and toning to extremities, and a few tape repairs to verso and one to recto of spine head. A desirable copy.

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