DescriptionJohn Steinbeck. East of Eden. New York: Viking Press, 1952. First trade edition. Signed and inscribed by the author to William P. MacCracken Jr., lawyer and pioneer aviator, to the title page, "For William P. MacCracken Jr. / with best wishes / John Steinbeck." Octavo. 602 pages. Publisher's light green cloth stamped in dark green, spine stamped in brown and dark green; original illustrated dust jacket. Minor edgewear, corners rubbed, head and foot of spine pushed and somewhat worn, some discoloring to edges and upper board. Cream endpapers; penciled bookseller notations (some effaced) to the front free endpaper recto and the rear pastedown, very light foxing. Internally clean and tight, all edges trimmed; text block edges toned with minor wear and foxing, light dampstain to the top edge but not extending into the text block. Dust jacket unclipped ($4.50); minor edgewear, chipping to head and foot of spine and corners with some losses, light creasing along folds, 32 mm closed tear to front panel at spine fold, spine and edges sunned, light dampstain to front panel, light foxing on verso. Housed in red cloth clamshell case, black leather spine label stamped in gilt. Very good book with very good dust jacket.
Despite flaws, still a remarkably beautiful copy featuring a unique inscription by Steinbeck to William P. MacCracken Jr. MacCracken was an aviator and lawyer, recognized for a lifetime of achievements and significant positions but perhaps most notable for being the first federal regulator of commercial aviation (1926). The book was adapted to film in 1955, though the movie chiefly focused on material from the fourth and final portion of the book, and featured a star-studded cast, including James Dean and Jo Van Fleet in their first major screen roles, Burl Ives, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos, and more. The film is listed among the 400 best American films of all time by the American Film Institute and was selected in 2016 for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The film was heavily nominated and awarded, both domestically and internationally; Jo Van Fleet won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and it was the only one of James Dean's three lead roles to be released during his lifetime, earning him a posthumous Golden Globe award.
Goldstone & Payne A32b.
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