MARGARET SANGER'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, FIRST EDITION, WITH A WARM LETTER TO A LONGTIME SUPPORTER SIGNED BY SANGER
SANGER, Margaret. An Autobiography. New York: W.W. Norton, (1938). Octavo, original navy cloth, original dust jacket. $1800.
First edition of Sanger’s Autobiography, a chronicle of the dynamic woman who spearheaded the movement for contraceptive rights, with a warm typed letter signed by Sanger, announcing publication of the book, to a longtime supporter, Dr. Shipler: "I wish it were possible for me to send personal copies of the book to all those who, like yourself, have stood by in times of storm and stress and helped to build up the movement and bring it to its present standing in this country as well as throughout the world."
"As the originator of the phrase 'birth control' and its best-known advocate, Margaret Sanger survived Federal indictments, a brief jail term, numerous lawsuits, hundreds of street-corner rallies and raids on her clinics to see much of the world accept her view that family planning is a basic human right" (New York Times obituary). In 1936, her efforts influenced the reinterpretation of the Comstock law "to provide for distribution of contraceptive information" (New York Times). Praised by Pearl Buck as "one of the most courageous women of our times," Sanger vigorously challenged "old sexual values; she ended her career, heavy with honors, as the respected champion of new ones. Her life spanned a period of striking changes in American attitudes about the family, the role of woman, and sexual standards. All of those changes she helped to catalyze" (ANB). Sanger founded and served as president of the American Birth Control League, organized the first World Population Conference in Geneva, and was the first president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
The letter reads, in full: "December 10, 1938. Dear Dr. Shipler: W.W. Norton & Company, of New York, has just published my new book: MARGARET SANGER: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. I wanted so much to have the book carry an Honor Roll giving the names of a few hundred who have given some special service to the movement, as you have done. My publishers, however, ultimately decided that owing to the exigencies of publication, limitations of time and paper, etc. that it was not feasible to include the list as originally planned. I want you to know, therefore, that it is not because your name does not belong in the book, or any history of the birth control movement, but because of these unforeseen difficulties, that it does not appear. I wish it were possible for me to send personal copies of the book to all those who, like yourself, have stood by in times of storm and stress and helped to build up the movement and bring it to its present standing in this country as well as throughout the world. Cordially yours, Margaret Sanger [signed]." With frontispiece portrait of Sanger. "First Edition" stated on copyright page.
Book near-fine, dust jacket with two creases, one to front panel, one to rear, and just a touch of edge-wear, bright and clean, exceptionally good. Typed letter about-fine, signature bold.