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Usually smaller quaint books that make great gifts - whimsical books chosen based on their amusing titles, subjects and illustrations - or because we simply couldn't resist!

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Rogers, Will, There's Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, New York, Albert & Charles Boni, 1927, first edition, 12mo (5.125" x 7.625"), HB, decorative pochoir paper boards on green cloth spine w/ gilt cover & spine titles; pictorial endpapers, VG- / none. Board edges exposed at extremities.

156 pp., ten humorous illustrations by Herb Roth accompany the text. The celebrated American humorist chronicled his 1926 visit to Europe and Russia in several popular columns written for the 'Saturday Evening Post', which were subsequently collected into two successful books -- Letters Of A Self-Made Diplomat To His President (1926) and this volume in 1927. One of Will Rogers's most famous lines appears in this book, as part of a longer quotation that refers to Leon Trotsky, whom he had tried unsuccessfully to meet during this trip:

"I bet you if I had met him and had a chat with him, I would have found him a very interesting and human fellow, for I never yet met a man that I dident [sic] like. When you meet people, no matter what opinion you might have formed about them beforehand, why, after you meet them and see their angle and their personality, why, you can see a lot of good in all of them." Saturday Evening Post, November 6, 1926

From the unusual double title page: "If you like the following subjects you will just love this text book. Mary Garden, Aviation, Vodka, Bathing Bareback, Whiskers (long ones), Propaganda (all sorts), Free Love, Bombs, Grand Dukes, Princesses and 21 other wrong ways to run a country."

From Rogers' introduction: "Now there has been more said and written about Russia than there has been about Honesty in Politics and Farmers' Relief, and there has been just as little done about it as about either of those two. I should have written earlier about Russia, but everybody was writing, and I thought I would wait till they all got through. They just keep on writing about Russia. It looks like anyone is an amateur in Literature if they haven't exhibited Russia's horoscope to a picture-reading public. More people break into Sunday Editions with an article on Russia than do by murdering their husbands or swimming the Channel. If you can't get into the papers, never did get in, and are about losing hope of having anything get in, why-here is the greatest tip to ambitious amateur literary careers-write something on Russia and you will replace some regular writer that day."

The final page: "P.S. Now I have told you all about Russia, but the best way I can describe Russia to you is, Russian men wear their shirts hanging outside their pants. WELL ANY NATION THAT DONT KNOW ENOUGH TO STICK THEIR SHIRT TAIL IN WILL NEVER GET ANYWHERE." (caps theirs)

A great piece of Americana, charmingly produced.     [Book ID # 2001]


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