So I'm going through a box of old books at home that belonged to my Aunt Rosemary who turned 100 years of age a few weeks ago (she tells me she's finally downsizing.). In it I find a copy of THE CHALLENGE OF LIBERTY, 1st edition, 1934 by Herbert Hoover in pristine condition w/ an undamaged, clean and tight paper jacket. I open the cover and read, "To my friend, Rosemary M.., with best wishes, Herbert Hoover". I have checked on line, and to my untrained eye, the signature looks authentic (That plus, it's doubtful Aunt Rosemary had any nefarious intentions when she gave me the box in the first place). What do I do about this (if anything)?

Somebody pound on my chest to get my heart restarted.

Views: 73

Tags: Presidents, U.S.

Comment by Robert Babb on August 16, 2010 at 1:47pm
That is awsome if it is real! I would keep it or hand it down to a family member museum/ library.
Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on August 16, 2010 at 5:24pm
Paul,

Welcome! Join the Presidents group. The title is actually "The Challenge to Liberty" and I've seen nice inscribed firsts offered for $500-$1,000 or more. Ask Aunt Rosemary what her relationship was with Hoover and how she got the book. That could make a significant difference in value.
Comment by Paul Mathis on August 17, 2010 at 6:52am
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the warm welcome, and thanks for taking time to help me out w/ this. I know a bit of Aunt Rosemary's story relative to this book:

During the 30s and 40s she worked in Washington, DC for first the Department of Immigration and Naturalization and then for the FBI. Back then, life for a young "career" woman working in the US government was a bit different than it is today. There was a cordiality or an elan - a "way of carrying one's self" that I believe still exists today, but may well be harder to find. My sense in talking w/ her is that back then "genteel deportment" (at least in her circles) was somewhat ubiquitous. In that sense, it was relatively commonplace for folks like my dear Aunt to have cordial, if casual, working relationships w/ folks of some import. Did she know HH? Not in the sense that she was acquainted w/ her boss, J. Edgar., buttheir paths did cross from time to time. That said, she remembers a "signing party" that was arranged for workers in her specific government division where HH signed copies of his book for employees. (I located another copy on line w/ a somewhat longer inscription, though no paper dust cover.) She also had (and I now have) signed first editions of non-fiction about Czarist Russia signed by the author (whose name escapes me at the moment), and what I'm led to believe is the seminal work on New England lighthouses signed by the keeper and his family of Maine's Owl's Head Lighthouse during the 1930s. There's also a signature of a old person who I believe is one of the descendants of one of the first keepers in the book. On a more personal level, she has numerous letters and memos from J. Edgar inasmuch as he was her boss during her time in D.C.

I would find it extremely useful to find a reputable dealer in the Philadelphia/New York/Washington corridor (I live at the beach in South Jersey) to whom I could show these materials and get some sense of their value. It is doubtful anyone in my family besides me would have the appreciation for pieces such as these, so passing them down is unlikely - possible, but unlikely. I'm also not necessarily looking to sell them outright; if the right organization or agency was willing to take them and preserve them for future generations, I could be moved to donate them outright. Ya just can't do this sort off stuff w/ a Kindle, ya know? Any direction AM Live! could point to would be greatly appreciated.

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