First edition of The Challenge to Liberty, inscribed by President Herbert Hoover to Senator George Wharton Pepper of Pennsylvania.
Octavo, 212pp. Blue cloth, gilt title on spine and cover. First printing with Scribner’s A on copyright page. Light sunning to spine, rubbing to lower edge of spine, solid text block. In publisher’s dust jacket, $1.75 on front flap, chipping along top edge, bright illustrations, Scribner’s advertisement on back panel. (Tracey, 005) Signed by former President Herbert Hoover on front free endpaper: “To Senator George Wharton Pepper, With the Kind Regards of Herbert Hoover.”
George Wharton Pepper (1867-1961) was an American lawyer, professor and United States Senator from Pennsylvania, serving from 1922-1927. During his time in the Senate he was considered a moderate Republican, best remembered for settling a Pennsylvania coal strike and advocating for environmental causes. After his primary defeat in 1926, he was considered by President Hoover to fill the seat of retiring associate justice of the Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., but in a surprising move, Hoover chose a liberal justice to fill the seat. In retirement, Pepper remained active in politics, openly opposing Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and arguing cases before the Supreme Court. He died in 1961.