New York: Macmillan, 1936. First edition. Original buff publisher's cloth binding with title to spine and front board. A Very Good + copy with the spine toned and minor soiling to edges of boards. Very Good jacket with chipping to spine extremities and corners; panels rubbed; dampstaining to top of rear panel and tear with paper loss to bottom of rear panel (jacket likely supplied). Signed and inscribed on the front endpaper by Rand two months after publication to an eminent acting coach and vocalist who trained Katherine Hepburn and was admired by the author: "To Frances Robinson-Duff with best wishes of the Author Ayn Rand July 9, 1936."
Ayn Rand's first novel, set in Soviet Russia a decade after her own escape from its borders to America. "The immigrant Rand was startled by the failure of American intellectuals and politicians to uphold the American ideals of individualism and freedom, and she was horrified by widespread acceptance, even sympathy, that greeted the rise of communism, socialism, and fascism in Europe. Rand resolved to expose the 'noble ideal' of collectivism through the story of three young people whose lives are sacrificed by an all-powerful state...The first printing of 3,000 copies sold out, but the book went out of print due to a publisher's error. An edition revised by Rand would not be released until 1959, following the success of Atlas Shrugged" (Rand Institute). Robinson-Duff, the recipient of this book, was an admirable figure for Rand, who valued Hollywood talent that proved the strength and independence of women. Robinson-Duff was at the time the most highly sought-after acting and vocal coach in the field, and she increased her fame by training Katherine Hepburn for the screen. An important work with an exceptional association.
Bonham's lot 3166 (2005). Provenance: From the private collection of Jay T. Snider Very Good + in Very Good dust jacket. (Item #2754)