Vanguard Books

Vanguard Press (New York, US)
Series dates: 1926-1950
Size: 4″ x 7″

vanguard_logoThe Vanguard Press was a venerable US publisher (1926-1988) of left-leaning and radical books. “The May 1926 meeting of the directors of the American Fund for Public Service, better known as the Garland Fund, allocated $100,000 to establish the Vanguard Press. The new publisher was intended to reissue left-wing classics at an affordable cost and to provide an outlet for the publication of new titles otherwise deemed “unpublishable” by the commercial press of the day.” (source) What would be more appropriate than a working guy carrying a sledgehammer and reading a book from the Vanguard Books series?

Jackets are simple and bold with black stripes across the deep red paper. This copy of #119 in the series, Hedges’ Dan Minturn (“A novel describing the clash of temperaments that comes when a young radical labor leader marries out of his class”) is from the first year of the Vanguard Press and their Vanguard Books series (1927).

The price (.75 cents) is printed on the jacket spine along with a publisher’s logo. The front of the jacket provides a blurb for the book. The front jacket advertises a related series (on American Imperialism) and continues the catalog of Vanguard Books from the back of the jacket.


The list of titles, numbered in series, is broken into sections including Social Science Classics, Current Questions, Studies of Soviet Russia, Social Philosophy, Educational Outlines, Great Books Made Easy, and Fiction and Biography.


The book’s binding is yellow cloth with a series logo and typography in black. There is no mention of the book being part of the Vanguard Books series on or in the book itself.


Endpapers are illustrated – “The Vanguard of Thought for the Vanguard of Humanity.”


The title page mimics components of the front of the jacket.


Printing and copyright information is included on the back of the title page.