London: Jonathan Cape, 1954. First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine/Near fine. The first British edition, preceding the American issue. The story of what happens when an idealistic, fiercely honest young man tries to reconcile Roman Catholic dogma with the realities of America of the 1940s. Lardner (1915-2000), one of the "Hollywood Ten" found guilty of contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committtee (HUAC), began writing this novel after serving a little over nine months in Danbury Prison. It brilliantly dissects the thought control of the McCarthy era, business ethics, racial intolerance, repressive sexual attitudes, "enlightened" penology, vigilantism, and other social phenomena. Inscribed by Lardner on the front flyleaf. Original blue cloth binding, with gilt titles. The dust jacket is very lightly sun faded along the spine, with just a hint of wear to the corners and tips; else near fine. (Inventory #: 66234)
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