Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
FIRST EDITION, type B, the definitive authorized version. Observing in his opening words that “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains,” Rousseau offered this work as a yardstick with which to judge existing governments. He argued that the central problem is to “find a form of association which can defend and protect with all the power of the community the person and possessions of each associate, and by which each person unites himself with all, but only obeys himself and thereby remains as free as before.”
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior - “one of the major scientific achievements of the first half of the twentieth century"VON NEUMANN, JOHN and OSKAR MORGENSTERN
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Princeton: University Press, 1944
FIRST EDITION. Inscribed by Oskar Morgenstern: “To Dan Maxim, with esteem and warm regards Oskar Morgenstern July 1971 Have you found the set-theoretical hiding in this book?”
(SLAVERY & ABOLITION)
The National Era. Vols. IV-X. Washington, January 1850 – December 1856
This is a tremendous seven-year run of the weekly broadsheet The National Era, one of the leading abolitionist newspapers. This massive run of the National Era captures the white-hot debate surrounding slavery that would lead to the Civil War. Original contributions to the Era, letters from correspondents around the country, national and state legislation, and news articles report on every aspect of slavery and the abolition movement. Countless leading figures in American politics, literature, religion, education, and social reform weigh in on slavery and other American affairs in these pages.
on hold: $28,000
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Webster, 1885
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION in the publisher’s deluxe binding. This copy has the rare first state of the illustration on p. 283, as well as the other earliest points described in BAL.
(COMPUTERS.) ECKERT, MAUCHLY, GOLDSTINE, & BRAINERD
Description of the ENIAC and Comments on Electronic Digital Computing Machines. N.p.: Applied Mathematics Panel, National Defense Research Committee, November 30, 1945
FIRST EDITION of the rare internal first report on the operational ENIAC, “the world’s first large-scale electronic general-purpose digital computer.” This is copy number 191, marked “Restricted.” Inscribed and signed by Herman H. Goldstine, co-author and one of the project founders.
“Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.”GODWIN, WILLIAM
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its influence on General Virtue and Happiness. London: Robinson, 1793
FIRST EDITION. In Political Justice, his most famous work, Godwin responds to Burke’s attacks on the French Revolution and Thomas Paine. He applies the principles of the Revolution to inquire into the philosophical basis of government. Believing that political and social institutions are tyrannical and corrupt, Godwin calls for reason to guide human affairs and advocates individual liberty.
Moby-Dick; or, the Whale. New York: Harper, 1851
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. “Moby Dick is a story of the sea … Moby-Dick is a portrait of the whale” (Lewis Mumford). As late as May of 1850 Melville described this first Moby-Dick as “the Whaling voyage” in a letter to Richard Henry Dana: “It will be a strange sort of book, I fear, blubber is blubber you know; tho you may get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree & to cook the thing up one needs throw in a little fancy. The descriptions are the finest, most accurate and entertaining of any narrative of sea life that has ever been published.”
“The greatest single contribution to logic that has appeared in the two thousand years since Aristotle” – DSB on Principia MathematicaWHITEHEAD, ALFRED NORTH & BERTRAND RUSSELL
Principia Mathematica. Cambridge: University Press, 1910, 1927
FIRST EDITION of vol. 1, second editions of vols. 2-3, in the rare dust jackets.
One of the most ambitious undertakings in the history of science, this work uses a complex new symbolic system in an attempt to prove the logical basis of mathematics from a small set of axioms and the principles of logic. The Principia Mathematica is “the greatest single contribution to logic that has appeared in the two thousand years since Aristotle” (DSB).
KEYNES, JOHN MAYNARD
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. London, 1936
FIRST EDITION of this classic of modern economics, “on which his fame as the outstanding economist of his generation must rest” (DNB). World-wide depression induced Keynes to re-examine classical approaches to economics. Urging the use of a national budget as a principal instrument of the planning of the national economy, Keynes placed responsibility for regulation of the economy squarely in the hands of the government.