Lot 302 of 364:
2 inscribed books by Japanese-Americans published despite wartime hysteria  

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Lot closed - unsold
$200 - $300

Language in Action

Hayakawa, S. I.

New York

Harcourt, Brace and Company



345 pages. (8vo), original black cloth with printed spine label, in pictorial dust jacket. Later printing. Also includes:

  • Maki, John M. Japanese Militarism, Its Cause and Cure (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945)  258+6pp. (8vo), original bright yellow cloth, red printed designs on cover and spine.. Inscribed: “To Bob Fasson, With best wishes. Jack Maki. June 4, 1945” Spine sunned, light soiling, corners bumped.

Prelude to his 1949 Semantics classic, “Language in Thought and Action”. Inscribed by Hayakawa in 1979 while US Senator from California: “For Howard Lewis, defender of the faith and keeper of the words. Best wishes, S.I. Hayakawa. Dec. 1979”

Two of the very few books by Japanese-Americans published during wartime anti-Japanese hysteria (see 1943-47 for another). Canadian-born Hayakawa taught English in Wisconsin and Illinois, writing poetry and lecturing on his passion for Jazz before writing this book, which appeared days before Pearl Harbor. Though not subject to internment, he prudently issued a statement condemning Japanese militarists. He did not become an American citizen until 1954, just before he moved to California, where, during the tumultuous 1960s, he became the hard-nosed President of San Francisco State University, his stand against student radicals leading to his election as conservative Republican US Senator during the Reagan era. John Maki was a West Coast Nisei, but he was also not interned because of federal service with the US Office of War Information. His best-selling book on Japanese militarism was “the first mass-market book by a West Coast Nisei.” After the War, he received a doctorate at Harvard – that university’s first Nisei Ph.D. – and became a notable academic in Washington state and Massachusetts.

Lot Amendments

Dust jacket chipped, creased and worn; otherwise near fine.

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