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My Glorious Brothers

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To all men, Jew and Gentile,
who have laid down their lives
in that ancient and unfinished struggle
for human freedom and dignity

Jacket painting by Alan Haemer

A letter from Louis Untermeyer

1948. My Glorious Brothers. 280 pp, 20.2 cm, "FIRST EDITION / Published October 1948", [tan cloth, dark blue and gold lettering]. Little, Brown & Co. Boston.*

Fast on review by Robert Friedman
in the Daily Worker, Oct. 6, 1948

Louis Untermeyer's letter
in the Daily Worker, Oct. 21, 1948

Review by Morris U. Schappes
in Masses & Mainstream, November 1948

Frank Campenni on My Glorious Brothers
in Citizen Howard Fast, 1971

Howard Fast on My Glorious Brothers
in Being Red, 1990

Printing History:
(based on the list in the 1953 Blue Heron Press edition)

1stOct 1948    5thFeb 1949
2ndDec 1948    6thNov 1949
3rdDec 1948    7thFeb 1950
4thJan 1949    8thFeb 1952

My Glorious Brothers
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1948. 280 pp, 19.6 cm, [uncorrected proof, unprinted white wraps]. Little, Brown & Co. Boston.*

1948
(Oct).
280 pp, 20.2 cm, "FIRST EDITION / Published October 1948", [tan cloth, dark blue and gold lettering]. Little, Brown & Co. Boston.*

1948. 280 pp, 21 cm, McClelland & Stewart Ltd. Canada.

1948
(Dec).
280 pp, 21 cm, Liberty Book Club. [maroon linson, white lettering].

"FIRST EDITION / Published October 1948 / LIBERTY BOOK CLUB EDITION / BY ARRANGEMENT WITH / LITTLE BROWN & COMPANY" *

1948. in: World Over, p.4 Dec 17'48. (excerpt from the novel).

1948 (Dec). 280 pp, 20.2 cm, 2nd ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1948 (Dec). 3rd ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1949 (Jan). 4th ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1949 (Feb). 5th ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1949 (Nov). 6th ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1949 (Nov). serialized in World Over : A Magazine for Jewish Boys and Girls Nov. 1949 - June 1950 (NY : Jewish Education Committee of New York).

1950 (Feb). 7th ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1950. The Bodley Head. (1st) London.

1952 (Feb). 8th ptg, Little, Brown & Co. Boston.

1952. The Bodley Head. (2nd) London.

1953.280 pp, 21 cm. [turquoise linson, black lettering]. Blue Heron Press, New York. ($3.00)*

1953.pbk, 280 pp, 20.4 cm. . Blue Heron Press, New York. ($1.00)*

1955. The Bodley Head. (3rd) London.

1957.280 pp, 21 cm. [blue cloth, black lettering]. Jordan Publishing Co., New York. ($3.00)*

(Essentially identical to the Blue Heron Press edition, except bound in cloth, and with "Jordan Publishing Co." as the publisher. Fast's Blue Heron Press ceased operation in 1956.)

1960. 280 pp, 20.7 cm, "Fourth impression, 1960", [green linson, dark green lettering, green top edge]. The Bodley Head. London.*

1960. 188 pp, 18 cm, pbk. A Panther Book, London.*

1966. 249 pp, 18 cm, pbk, Bantam Books. New York. (75¢)

1968. 280 pp, 20.6 cm, "Sixth impression", [yellow linson, black lettering]. The Bodley Head "First published in England 1950". London. ISBN: 695 370005295.*

1971
(nd).
286 pp, 17.5 cm, pbk, Popular Library (445-00343-095). New York. (95¢)*

1975. 280 pp, 21 cm, reprint, illustrated by Sharon G. Metal. Bonim Books, Hebrew Publishing Co. New York. ISBN: 0884827585.

1977. 280 pp, 21 cm, reprint, illustrated by Sharon G. Metal. Bonim Books, Hebrew Publishing Co. New York. ISBN: 0884827585.+

1979. 280 pp, 20.5 cm, "Sixth impression" [actually 7th, unless 1968 ptg was actually 5th], [brown linson, gilt lettering]. The Bodley Head "First published in Great Britain 1950". London. ISBN: 0-370-30216-8.* (front and back of dustjacket are the same)

1988. library edition, Amereon Ltd. Mattituck, NY. ISBN: 0891905790.

2003. pbk, 280 pp. Simon & Schuster, New York.

My Glorious Brothers
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   Howard Fast's genius for storytelling in the great narrative tradition and for poetic grandeur of theme have been engrossingly combined in this epic story of perhaps the most stirring chapter in the history of Israel.
   In the second century before Christ, Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Kings, set about forcing Judea to adopt his false, idol-worshipping brand of Hellenism. Desecration of the temples, murder and brutality were used, together with more subtle psychological pressures, to abase the Jews in the name of "civilization," and to acquire the wealth of their tiny nation. Then arose Judas, the "Maccabee," to lead his people in their need. Around him they united to fight their courageous guerrilla battles for freedom. Simon, his brother, was his faithful lieutenant and the other three sons of Mattathias -- John, Eleazar, and Jonathan -- each played his glorious part in the battles for freedom.
   On the surface here is the story of great battles, of greater courage; of brutal atrocities; of tender and undying love and loyalty. But it is also a sensitive and sure picture of a people and an age, in which the mood of a small but spirited segment of humanity two thousand years ago is re-created with absolute authenticity. More, this is the story of two brothers who shared the same heritage, held the same ideals, and loved the same woman. Beneath the clang and shout of the bloody war lay the dark specter of Judas's and Simon's rivalry, unspoken.
   With this human situation at the core of the events of those stirring and dangerous days, Howard Fast tells the great story. The ring of his prose has some of the awful tone of the Prophets in it, something of the mighty simplicity of the Old Testament's thundering music. But as always, no matter how large the events, his prose has the gentler tone of the artist who loves people, a note which permeates with warmth and affection the human beings with which the book is peopled -- lusty, kindly, evil, avenging, noble or mean. The poetry of a great literature as well as of deeds sings forth from these pages.
   This is a book for those who love the eternal beauty and truth of the Bible, for those who love rare yet universally immediate writing, for admirers of a stirring tale of courage, and finally for those who like to find, in the great events of history, meaning for the world of today.

from the dust jacket of the 1948 Little, Brown first edition


My Glorious Brothers
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 1950. (Czech) (25,000 copies). Svoboda. Prague.
 1949. (Dutch) Republiek Der Lettern. Netherlands.
 1959. Mijn roemrijke broeders: het verhaal der Maccabeën. (Dutch, tr. by J.A. Sandfort) 266 pp, Reinaert-romanreeks 91. De Arbeiderspers, Reinaert. Brussel.
 1950. Mes Glorieux Frères; Le roman d'Israël. (French, tr. by C. de Palaminy) preface by André Billy, Académie Goncourt. 252 pp, 20 cm, Hachette. Paris.
 1994. La gloire des maccabées. (French) in: Claude Aziza: Jérusalem: le rêve  à l'ombre du temple. xvi, 1299 pp, Collection Omnibus, (includes Lew Wallis: Ben Hur, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bruno Lagrange, Gérard de Nerval...). Presses de la Cité. Paris. ISBN: 2-258-00147-1.
 1950. (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim. Israel.
 1957. Ahay gibore ha-tehilah. (Hebrew, tr. by Rut Livniti) 249 pp, Yalkut. Hefah.
 1954. Fimm synir: skáldsaga. (Icelandic, tr. by Jóhannes  úr Kötlum) 250 pp, 23 cm, Mál og menning. Reykjavík.
 1975. Moi proslavlennye brat'ia. (Russian) xi, 258 pp, 18 cm, pbk, Eto izdanie napechatano bibliotekoi "Aliia" dlia abonentov gazety "Nasha strana". Biblioteka "Aliia" (19). Jerusalem.
 1952. (Slovak) special illustrated edition. Slovakia.
 1952. (Spanish) Argentina.
 1969. Mis gloriosos hermanos. (Spanish, tr. by Mario Cales) 247 pp, 20 cm, Editorial La Pléyade. Buenos Aires.
 1951. Mina ärorika bröder: roman. (Swedish, tr. by Olle Moberg) 254 pp, Arbetarkultur. Stockholm.
 1951. (Swedish) Arbetarkulturs Forlag. Sweden.
 1949. (Yiddish) New York.
 1950. (Yiddish) Paris.

My Glorious Brothers
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Book Review Digest, Nov'48.
Daily Worker, Oct '48. Robert Friedlander
Library Journal, 73:1384 Oct 1'48.
"A different Howard Fast from the one we have known. A stylistic triumph and an art work of considerable proportions. Recommended for most collections as of permanent worth."
Masses & Mainstream 1:9(74-78) Nov'48. Morris U. Schappes Fast's Maccabees.
New York Times, p.4, Oct 10'48. Thomas Lask.
Thomas Lask praised the book's "narrative skill and emotional power," concluding that "with 'The Last Frontier' it should rank with his finest work." (Campenni [337])
Saturday Review 31(14) Oct 23'48. Edmund Fuller.
"This is positively brilliant and well worth the price of the book. In style, characterization and its searching presentation of one theory of the sources of anti-Semitism, I think it outstrips anything Fast has ever done. I have felt him to be guilty, usually, of oversimplification, but the report of Lentulus has complexity and penetration."


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