formerly Shakespeare and Company Books, now VIcarious Experience

True Believer by Eric Hoffer. FIRST EDITION. Inscribed

True Believer by Eric Hoffer. Harper & Brothers. (1951). "FIRST EDITION" stated withy no additio nal printings, and a date code: "A-A" which indicates a January, 1951 printing. Hardcover with no dust jacket. Inscribed on the first blank page, "To Rabbi Saul White/ with gratitude./from Eric Hoffer" - a really nice association. Fairly heavy cover edge wear. Surface wear to covers also. A slight dark mottling to covers which are probably soiling. Booksellers pencil notation on the top of the first blank page. Lower on the page is previous owner information also in pencil. No other previous owner markings. No tears, folds or creases to pages. Binding is tight with no looseness to pages. Not ex-library, not remaindered and not a facsimile reprint. For sale by Jon Wobber, bookseller since 1978. GI26a

"Lili recalled that when Hoffer completed the manuscript of The True Believer he took it to Rabbi Saul White of Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco and asked him to say if there was anything (in Lili's word) "non-kosher" in it. She said that Hoffer "recieved a response that he should proceed." Lili Osborne was a longtime friend and companion of Hoffer's who had accumulated seventy five feet of Eric Hoffer's papers" (introduction of Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher. Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher by Tom Bethell pg 201-202.

"Rabbi White served as Congregation Beth Sholom’s rabbi for 48 years, until his retirement in 1983. He took stands on many major sociopolitical issues of his day and, under his leadership, CBS prospered and became a leading progressive voice in the Jewish community, advocating for women’s rights, the disadvantaged, and other social justice issues. Wearing his tallit and carrying a Torah, Rabbi White famously marched down Market Street as one of the Bay Area’s first clergymen to protest the Vietnam War. But Rabbi White was also a scholar so respected in the Jewish community that he earned the nickname “Dean of Bay Area rabbis.” One of his legacies is the Brandeis School of San Francisco, which Rabbi White founded in 1963, serving as its guiding spirit." -

"Former migratory worker and longshoreman, Eric Hoffer burst on the scene in 1951 with his irreplaceable tome, The True Believer, and assured his place among the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. Nine books later, Hoffer remains a vital figure with his cogent insights to the nature of mass movements and the essence of humankind.

Of his early life, Hoffer has written: “I had no schooling. I was practically blind up to the age of fifteen. When my eyesight came back, I was seized with an enormous hunger for the printed word. I read indiscriminately everything within reach—English and German.

“When my father (a cabinetmaker) died, I realized that I would have to fend for myself. I knew several things: One, that I didn’t want to work in a factory; two, that I couldn’t stand being dependent on the good graces of a boss; three, that I was going to stay poor; four, that I had to get out of New York. Logic told me that California was the poor man’s country.”

Through ten years as a migratory worker and as a gold-miner around Nevada City, Hoffer labored hard but continued to read and write during the years of the Great Depression. The Okies and the Arkies were the “new pioneers,” and Hoffer was one of them. He had library cards in a dozen towns along the railroad, and when he could afford it, he took a room near a library for concentrated thinking and writing.

In 1943, Hoffer chose the longshoreman’s life and settled in California. Eventually, he worked three days each week and spent one day as “research professor” at the University of California in Berkeley. In 1964, he was the subject of twelve half-hour programs on national television. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.

"America meant freedom and what is freedom? To Hoffer it is the capacity to feel like oneself. He felt like Eric Hoffer; sometimes like Eric Hoffer, working man. It could be said, I believe, that he as the first important American writer, working class born, who remained working class-in his habits, associations, environment. I cannot think of another. Therefore, he was a national resource. The only one of its kind in the nation’s possession.” - Eric Sevareid, from his dedication speech to Eric Hoffer, San Francisco, CA, September 17, 1985" from hofferproject.