First edition, scarce signed issue, one of an unknown number signed by Carver on a special leaf before the half title.
"Holt's book reflected the view of Carver held by most Americans during the two decades after his death: it pictured him as a flawless, superhuman hero."
Born into slavery, Carver is one of the most famous examples of his friend Booker T. Washington's "racial uplift" philosophy: a specialist in agriculture, he did most of his pioneering work as a professor at the Tuskegee Institute. A tireless inventor – and environmentalist – Carver was dubbed the "Black Leonardo" by TIME magazine in 1941, when Holt was working on this biography. Most of the material for this book was gathered from interviews with her subject, visiting him at Tuskegee and turning his reminiscences into a comprehensively mythology. Though it was published the year of his death, Carver was able to read the finished manuscript before it went to press (as well as sign a handful of leaves for this special issue). He loved it, telling Holt it was "the most fascinating piece of writing that I have read. I started in and I confess I could not lay it down until I had finished it" (quoted in Kremer). Further biographies have added much-needed contours to his image, but all are reacting in some way to this one: the book that created the iconic image of Carver.
Read more: Kremer (editor), George Washington Carver: In His Own Words, 4.
Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran and COmpany, Inc, 1943. Full title: George Washington Carver: an American biography. 9'' x 6''. Original blind-stamped blue cloth, gilt-lettered spine. In original price-clipped color pictorial dust jacket. Black topstain, fore-edge machine deckle. x, 342 pages. Signed by Carver in black ink on cancel leaf before half title. Some toning to endpapers. Jacket with single closed tear and attendant tape repair on verso, else just shallow edgewear.
About fine in very good plus jacket.
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