“BOOKS ARE OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO AMERICA AND TO THE WORLD”: TYPED LETTER SIGNED BY WENDELL WILLKIE
WILLKIE, Wendell. Typed letter signed. Rushville, Indiana: August 4, 1943. Single leaf measuring 6-1/2 by 8-1/2, typing on recto only, matted and framed with photograph measuring 6 by 8 inches; entire piece measures 16 by 21 inches.
Typed letter signed by one of “the most loved and interesting losers in American presidential politics” (ANB), attorney and civil rights activist Wendell Willkie, regarding the printing of his popular book, One World.
Republican presidential candidate Willkie arguably made his most important contributions "after he lost the 1940 election… Willkie in 1942 took a trip around the world. Traveling in a converted military bomber, he logged 31,000 miles in 49 days as he visited with heads of state in North Africa, the Mideast, the Soviet Union and China… In addition, he visited ordinary people in shops, marketplaces and farmhouses. In April 1943 Willkie reported on this voyage of discovery in a short book titled One World. Within a year it sold two million copies… With bold assertions and ordinary details he illustrated that this world was small and near… One World is an argument against imperialism and colonialism… [It connects] changes across the globe with necessary change at home" (ANB). The letter offered here, typed on Willkie's letterhead and addressed to Lester Cornelius and Benjamin Rosenblum of The Meridian Press, reads: "Rushville, Indiana. August 4, 1943. Gentlemen: I would like to thank the people of your organization for printing the covers and jackets of 'One World' so speedily and in such quantity. I know these are difficult times in which to produce well made books in such haste, and I believe it to be important work because books are of vital importance to America and to the world. Cordially yours, [signed] Wendell Willkie."
A fine framed piece.