SPENDER, Stephen. Forward From Liberalism. London, Victor Gollancz, 1947.
8vo. Original orange wrappers, printed in black; pp.296; a little external wear, with a past ownership inscription on front free endpaper, but overall a sturdy, complete and striking copy.
First Edition thus. This is Stephen Spender's second work on rationalising Communism, espousing it as the natural progression from liberalism and socialism. It follows on from and greatly expands on the themes of his first critical essay The Destructive Element. This zeal was to fuel several of his earlier essays and poems, until his eventual disillusionment with the cause in his later years.
The Left Book Club, founded by Victor Gollancz, were a publishing group dedicated to exerting socialist influence and educating about left wing theories, philosophies and politics. It was one of the first such 'book clubs' in the UK, and certainly among the first to reach such magnitude [the club acquired 40,000 members in the first year]. Until 1939, the Left Book club published many authors associated with the Communist Party of Great Britain, of which Spender was one.