MAX LERNER (1902 – 1992) was a Russian-born American journalist and educator known for his brilliance as a teacher and syndicated columnist. His Russian-Jewish family emigrated to the U.S. in 1907, where his father sold milk door to door. Lerner earned a B.A. from Yale in 1923, where he studied law. He transferred to Washington University in St. Louis for an M.A. in 1925 and earned a doctorate from the Brookings Institution in 1927. Once out of school, Lerner began working as an editor for the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, The Nation and PM. His column for the New York Post debuted in 1949. It earned him a place on the master list of Nixon opponents. During most of his career, he was considered a liberal. In later years, however, he was seen as something of a conservative since he expressed support for Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Lerner staunchly opposed discrimination against African Americans and wrote favorably about gays at a time when prejudices ran strong in America and other countries. Lerner strangely supported the wartime internment of Japanese Americans and backed an American Civil Liberties Union resolution on the issue to subordinate civil liberties to wartime consideration and political loyalties. He taught at Harvard, Williams College, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Notre Dame, Brandeis University and the United States International University.
Offering Lerner’s “It Is Later Than You Think: The Need For a Militant Democracy,” 5 3/8” x 8 5/8”, 260 pp, in gray cloth, red top stain, titles in black on red panels on upper board and spine in an illustrated dust jacket. Original price of $2.50 on inside cover. Inscribed by Lerner to Jewish politician Sydney S. Spivak (1907 – 1969); his bookplate is on the front free end paper. “For Spiv/ who generally differs / with me on the time/ Max” In this book, Lerner laments what he sees as a failure of liberalism to stop social collapse and fascism. He also had some sharp words about how the “elites” look down on the “common man.”
Boards slightly cocked and rubbed, end papers lightly toned. Bookplate to front free end paper but internally clean and unmarked. The price-clipped dust jacket is heavily worn with a number of chips along the front and back panels and spine. Age toning to the panels and spine, with water stains to the back panel. Very good condition in a fair dust jacket.
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