New York: Vanguard Press, 1951. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with title to spine and front board. Light offsetting to front and rear pastedown from jacket flaps, else a pleasing copy. In the original unclipped dust jacket. Sunning to spine and paper loss to corners and extremities of spine; chipping to top of rear panel; toning to flaps. Inscribed by the author to Ayn Rand on the front pastedown: "To Ayn Rand as Ayn Rand and as Mrs. Frank O'Connor and to Frank O'Connor. Edward Hunter. New York City April 29, 1953." In addition to the presentation inscription, the book bears Rand's marginal notes throughout.
Written by a WWII journalist who had covered the Pacific theatre, Brain Washing in Red China "suggests seriously that China is in a trance, induced by mass hypnosis" designed to accomplish "the calculated destruction of men's minds." For Rand, a loss of individual reason and control through collectivism -- including communism -- was a central fear. The present work fed directly into these concerns. In A Screen Guide for Americans, for example, she wrote that "the Communists' chief purpose is to destroy every form of independence...Conformity, alikeness, servility, submission, and obedience are necessary to establish a Community slave-state." This is the political state that Hunter describes; it is a state in which indoctrination schools teach students "the all-pervading campaign of hatred...particularly against America." Within the book's pages is evidence that Rand not only accepted the copy as a gift but read it closely. In addition to scoring sections, circling phrases, or leaving multiple, panicked question marks in the margins, she also annotates the book with her own questions and comments. In an early section describing the methods of brainwashing students at an indoctrination school, for example, she pencils angrily "Anyone who is willing to try to inform his thoughts under such conditions deserves what he gets." A unique piece from Ayn Rand's personal collection, revealing how her Objectivism shaped her approach to China, communism, and the question of indoctrination to collectivist thinking.
Bonham's lot 3147 (2005), making $4,993. Provenance: From the private collection of Jay T. Snider Fine in Very Good + dust jacket. (Item #2748)