"A CLASSIC OF AMERICAN LITERATURE": FIRST EDITION OF CLAUDE BROWN'S MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND, 1965, INSCRIBED BY CLAUDE BROWN AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER CHARLES H. KING
BROWN, Claude. Manchild in the Promised Land. New York: Macmillan, (1965). Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $3800.
First edition of Claude Brown's moving 1965 account of his journey out of poverty and crime in Harlem, inscribed by the author: "To Elise & Josh, from Claude Brown," and additionally inscribed directly below by civil rights leader Charles H. King: "Sincerely Charles H. King."
Brown's controversial "Manchild in the Promised Land chronicled his ascent from a harrowing childhood of violent crime and poverty in Harlem and became a classic of American literature… It is written with brutal and unvarnished honesty… in language that is fierce, uproarious, obscene and tender, but always sensible and direct… though not published as a memoir, it closely paralleled Brown's life in virtually every detail" (New York Times). ''Claude Brown makes James Baldwin and all that old Rock of Ages rhetoric sound like some kind of Moral Rearmament tourist from Toronto come to visit the poor" (Tom Wolfe). "Manchild, published at the height of the civil rights movement, instantly put Brown in a class with Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Richard Wright as the premier interpreters of Black urban life" (Washington Post). First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on the copyright page, red topstain; dust jacket with $5.95 on front flap. Blockson 3327. This copy also features the inscription of Charles H. King, known for his "bootcamp-style" seminars focused on changing racial attitudes. King took part in many of the major demonstrations of the 1960s and was founder and president of the Urban Crisis Center. He also worked for the Kerner Commission. Overall, King was known for his provocative approaches to confronting racism and he served as an essential part of the civil rights movement.
Book about-fine, dust jacket with light wear and toning to extremities. A near-fine inscribed copy with an interesting association.