It is always a treat to find valuable rubbish. These book covers were earmarked for the dump, but keen Varilux eyeglass lenses prevailed. As you can see, the fragile stock on which they are printed is disintegrating, but the typography and image are as clear as the day they were printed. The top pamphlet is Karl Marx on The Civil War in France. The cover designer must have thought it took place in the ’20s, judging from the lettering. In fact, the first edition of the pamphlet, just 35 pages, was first published in London on about June 13, 1871, as “The Civil War in France: Address of the General Council of the International Working-Men’s Association.” Only 1,000 copies were printed and they sold out. A less-expensive second edition of 2,000 followed. The pamphlet was originally translated into French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, Croatian, Danish, Polish and Hungarian, published between 1871 and 1872. This was a later edition.
Meanwhile, Népszava (“People’s Voice”) began in Hungary in 1873 as the official journal of the Hungarian Social Democrats, and in 1948 became the Communist newspaper for trade Unions (and still publishes). These artifacts from the 1920s represent its editorial leaning toward Communist thinking.
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