Mumford, Lewis. (1895–1990)

"Until this work is done I cannot engage to go anywhere." - Autograph Letter Signed

ALS from the American historian to Professor Irma Antonetto of the Associazione Culturale Italiana, declining an invitation to speak.  14th March 1964; 1 pp., on personal stationary.  "Dear Professor Antonetto/  I am grateful to the Associazione Culturale Italiana for the invitation to lecture in Italy next winter.  It would give me great pleasure to do so; but the book I am now working on may not be finished before next April: and until this work is done I cannot engage to go anywhere.  I trust I may have the privilege of lecturing before you some other year./  With warm thanks/  Faithfully yours/  Lewis Mumford."  The book to which Mumford refers is likely The Myth of the Machine, a two-volume work tracing the development of modern technology throughout human history.  If indeed it is, it would certainly not be done by next April; the first volume would not see publication until three years later, in 1967.  Two holes to left margin, light horizontal mailing creases, spot of toning to lower edge, else in fine condition.  6 x 9.5 inches (15.2 x 24.1 cm.).

Mumford was a historian, best known for his writing on cities and urban architecture.  He wrote broadly and prolifically throughout his career, contributing to fields as varied as social philosophy and American literary history.

Irma Antonetto (1920-1993), was founder and director of the Associazione Culturale Italiana [Association of Italian Culture] for 46 years, during which time she brought some 400 philosophers, writers, scientists, artists, and Nobel winners to lecture in Italy. She was recipient of the 1964 Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica italiana. (19033)

History & Historiography