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Anonymous Listings

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1 Anonymous Babylon on Hudson
New York Harper & Brothers 1932 First Edition Hardcover Fair in Fair dj 
[a pretty beat-up copy, probably an ex-rental library book although NOT stamped or marked as such in any way; the dust jacket, however, is backed with brown paper and thoroughly glued down at the flaps, which was pretty standard practice for such libraries; in any case, the book is heavily worn (but internally clean and with its binding intact), and the jacket is, well, a mess]. The author of this "distinguished and thoughtful novel about present-day New York" thought it best to cloak himself in anonymity, so "that the personages with whom he is acquainted will not be embarrassed by his presence." (Sounds like the lesson that Truman Capote never learned.) The book's action takes place from mid-1929 to late 1931, a period which in the author's opinion "in a most dramatic way indicates the disintegration of our social system." Written "in the racy speech of the day," the book presents "a dramatic flashlight picture of the hypocrisy and graft -- financial, criminal, political -- characterizing our society." The New York Times reviewer, while finding the book narratively sketchy, was nevertheless impressed by its range, commenting that "under their own names or easily recognizable pseudonyms numerous legal lights, political sachems, millionaires, professional liberals and reformers appear, either in person or by name," and that "most of New York's institutions and celebrities and notorieties of the past three or four years come in for at least passing comment." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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2 (Anonymous) Grey Towers: A Campus Novel
Chicago Covici-McGee Co. 1923 NO 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[spine slightly turned, a bit of dust-soiling to top edge, a couple of lightly bumped corners, one-time owner's address label on front pastedown; jacket moderately edgeworn, spine browned, small chip at top of rear panel; jacket a teensy bit shorter than the book, apparently made that way]. "A novel of protest, written by a young apostle of revolt, against the present system of education in the colleges." Although the author is not identified by gender, the book seems to have a definite feminist slant, telling of the travails of a young graduate student teaching Freshman English while dealing with "the undercurrent of malice and politics" at the university. She finds that "the departments are run by old men who have lost touch with the students," and feels herself "powerless to defeat the red-tape and apathetic disregard of the older men." Neither the city nor the specific university in the book are identified, but add the Chicago imprint to the description of the school "on the shore of the great lake, in the broad Middle-West," do the math and get back to me about where YOU think it is. (The author of the 1962 study "The College Novel in America" speculated that the book was "possibly by ZoŽ Flannagan," but gives no indication who the hell "ZoŽ Flannagan" might have been. Thanks for nothing.) 
Price: 100.00 USD
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3 (Anonymous) Promise Not to Tell
New York Horace Liveright (c.1929) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [worn but still sound copy, a bit of bumping/fraying at all corners, spine cloth faded (lettering just about gone)]. Epistolary relationship/romance novel. 
Price: 16.50 USD
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4 Anonymous [Rex Stout] The President Vanishes
New York Farrar & Rinehart (c.1934) First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [ex-lending library book (although marked as such only by a small label on the front pastedown) with general exterior wear including fraying of cloth at extremities, occasional smudging to pages; binding is intact (hinges are not cracked)]. (B&W photographs) Political thriller about the crisis that ensues in the U.S. Government when the President is apparently kidnapped the evening before Congress intends to declare war -- thus thwarting their plans, since no declaration of war can be valid without his signature. Martial law is declared, and among the groups suspected of snatching the Prez are the Communists, the munitions manufacturers, and a homegrown fascist organization known as the Gray Shirts. Interestingly, a movie version (produced by Walter Wanger for Paramount and directed by William Wellman) made its appearance barely a month after the publication of the book; the New York Times described it as "a racy and biting melodrama [that is] enthusiastically on the side of Mr. Roosevelt's administration." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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5 Anonymous [Sol Allen, aka Barney Allen] The Woman's Doctor
New York The Macaulay Company 1933 2nd printing Hardcover Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Gretta 
[ex-rental library book (Vierstahler Bros., on Walnut St., city unknown), marked by only a single stamp on the ffep, some soiling to fore-edge and bottom page edges, binding a little weak (but no cracks or splits), light shelfwear; jacket is edgeworn, with small tears and a teensy bit of paper loss at several corners, a bit of smudging/creasing in front panel, moderate soiling to rear panel]. According to the jacket blurb of this book -- "so startling, so new, that is is certain to make literary history" -- both men AND women would find out more about the mysteries of the female body than they ever imagined. "The secret side of womanhood, most of it dark even to the women themselves, is revealed under the searching kindly inquiry of the consultation-chamber and the relentless probing insistence of the operating-room." Despite the singular title, the book is actually structured around the experiences of two doctors, who eventually come into conflict when one is accused of having facilitated an abortion. The setting is specified as Toronto, which is a tipoff to the identity of the author: one Sol Allen, a Canadian writer whose 1929 novel "They Have Bodies" (published in the U.S. under the name "Barney Allen") has been cited as an almost unique early example of modernist Canadian fiction. (And, interestingly, he also published two novels later, as "Sol Barney Allen" -- apparently his true, full name -- that would appear to cover the same ground: "Toronto Doctor" (1949) and "The Gynecologist" (1965).) There's an extensive glossary of medical terms at the end of the book, which permits the author to avoid the use of "repellent terms." And speaking of relentless probing, by the way: could anything be much scarier than that jacket illustration? 
Price: 225.00 USD
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6 Anonymous [Richard Warren Hatch] This Bright Summer [later published as "Go Down to Glory"]
New York Covici, Friede 1933 First Edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [pretty rough condition, reading copy only; heavy external wear, all pages attached but binding weak, rear endpapers removed with consequent weakening of rear hinge, vintage bookseller's label on front pastedown]. A novel of the Vermont hill country, reissued as a Dell paperback in 1953, under the title "Go Down to Glory." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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