FDR'S FIRST AND ONLY BOOK PUBLISHED PRIOR TO HIS PRESIDENCY, PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF WHITHER BOUND?
ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. Whither Bound? Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1926. Octavo, original blue cloth. $350.
First edition of Roosevelt's first commercially printed book, urging courage and optimism in facing new challenges.
Roosevelt "produced only one book before he became president. In 1926, at the age of 44, FDR lectured at Milton Academy in Massachusetts. The slim volume that resulted from his lectures is called Whither Bound?" (Sunstein, Second Bill of Rights, 231). FDR rarely spoke publicly from 1921 (when he was struck with polio) to 1928. But "he was not above giving speeches to small audiences… Whither Bound? (from the familiar Latin phrase 'Quo Vadis?') offers a telling look at his state of mind… It comes as close as any personal or public statement by FDR during this period to an acknowledgment of the attitude he had adopted in his own convalescence… the title already signaled the physical activity of walking. The only question left to be answered was 'where?' But it was clear that FDR would lead the way" (Houck & Kiewe, FDR's Body Politics, 37). FDR calls upon his audience to meet the coming challenges with courage and optimism: to "pull their weight in the crew of their fellows… We see great events occurring before our eyes, we picture great changes to come. It is our right to do so." "A total of 1000 copies were printed. The book was so successful that even 20 years later it was still in print… Today, however, it is definitely a scarce book" (Halter T453). Without original dust jacket. A few tiny ink marks to title page. Evidence of bookplate removal.
Only slightest soiling to cloth, light rubbing to spine ends. A near-fine copy.