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Ayn Rand's First Book – Hollywood Through Soviet Eyes

Gollivud: amerikanskii kino-gorod [Hollywood: the American cinema city].

Moscow-Leningrad: Izd-vo Kinopechat', 1926. Octavo (16.5 × 13.1 cm). Original staple-stitched photo-illustrated wrappers, possibly by Petr Galadzhev; 47, [1] pp. Illustrated with numerous smaller portraits, some using photo-montage, and one full-page composition. Wrappers toned and with a few small stains; light wear to lower right corner; still about very good.

First and only edition of this account of the American "movie city" Hollywood, one of two pamphlets authored by Ayn Rand (Alisa Rosenbaum) before leaving Russia for America in February of the same year and assuming her pseudonym. The other publication was a pamphlet on Pola Negri. Rand had taken a film-writing course in Leningrad and was enamored with the cinema. While ostensibly visiting her family in Chicago, she intended to stay in America and begin as a Hollywood film writer. Curiously, the text is written in a naively enthusiastic tone, which lists the technological marvels and the glamor of American stardom without the slightest critical distance. No wonder that B. Filippov's preface adds the requisite ideological framing: Hollywood as an "agitprop" of capitalism, which exploits its workers and propagates a bourgeois class ideology.

The unusual photo-montage cover may be by Petr Galadzhev (1900–1971). Galadzhev studied at VKhUTEMAS perior to embarking on his career as an actor and cinematographer, creating avant-garde set designs and photomontage works until the mid-1920s, after which he devoted himself entirely to the stage and the cinema. He was a prolific creator especially of photomontage miniatures published in various performance and cinema papers and periodicals, and much of his work remains to be discovered anew.

As of August 2022, KVK, OCLC show four copies, all in North America.

Book ID: 52094

Price: $3,500.00