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    An Inscribed First Edition, First Printing of John F. Kennedy's First Book

    John F. Kennedy. Why England Slept. New York: Wilfred Funk, 1940.

    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by John F. Kennedy on the front free endpaper: "To a very old friend of the Kennedys with warmest regards - Jack Kennedy." Octavo. xxx, 252 pages. Foreword by Henry R. Luce.

    Publisher's red cloth with blue and white stamping. Backstrip has faded; head of spine fraying. Some mottling to top page edges. Extremities lightly worn. Some offsetting to pastedowns; pages toning slightly. Short closed tear to bottom edge of one leaf. Dust jacket has only minimal wear to edges, with a few shallow creases at head of spine and along top edge of front panel, and with a couple of very short closed tears at top edge. A nice square copy in very good condition.

    Young Kennedy presented this book to Wall Street stockbroker Arthur Goldsmith, a Harvard classmate of his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Goldsmith maintained close ties with the Kennedy family and served as JFK's stockbroker during the future president's years at Harvard.

    During the late 1930s, John F. Kennedy spent time in London with his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., who served as Franklin Roosevelt's U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James. Why England Slept, originally written as JFK's senior year Harvard thesis entitled "Appeasement in Munich," was published at the behest of his father and became an immediate bestseller, going through multiple printings in its first year - as such, the first printing of the first edition is quite scarce. A signed presentation copy to a close Kennedy family friend is scarcer still. Ex. Remember When Auctions, the Estate of Arthur Goldsmith.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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