by Essad-Bey [pseud. for Lev Nussimbaum] (translated from the German by Huntley Paterson)
New York: The Viking Press. Near Fine in Very Good dj. 1932 (c.1931). First American Edition. Hardcover. [very nice book, minimal wear at extremities, modest discoloration to endpapers; jacket has some shallow chipping along top and bottom edges (no loss of text anywhere), a few minor tears, light surface wear and minor soiling]. (B&W photographs) First published in Germany, this was one of the earliest books about Joseph Stalin. Although probably unreliable as history (the New York Times reviewer characterized the first part of the book, dealing with Stalin's early life, as "rather fictional"), it still painted a persuasive portrait of the dictator's personality and gave a compelling account of his rise to power. The author himself, the subject of Tom Reiss's 2005 biography "The Orientalist," was quite a character: born Lev Nussimbaum, he was a Jew from Azerbaijan who transformed himself into a Muslim prince in Nazi Germany, having earlier escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan. (The claim made in the jacket blurb that he was a "compatriot of Stalin's" was almost certainly bogus.) Writing as "Essad Bey" and "Kurban Said," he became a celebrated adventurer and author of the classic novel "Ali and Nino." And that ain't the half of it. (A 1934 newspaper feature story about "Essad Bey" laid in.) Very scarce, especially in the original jacket. . (Inventory #: 15603)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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