“THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA AND OF THE WHOLE WORLD ARE MARCHING TO TURN ALL OF YOU WHO ARE PRISONERS OF FASCISM FREE”: BOUND FOR GLORY, WITH EXTRAORDINARY PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION BY GUTHRIE WITHIN TWO MONTHS OF PUBLICATION
GUTHRIE, Woody. Bound for Glory. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1943. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $27,500.
First edition of the legendary folk singer’s autobiographical account of his Dust Bowl years, the first and only book he published in his lifetime, this rare copy with his lengthy inscription dated the year of publication, “New York City, May 23, 1943. To the Yagoslav [sic] Prisoners of War Food Fund—The people of America and of the whole world are marching to turn all of you who are prisoners of fascism free. Our people are learning fast what fascism is. Our fighting spirit is known all around the globe—and in every one of us that spirit was born at home and when were kids. Maybe this book is a glimpse of our will to win out. Your friend, Woody Guthrie.” Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
"Woody Guthrie, who wrote more than 1,000 songs that echoed the glory and travail of American life… used his scarred guitar to sing out against injustice and… sing of the beauty of his homeland… In 1943 he wrote Bound for Glory, an odyssey of his life, a book that Orville Prescott, in The New York Times, said had 'more triple-distilled essence of pure individual personality in it than any in years'" and critics further praised it as as "an eloquent piece, wild as a train whistle in the mountains, a scrumptious picture of fighting, carousing, singing, laughing migratory America" (Books of the Century, 135). When a young Bob Dylan was lent a copy of Bound for Glory, he would recall reading "it from cover to cover like a hurricane, totally focused on every word, and the book sang out to me like a radio" (Dylan, Chronicles). With his worn guitar proclaiming, "This machine kills fascists," and through passionate inscriptions such as this—supporting a fund for Yugoslav prisoners of war—Guthrie voiced passionate opposition to fascism sweeping across Europe. Guthrie's eloquent and moving inscription in this copy acknowledges news that thousands of Yugoslav prisoners of war, chiefly soldiers of the Yugoslav National Army of Liberation and partisans, were suffering and dying from brutal treatments in Nazi camps. First edition, first printing: "First Edition" stated on copyright page; scarce original first-issue dust jacket. Illustrated with frontispiece portrait and Guthrie's own sketches.
Text fine, faint crease to preliminary blank without affecting inscription, mild soiling to cloth; light edge-wear mainly to spine ends of very scarce unrestored dust jacket. An extremely good copy, exceptional inscribed in original dust jacket.