Moscow: Gosizdat, 1927. Item #773
127 pp.: ill. 18,5x12,5 cm. In original constructivist style wrappers and original illustrated dust jacket with portrait of the author by Hugo Gellert. Near fine, previous owner’s stamp on t.p. and few ink marks, two stains on dust jacket.
First thus edition. One of 7000 copies. Extremely rare in the dust-wrapper.
The brilliant cover design was produced by Aleksei Levin (1893 - 1967), the early collaborator of Mayakovsky and Mikhail Cheremnykh in work on the ‘ROSTA Windows’. In 1918 Levin created the street design for the anniversary of October Revolution in Petrograd, later designed the posters and books.
The translation of ‘The Color of a Great City’ appeared at the beginning of warm ties between USSR and writer. In 1927 Theodore Dreiser visited the Soviet Union because of the 10th anniversary of October Revolution. He had met the avant-garde figures Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Eisenstein and observed life in the socialist country. The writer had granted Gosizdat the exclusive and unlimited rights to publish and distribute his existing and future works. It made Dreiser the reputation of ‘The Soviet American classics’ figure for a long time. In the middle 1930s, he had already turned into one of the most reliable ‘friends of the USSR’. Throughout the Soviet period, his works had 150 editions in 15 Soviet languages with a total print run of over 12 million copies.
Worldcat shows 5 copies at Indiana University, Princeton University, New York Public Library, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania Libraries.