"FOR MY GOOD FRIEND EDDIE RICKENBACKER": FASCINATING PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY OF "PURPLE HEART VALLEY": A COMBAT CHRONICLE OF THE WAR IN ITALY, 1944, WITH INSCRIPTION BY BOURKE-WHITE
(RICKENBACKER, Edward) BOURKE-WHITE, Margaret. They Called It "Purple Heart Valley." A Combat Chronicle of the War in Italy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944. Quarto, original tan cloth, original photographic dust jacket.
First edition, an especially memorable presentation/association copy of Bourke-White's iconic WWII photobook, inscribed by her on a plate affixed to the front free endpaper (as was her custom) to the famed WWI "Ace of Aces" airman, "For my good friend Eddie Rickenbacker, With all best, Margaret Bourke-White," with over 100 halftones, most full page.
Called "one of the world's great artists" by Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White "epitomized the dynamic spirit of her age… covering the most important events of the mid-century" (McDarrah, 52). A photographer at Fortune and Time, Bourke-White was "one of the first photojournalists who told a news story in pictures and also wrote the text" (New York Times), and as a Life staff photographer, she became "one of the most successful women in America" (Parr & Badger I:140). For They Called It "Purple Valley," Bourke-White spent five months covering the Italian front, coming dangerously close to enemy lines at Cassino.
"In June 1935 Eddie Rickenbacker took her for a 140-mile-an-hour spin on the Indianapolis Raceway, the first time a woman had ever set foot on the track. It wasn't the only first 'men only' barricade she'd crossed" (Szerlip, 147). A large gelatin silver print of Bourke-White's famous 1935 photograph of Amelia Earhart and Eddie Rickenbacker is in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, which states in its exhibition that the photograph "was taken at the 1935 Indianapolis 500 auto race. As the owner of the Indianapolis Speedway and an official at the American Automobile Association, Rickenbacker had invited Earhart to serve as the referee at this Memorial Day classic." See Roth, 94; Open Book, 124. Bourke-White's inked inscription to Rickenbacker is on an ivory 4-3/4 square label affixed to the front free endpaper.
Interior fine, only tiny bit of soiling to cloth; light edge-wear, minimal tape reinforcement to verso of scarce dust jacket. A near-fine presentation copy with a distinctive association.