Ideas Are Weapons (1939)


"With the Hope that Our Weapons May Prove Their True Cunning and Strength in Destroying Fascism": Inscribed and Twice Signed by Max Lerner to the Exiled Writers Committee

Lerner, Max. Ideas Are Weapons. The History and Uses of Ideas. New York: Viking, 1939.

Octavo. Hardcover. 1st Edition.

First edition of this history of the power of ideas from the Age of Enlightenment through the rise of fascism, signed on the title page by journalist and public intellectual Max Lerner and additionally inscribed by him to the Exiled Writers Committee: "with hope that our weapons may prove their true cunning and strength in destroying fascism, this book is presented to the Exiled Writers Committee. Max Lerner. November 21, 1940." Author and public intellectual Max Lerner came to America as a child, one of many Russian-Jews escaping persecution. After earning a PhD in economics and government, he established himself as a political journalist, fervently supporting civil rights and the New Deal. He held complex and highly independent opinions, many of which can be seen in this book about ideas, speech, and society. Ideas Are Weapons examines the power of ideas as seen in the American Experiment, in Europe, in economics, in the law, and beyond. Without dust jacket, as often.  This copy is inscribed to the Exiled Writers Committee, an offshoot of the left-leaning League of American Writers. Before and during World War II, the Exiled Writers Committee worked to help controversial (often Jewish) writers to escape from continual crackdowns by the Nazis. The EWC was even credited with freeing writers from concentration camps and helping them escape via Southern Europe. This book may have been part of a fundraising auction of signed books held by the EWC in 1941. Interior generally fine, scattered soiling to cloth. A desirable inscribed copy with an interesting association.

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