Za zakrytoi dver’iu: zapiski vracha-venerologa. S predisloviem Prof. B. Khol’tsova [Behind the closed door: notes of a venereal disease specialist].

Riga: Izdatel’stvo “Kniga dlia vsekh”, 1928. Octavo (20.3 × 14 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Niklavs Strunke; 214, [1] pp. Wrappers lightly worn and chipped to corners; discrete Soviet Latvian bookstore stamp to rear wrapper; else about very good. Item #5855

Third expanded edition (first published in 1927 in Leningrad and Paris, with this Riga edition published the following year). Aimed at a popular audience, the book tells dozens of stories from the practice of a venereal disease specialist, Dr. Lev Friedland, who was intent on educating the broader public by unmasking the causes and spread of the various sexually transmitted diseases. According to the author, women and children were especially vulnerable to the spread of the ‘unmentionable’ diseases and he hoped to mend this by writing a popular text based on case histories. The book was Friedland’s first literary venture and brought him immediate success, with four editions, including one in Estonian and one in Turkish, printed within the first few years after the initial publication. Perhaps because of the frank descriptions of human sexuality, the unflinching accounts of poverty and early Soviet sexual mores, the book was banned in the Soviet Union starting in 1930. The newest edition was published in 1991.

The wrappers were designed by the Latvian avant-garde artist and illustrator Niklavs Strunke.

Lev Friedland (1888-1960) was a Soviet doctor and author of popular medical literature. Initially educated at the Medical Academy in Kiev he graduated with a medical degree in Rostov-on-Don in 1918. From 1929 he switched his focus to writing entirely, authoring over a dozen popular medicine titles including books on medicine for children and young adults.

KVK, OCLC show only two copies of this edition, at NYPL and UCLA.

Price: €275.00