Description

    Franklin Roosevelt: Signed Edition of The Democratic Book 1936, His Mother's Copy. (Philadelphia: C. Brill, 1936). Limited/Numbered. First Edition/Leather-bound. Measures 11" by 14" and weighs over 7 pounds. Folio, 384 pages. Bound in brown leather with gilt lettering intact on front. Signed by Franklin Roosevelt beneath a color image of the White House on the limitation leaf. This is number 34 of an unstated 2500 copies.

    A fine copy with only moderate wear and slight fading to the interior rim of the interior cloth-lined boards. Entirely intact. A red ink stamp on the flyleaf that reads, "Bob Drabble - Mr. ICS/ International Correspondence Schools/ E. Market Street, Hyde Park, N.Y. The cover embossed with the name, Mrs. James Roosevelt.

    The Democratic Book 1936 is a substantial historic reference and resource, numbering over 375 pages, with copies of the proceedings and speeches of the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, including FDR's acceptance speech and the speeches of John Nance Garner for Vice President, as well as the speeches of James A. Farley (chairman of the Democratic National Committee), the temporary (Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky) and permanent (Senator Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas) chairmen of the convention, the 1936 Democratic National Platform, results of the election of 1936, biographies of FDR and Garner, histories of the Democratic Party and members of the Democratic Party in the Congress, histories of the United States Congress and Supreme Court (the latter of which FDR would take on the following year) and the history of The White House, reports from all cabinet secretaries and executive agencies, from the Department of State to the Social Security Board, multiple pictures of members of Congress, cabinet secretaries and other noteworthy Democrats with facsimile signatures, the work of Democratic women in politics, information about delegates to the convention, and copies of the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence, with a plethora of period advertising by American industry. After FDR's signature page is the Foreword by FDR, with a black and white picture of The White House, which reads: "Democracy is not a static thing. It is an everlasting march. When our children grow up, they will still have problems to overcome. It is for us, however, manfully to set ourselves to the task of preparation for them so that to some degree the difficulties they must overcome may weigh upon them less heavily. I am confident that the people of the nation, having put their shoulders to the wheel, will build a better future for the children of the days to come. / Franklin D. Roosevelt."

    The historic background for the production of this book concerns the fact that after FDR's successful re-election to the Presidency in 1936 the Democratic Party was in debt $400,000. In addition to Jackson Day Dinners at $100 a plate in Washington, and at lower prices throughout the country, which were addressed by the President by radio, and which yielded $315,000, the Democratic Book 1936 was prepared and autographed by the President, inscribed to major Democratic donors for $250 each to pay off the DNC debt. An article on the Democratic Book 1936 appeared in the August 9, 1937 issue of Life. On page 20, under the caption "Life on the American Newsfront: Roosevelt Article Makes Political Trouble" is a black and white photograph of a copy of the Democratic Book 1936 and the following story: "The volume at left is a souvenir campaign book published by the Democratic National Committee. It contains the 1936 convention program, articles and advertisements. In plain binding, it was sold at Philadelphia for $2.50.

    The leather-bound President's edition, wrote the New York Times' Arthur Krock on July 26, 'be overpriced at $25.' Yet hundreds of copies of it have been sold to corporations and individuals at $250, ostensibly because each book contains the autograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chiefly through the efforts of New York's Bert Snell, Republican leader of the House, that sale has now become a good-sized Washington scandal. / This scheme for cleaning up the Democratic campaign deficit was concocted by the late William Forbes-Morgan, Democratic treasurer and Mrs. Roosevelt's uncle by marriage, whose family was later given by Eleanor Roosevelt a rare and historic fifty four piece sterling silver flatware set belonging to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, which is also part of this collection. Last November he persuaded the President to sign 2,500 blank sheets, which were promptly bound into copies of the convention book. The Federal Corrupt Practices Act forbids corporations to make campaign contributions in Federal elections. On June 7, Representative Snell produced in the House a photostat of a purported sales letter from the Democratic Committee declaring 'The sale of the book enables us to legally accept corporation checks, and this is the way all the companies who are assisting us are handling these expenditures.' After House inaction on his resolution for a Congressional investigation, Mr. Snell on July 27 hopelessly asked Attorney General Homer S. Cummings to investigate."


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