GC plus. Harper and Brothers, 1947. First USA edition. Printed in USA. Black hardback (gilt lettering to the spine although slightly faded, small tear on the top edge of the spine, two small dents, nicks on the edges of the cover and spine) in GC plus, no Dj cover. Illustrated with colour map inside the front cover, b/w maps. Ex-Library book with pocket, sticker and stamps. Nice and clean pages but with withdrawn stamps and slightly tainted on the outer edges, tear inside the front cover, a couple of ink marks and small creases on the edges of the pages, previous owners name, city (Washington DC) and date (Sept 4 1947) written inside the half-title page. The book is in GC for its age with some shelf wear. 979pp including folded Inside U.S.A. chart, foreword, list of names, bibliography, index. A collectable first USA edition but without the Dj cover. More photos available on request.
This is another paragraphBook description: The book is divided into 52 chapters, organized by geography. Its geographical structure begins in California, continues through other western states to the Great Plains and Midwest, then east to the Northeast and Southeast, then west to Texas and Oklahoma, and finally to the "new states" of New Mexico and Arizona. Factual information about topics like geography, population, and history is commingled with highly opinionated statements (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called some of these opinions "flip judgments") about United States places and people. According to Gunther, Southern California was "the California of petroleum, crazy religious cults, the citrus industry, . the weirdest architecture in the United States, . and devotees of funny money", and a place where "climate is worshipped as a god". Gunther described Phoenix, Arizona as the "cleanest city" he saw and Indianapolis as "the dirtiest." He called Knoxville, Tennessee, "an extremely puritanical town" and the "ugliest city" he saw. (The remarks about Indianapolis' dirtiness and Knoxville's ugliness spurred both of these cities to start beautification efforts and led Knoxville to establish the annual Dogwood Arts Festival.) He said that the "best beef" he ate was in Montana, the "best single meal" in Milwaukee, and the "best ice cream" in Richmond, Virginia. The book inspired and gave its name to a 1948 Broadway musical revue, Inside U.S.A., that was very loosely based on the book. Gunther intended to write a companion book, to be titled Inside Washington, focused on the nation-scale problems, personalities, and institutions of the U.S. He never completed the second book, because of the amount that would be required and because he could not decide how best to coordinate the publication timing with the quadrennial cycle of presidential elections. A revised edition of Inside U.S.A. was released in 1951. He later continued his "Inside" series with three more books: Inside Africa in 1955, Inside Russia Today in 1958, and Inside Europe Today in 1961. A 50th anniversary edition of Inside U.S.A. was published in 1997 Inside U.S.A. grew much longer than originally planned, which presented a problem because paper was in short supply in the postwar period. When published in May 1946, it totaled 979 pages. The first U.S. printing run was more than 500,000 copies, including 35,000 copies for the book's British publishing house, Hamish Hamilton, which was unable to obtain enough paper to print the book in England.