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Her Privates We by Frederic Manning


Frederic Manning’s (1882-1935) Modernist masterpiece, The Middle Parts of Fortune, set during the First World War at the Battle of the Somme, and based on the author’s own experiences in the trenches, was published in a limited number edition of around 500 copies by Peter Davies in 1929. The following year it was reissued under the title Her Privates We, with the coarse language of the soldiers cleaned up. Originally published anonymously by Private 19022 (Manning’s own service number), the author was only credited posthumously in 1943.


Despite its vernacular modifications, the book, which attracted admiration from both E. M. Foster and Ernest Hemingway, gives a realistic and unflinching account of both the graphic horrors of modern warfare and the conduct of its soldiers. The story is centered on Bourne, a fictional representation of Manning who, whilst respected and on good terms with his fellow privates, ultimately remains defiantly aloof. Whilst, he expresses moments of anger and frustration, his emotional detachment seems vital to survive the almost daily unrealities of modern warfare, such as bullets and shells skimming past the body, shortages of equipment, bodies ripped inside out and unnecessary military parades that end in death, unwittingly caused by friendly fire (a term that dates from the First World War).


The book in the photograph is a fourth impression of Her Privates We, published by Peter Davies in 1930.The book has more recently been reissued by Serpent’s Tail.


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Milton Glaser


Even if you have never heard of Milton Glaser before, you will almost certainly be familiar with his work. In 1977, on the back of a crumpled envelope, Glaser scribbled on a taxi cab journey the outline of what would become arguably the most iconic and imitated logos of our time: I ♥ NY. Whilst Glaser undertook the job pro bono and has never received a cent directly from his creation, it is estimated to generate around $30 million annually for the New York State Empire State Development (ESD), New York’s chief economic development agency.


Now 84, Glaser is still working: producing the entire visual identity for the Brooklyn Brewery as well as promotional material for Mad Men’s final season. He has had a one man show at MoMA and in 2009 was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Glaser, who has a highly developed social conscience, most recently embarked on a project "It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying," that aims to raise awareness of climate change.


The book in the photographs with the cover illustration and typography by Milton Glaser is a Second Printing of the American First Edition of  J. P. Donleavy’s The Saddest Summer of S, published by Delacorte Press in 1966.


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Galaxy Magazine


Galaxy was the leading science fiction magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. Its first editor, H.L. Gold, is credited with being instrumental in raising the bar for literary standards in science writing by bringing to the genre a “sophisticated intellectual subtlety.” The stories he published were more sociological, psychological, or satirical than purely technological in nature. He also detested the muscularity of other leading science fiction publications and helped to attract more women to write science fiction.


Classic science fiction stories, such as The Fireman by Ray Bradbury (which later went on to become Fahrenheit 451) and part one of Time Quarry by Clifford D. Simak made their first appearance within the pages of Galaxy. The magazine is also widely regarded as a catalyst for the New Wave movement in science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s, which was characterized by experimentation and higher artistic sensibilities.


The magazine’s cover was equally influential. Gold veered away from traditional science fiction artwork, depicting muscular men and scantily clad women fighting monsters. Also, its inverted white “L” shape framing the cover went on to be imitated by several other magazines, including its main rival Astounding.


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A The Day in the Life of President Kennedy by Jim Bishop


Recorded less than a month before the most famous assassination in history, A Day in the Life of President Kennedy offers a a more personal glimpse into the life of one of The White House’s most intriguing occupiers. Although, we are not privy to the innermost thoughts and feelings of Jack and Jackie Kennedy, the minutiae of detail offers a fascinating portrait of how The White House operated during the 1960s and how a glamorous young family tried to maintain a semblance of normality. Particularly poignant are the descriptions of the how Jack played with his young children and the sense that plans were being made for the future.


The Day in the Life format was devised by Jim Bishop whose other bestsellers include: The Day Lincoln Was Shot and The Day Kennedy Was Shot.


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