New York: Orgone Institute Press, 1948.
First Edition. Hardcover. An overall quite presentable 1948 first printing in worn but present first state dust jacket of this inspirational book written by the controversial psychologist and inventor Wilhelm Reich and illustrated by cartoonist William Steig, creator of Shrek, humorously and accessibly presenting Reich's thoughts on societal repression and self-awareness, outlining his libertarian socialist political philosophy, and advocating for direct action as a means of liberation.
First edition in first state jacket with no review for Character Analysis on rear panel or reviews on rear jacket flap. 9 1/4" X 6 1/4". 126pp. Presents nicely in protective archival sleeved jacket. Moderate wear to price-clipped dust jacket, with dust soiling, creasing, and tears and chipping to extremities, particularly to bottom corner of front panel. Bound in textured tan cloth over boards, with illustration in maroon to upper board and upper board and spine lettered in kind. Bookseller ticket of Paul Elder & Co. to rear pastedown. Binding is firm and sound. Small stain to pages 66-67, else pages are clean and unmarked.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) was an Austrian medical doctor and psychoanalyst, whose transgressive ideas about sexuality, health, and what he termed “Orgone Energy” in the 1940s and 1950s resulted in his expulsion from the mainstream scientific and academic world (with his ideas being derided as pseudoscience). Reich fled Europe in 1939 amidst career troubles and the spread of Nazism to settle in the United States, where his development of a special device he called the “Orgone Accumulator” eventually landed him in trouble with the scientific establishment and FDA. The FDA deemed his work a “fraud of the first magnitude” and the legal case against him resulted in the destruction of his inventory of Orgone Accumulators as well as the burning of 6 tons of his books and publications in 1956. In addition to his work related to Orgonomy and sexual health, Reich also eventually dabbled in areas as diverse and eccentric as weather control or “cloudbusting,” curing cancer, and UFO visitation, to name a few. Reich’s legacy today remains controversial, though his work was very influential throughout the 20th century on a number of philosophical and social movements. Michel Foucault credited Reich as being a major influence in his The History of Sexuality trilogy.
FROM FRONT FLAP:
Listen, Little Man! is a human and not a scientific document. It was written in the summer of 1945 for the Archives of the Orgone Institute without the intention of publishing it. It was the result of the inner storms and conflicts of a natural scientist and physician who watched, over decades, first naively, then with amazement and finally with horror, what the Little Man in the street does to himself; how he suffers and rebels, how he esteems his enemies and murders his friends; how, wherever he gains power as a "representative of the people," he misuses this power and makes it into something more cruel than the power which previously he had to suffer at the hands of individual sadists of the upper class. This "Talk" to the Little Man was the quiet answer to gossip and defamation. For decades the emotional plague has tried again and again to kill orgone research (note well: nto to prove it incorrect but to kill it by defamation). Orgone research carries a very heavy responsibility for human life and health. This fact justifies the publication of this "Talk" as a historical document. Very good / good. Item #13022