Stein, Gertrude; [McBride, Henry]
The Making of Americans, Being A History of a Family's Progress
Paris: Contact Editions, Three Mountains Press, 1925. Tall octavo, section I (of IV), one of 400 copies of the Paris issue. 286 pages (of 928). Disbound, stitching largely intact (last signature detached), partially unopened. Half-morocco chemise and slipcase.
First printing of the first section of the work Stein considered her masterpiece, “the Long Book," published by Robert McAlmon's Contact Editions: “vital singularity is as yet an unknown product with us, we who in our habits, dress-suit cases, clothes and hats and ways of thinking, walking, making money, talking, having simple lines in decorating, in ways of reforming, all with a metallic clicking like the type-writing which is our only way of thinking, our way of educating, our way of learning, all always the same way of doing, all the way down as far as is there is any way down inside to us . . . machine making does not turn out queer things like us, they can never make a world to let us be free each one inside us." These pages are inscribed to close friend Henry McBride, “To Henry and to Henry from Gertrude," with McBride's library label affixed to verso of front free endpaper. Art critic McBride was a longtime champion of Stein's writing in the American press, using his column in the New York Sun to promote her experimental work. Early in their friendship, McBride advised Stein: “There is a public for you, but no publisher." As he foresaw, Stein would wait almost two decades to see the whole of The Making of Americans in print. A wonderful association copy, housed in a custom chemise and slipcase.