Sunday 13 December 2009

Book Review # 2 ; Albert E Kahn - Agents of Peace

Albert E Kahn`s Agents of Peace was a title in The Hour Publishers` Pamphlets for Peace series. A small, slim  (16 pages) booklet, it was intended to raise support for the defendants in the 1951 Peace Information Center trial, including, obviously, Dr Du Bois. I assume it is fairly rare, though I have to say my copy was inexpensive (I sometimes think I should re-title this blog Collecting Du Bois on a Budget, as you`re not likely to find any expensive items described here in the foreseeable future !). My copy still has it`s erratum slip (Duke Ellington was listed on page 8 as being among a number of American signatories to the `Stockholm Appeal` , actually called the World Peace Appeal, when  in fact he had not signed it at all. The erratum slip just points out this error).

A point of interest is `How to Aid in the Defense` on the inside rear cover (suggestions include lobbying President Truman and Attorney General McGrath, sending donations, forming local groups of supporters).

Although clearly it is a propaganda piece, intended purely  to support a particular campaign, it is written and produced to a high standard. There is quite a bit of information packed into this tiny booklet, and it does make interesting reading. Mostly, it is concerned with fact and opinion, rather than analysis, but none the worse for that. I did have reservations about  one paragraph, which unquestioningly assumes a connection in a case where a man who had signed the Appeal "was hurled from a second storey window". No evidence is adduced to connect the two incidents, which would seem to me to call into question whether it should have been mentioned at all.

However, I have to say this is a nice item of memorabilia and would also be useful to researchers etc. If you can track down a reasonably-priced copy in decent condition, you`d be wise to acquire it pronto.

Sorry, but my copy is not for sale. In the unlikely event I have any Du Bois material to sell, I will mention it, but at present, this blog is basically an eccentric fans personal tribute to Dr Du Bois and a guide to imformation and items that are around.