"THE POPULAR IDOL OF THE AMERICAN AUDIENCE IN THE THEATER, CONCERT HALL OR STADIUM": PAUL ROBESON SOUVENIR BOOK, RICHLY ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS, INSCRIBED BY HIM
(ROBESON, Paul) METROPOLITAN MUSICAL BUREAU. Paul Robeson Souvenir Book. New York: Division of Columbia Concerts, Inc., . Quarto (9 by 12 inches), original pictorial paper wrappers, staple-bound as issued; pp. 16. $1200.
Souvenir book, handsomely illustrated with photographs on every page, celebrating Robeson's career to that point on stage, concert hall and screen, inscribed by him, "All best wishes, Paul Robeson," beneath his full-page photographic portrait at rear that captures Robeson in his library, "still sporting" his beard from one of his finest performances in "Othello."
"One of the major performing artists of the 20th century, Robeson's achievements as a stage actor, movie star and singer are individually outstanding but collectively astounding. He was easily the most influential Black entertainer of his day… He protested the segregation of organized baseball, appeared frequently at union and labor meetings, delivered anti-racist lectures during concerts, joined the pan-Africanist Council on African Affairs, and quit Hollywood because 'the industry is not prepared to permit me to portray the life or express the living interests, hopes and aspirations of the struggling people from whom I come'… His legacy, as Sidney Poitier noted, was profound: 'Before him, no Black man or woman had been portrayed in American movies as anything but a racist stereotype'" (ANB). This souvenir book was published to coincide with his "coast to coast concert tour" of 1942, and included photographic illustrations, many full or double-page, from his youth, in his most famous roles, and from his recent USO tour in Europe.
Interior fresh and intact, separation from colorful original wrappers, small closed tear to rear wrapper. A distinctive inscribed copy of this Robeson rarity.