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Riverrun Books & Manuscripts

Telex Iran: Gilles Peress in the Name of Revolution

Telex Iran: Gilles Peress in the Name of Revolution

PERESS, Gilles Folio (15 x 10.5 inches). Essay by Gholam-Hossein Sa'edi. 104 pages. Black-and-white photographs. Printed wrappers. FIRST EDITION, SIGNED by Peress on the title-page. "[Telex: Iran] is one of the key works in what might be termed a postmodern approach to photojournalism, where the photographer seems to critique and comment on his or her purpose whilst trying to fulfill it. Telex: Iran is exemplary in this regard. The book was shot over a five-week period from December 1979 to January 1980, during the Iran 'hostage crisis,' when Islamic fundamentalists, encouraged by the fledgling revolutionary government of the Ayatollah Khomeini, seized the United States Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage, in protest at American refusal to return the ousted Shah for trial and certain execution. Peress traveled around Iran, trying to understand both the basis for the revolution and the mindset of a people who were demonized in the US media. His pictures portray not only his attempt to comprehend what was going on, but also the attempts of many of the Iranians he was photographing . Peress does not add traditional, explanatory captions, but instead includes excerpts from the telexes exchanged between himself and the Magnum offices in Paris and New York. These communications, which today would be cellphone text messages or e-mails, give cryptic insights into Peress's understanding of how the story was developing, as well as the practical difficulties facing any photojournalist in a confused and volatile political situation" (Parr & Badger). Auer, 802; Open Book, p.330; Parr & Badger, II:252-253; Roth, Book of 101 Books, p. 28. A fine, virtually as-new copy
A Voice from the Prison; or

A Voice from the Prison; or, Truths for the Multitude, and Pearls for the Truthful

CLAY, James A. 12mo. 362 pages. Engraved portrait frontispiece of Clay by H. Wright Smith. Original embossed cloth. SCARCE FIRST EDITION of Clay's prison narrative, written during his six month's confinement in the Augusta, Maine jail. Clay was convicted in 1854 for "lewd and lascivious cohabitation with an unmarried woman, in my own house" on evidence that "we slept in the same bed." He was acquitted of an adultery charge after two doctors testified to the woman's virginity. Commitment to an insane asylum was then recommended. Clay was a dedicated anarchist communitarian, espousing liberty and equality, and he writes extensively about "free love" in his lengthy text. After he was released from prison in 1855, he left Maine and joined the Point Hope Community at Berlin Heights, Ohio where he accepted private enterprise while rejecting capitalism. 'With Oneida and Shaker communism he found much to agree, but he rejected celibacy and Biblical infallibility. Steeped in the Bible, he based his principles on natural reason and intuition. A perfectionist come-outer, he sought 'to join a community whose interests shall be united; where love shall take the place of gold, peace that of war, plenty of want, health that of sickness, life that of death, a model kingdom of heaven'" (T.D. Seymour Bassett, in 'Socialism and American Life,' volume 1, ed. Donald Drew Egbert, Princeton University Press, 1952, p. No copies at auction since 1922 according to RBH. Prelims, including frontispiece, and last gathering, with dampstaining, ends of spine chipped, hinges cracked but binding firm