Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Di Goldene Medineh (The Golden Country) [TEXT IN YIDDISH]

New York: Farlag "Frayhayt" 1927. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. Original black cloth boards, with the imprint of the title in gilt letters, unnumbered 142pp plates and 7pp text. Features a well-written and knowledgeable preface by Melekh Epshtayn.

Epshtayn (1889-1979) born in Ruzhany, Belorussia, he grew up with a traditional Jewish education. At the age of 13 he left home and joined socialist action groups in Russia and Poland and immigrated in the United States of America 11 years later, where he became a member of the communist party in 1921. Epstein was one of the founders of the Yiddish daily, "Morgnfrayhayt" and its chief editor from 1925 to 1928. He also served on the editorial board of the Communist monthly, "Der Hamer". In protest against the Hitler-Stalin pact he left the Communist Party in 1939, but continued to contribute to left-wing Yiddish newspapers, "Forverts" and "Tsukunft" as well as to English-Jewish press. In his preface to the "Goldene Medineh" he not only elaborately explains the origins of Yiddish caricature and cartoons, but also insightfully marks differences and commonalities to the Non-Yiddish world.

William Gropper (1897-1977), was a left-wing caricaturist and cartoonist. Growing up as the eldest of six children of hard working parents, who immigrated from the Ukraine and Romania, the poverty the family had to live with became a lifelong theme and certainly fed into his antipathy to capitalism. At the age of six he began to draw picture stories with chalk on the sidewalks around the block. He became his first instruction into the world of art with 13 by George Bellows and Robert Henri at the radical Ferrer School. When Gropper brought his works to the head of the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, Frank Parsons, he was offered a scholarship to study at the school. Within the next two years Gropper was gaining recognition and even awards for his work. In 1917 he became a staff member of the New York Tribune, drawing pictures for the special Sunday feature of the paper, and he got involved with other artists, like Robert MInor, Maurice Becker, Lydia Gibson and Hugo Gellert, surrounding the left wing monthly newspaper, "The Masses".

In 1921 Max Eastman, editor of "The Liberator" offered Gropper a position, but he also contributed to magazines as "The Bookman", "The Dial"' and the "New Pearson's Magazine". Even though Groper was an active contributor to left-wing or communist publications, he never became a member of the communist party. With the rise of fascism the artist dedicated his art to raise opposition. After W.W.II Gropper attended the World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace of 1948 in Wroclaw, Poland and decided to dedicate one picture on the theme of Jewish life each year. He was elected as an Associate scholar into the National Academy of Design in 1974 and died at the age of 79 in Manhasset, New York. He is considered to be an idiosyncratic artist, with strong, expressive and timely drawings. From the experience and perspective of an immigrant he portrays the "goldene Medine", this myth of America as being a home for all the haunted and poor. With clear cut lines Gropper displays America as being filled with racism, ruthless bureaucracy and war mongers and America, basically invalidating the entire myth. Text in Yiddish.

Boards with some wear along edges, small chips and light fraying along edges, some light scuffing and staining, one inch chip at foredge of cover. Expertly reinforced at gutter of the interior back cover. Block lightly age-toned. Binding in overall good-, interior in very good condition. g- to vg. Item #46185

Yiddish title: די גאלדענע מדינה, וויליאם גראפּער.

Price: $950.00

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