Berlin: Commissions-Verlag W. Issleib (G. Schuhr), 1882. First edition. Softcover. Quarto. (4) 36pp. Original tan wraps with black lettering and publisher's device in decorative border, protected by modern mylar. Housed in red half-leather over gray cloth clamshell box with gilt lettering on spine. Publisher's device on title page.
Educated in his father's private school in Odessa Pinsker was one of the first Jews to attend Odessa University. When realizing that he had little chance to become a lawyer due to strict quotas Pinsker chose the career of a physician. The Odessa pogroms of 1871 and of 1881 changed his conviction of cultural assimilation of the Jews. Pinsker joined the Hovevei Zion (Hibbath Zion) in 1881, a variety of organizations which were officially constituted as Hibbath Zion in 1884, led by Leon Pinsker and backed by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild.
In 1882 Pinsker visited Western Europe and composed the pamphlet "Autoemancipation" which was published anonymously in Germany. In this controversial pamphlet Pinsker urges the Jewish people to strive for independence and to develop a national consciousness. Hibbath Zion is considered to be the forerunner of the Zionist movement constituted in 1897 by Theodor Herzl. Text in German. Wraps with light staining, penciled "Political Self-Emancipation at top of front cover; upper half of stamp on back cover. Rubbed. Wraps in overall good-, interior in very good condition. Good- to very good condition. Item #49819