New York & London, Harper & Brothers Publishers, (1944). Royal 8vo. Both volumes in the orig. full cloth bindings. Some wear to capitals and spines a bit soiled. Magazine pictures of Gunnar and Alva Myrdal pasted on to front free end-paper. Internally nice and clean, apart from traces of old paper-clipsto front free end-paper and title-page of volume one. LV, (1), 705, (1) pp; XII pp. pp. (706) - 1483.
First edition of this epoch-making study of race-relations in America.
In the early 1940'ies the Swedish Nobel Prize winner for Economics (1974), Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was funded by the Carnegie Foundation to map out the problems that African-Americans had to face in order to fully participate in the American society at the time. This resulted in an enormous and very detailed work, for which Myrdal is famous today. It immediately became very popular, and it sold more than 100.000 copies (25 printings of the first edition appeared) before the second edition appeared in 1965. Several other editions and extracts in other publications appeared before 1965. Nine issues of the work appeared within the first year.
The work had an enormous direct effect on the general view on racial issues in America, and it must be said to have paved the way for what we now consider natural policies of racial integration and affirmative action. The view that underlies this landmark work is that democracy will triumph over racism.
The effects of this work are difficult to underestimate, and it not only changed the view on racial issues in America, it also directly influenced the US Supreme Court in 1954 to outlaw racial segregation in public schools (Brown versus Board of Education). In 1950 Myrdal was a signatory of the UNESCO statement "The Race Question".
Assarsson-Rizzi and Bohrn: Gunnar Myrdal. A Bibliography, 1919-1981: No. 127a.