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or Hints on the Social and Civic Relations
of the United States of America

Classics of Liberty Library
Gryphon Editions


Author: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) "was the first important American writer to draw on the subjects and landscape of his native land in order to create a vivid myth of frontier life. In 1790 Cooper's family moved to Cooperstown, N.Y., a frontier settlement founded by his father near Otsego Lake. The landscape and history of the area was to greatly influence many of his most famous works. Sent to Yale at 13, Cooper was dismissed for a disciplinary reason in his third year. Soon after he went to sea; commissioned as a U.S. midshipman, he served until 1811, at which time he married and settled into life as a gentleman farmer.

Cooper's literary career, which covers a period of 30 years and includes more than 50 publications, began in 1820 with the appearance of "Precaution." Imitative of the English novel of manners, this book failed to gain an audience; but his next work, "The Spy"(1821), a patriotic story of the American Revolution, was an immediate success. With "The Pioneers" (1823), the first of the famous Leatherstocking Tales, and "The Pilot" (1823), an adventure of the high seas, Cooper’s reputation as the first major American novelist was established.

In 1826 Cooper went to France, nominally as American consul at Lyons. He spent several years abroad, publishing such novels as "The Red Rover" (1827), "The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish" (1829), and "The Water-Witch" (1830), romances of American life on land and sea. In "Notions of the Americans" (1828) he defended his country to European critics; but upon his return home, repelled by what he saw as the abuses of American democracy, Cooper became the staunch social critic of American society. Such works as "The American Democrat" (1838) and the fictional "Homeward Bound" and its sequel, "Home as Found" (both 1838), express the conservative, aristocratic social views that made him quite unpopular; his later life was filled with many quarrels and lawsuits over his works."


Introduction by H. L. Mencken [1880–1956] American editor, author, and critic. Probably America’s most influential journalist, “His pungent, iconoclastic criticism and scathing invective, although aimed at all smugly complacent attitudes, was chiefly directed at what he saw as the ignorant, self-righteous, and overly credulous American middle class, members of which he dubbed Boobus americanus.

Publisher: Classics of Liberty Library Gryphon Editions (c. 2003) Facsimile. Reprinted from the New York edition of 1931

Format/Condition: New quarter-leather book is in Fine condition.

Description: “Convinced that the American political system was endangered by complacency, demagoguery, party propaganda, and the tyranny of public opinion, James Fenimore Cooper felt compelled to write this minor classic of American political theory. Fascinated with deception, he wrote in order to express “the voice of simple, honest and … fearless truth” on the peculiarities of the American system of government. Among the topics discussed in his 43 chapters are “Republics,” “Equality,” “Liberty,” “Advantages of Democracy,” “Disadvantages of Democracy,” “Prejudice,” “On the Press,” “Deportment,” “Distinctive American Principles,” and “Advantages of Aristocracy.” All are discussed from the point of view of a brilliant conservative thinker.”

This beautiful volume has the hallmarks of the best of the bookbinder’s craft and contains the classic trimmings. Gryphon is the leading publisher of the classic works of Law, Medicine, Science and Political thought. The volumes are exact facsimiles of the original classic works.

· Quater leather binding with cloth boards
· Sewn-in satin ribbon page marker
· Marbleized endpapers
· Raised bands [hubbed] on spine
· 22-karat gilt lettering and decorative gilt
· 22-karat gilt on page edges/textblock [a.e.g.]
· Archival quality acid-neutral paper
· Page signatures are sewn, not glued

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