New York: Rinehart, 1947. First Edition. Octavo (21cm). Black cloth boards, lettered in gilt; dustjacket; 310pp. Warmly and lengthily inscribed to a young Stephen Sondheim in year of publication: "To Stephen Sondheim: novelist and musician - With all good wishes," followed by a lengthy quotation from Proust's The Past Recaptured. Bottom board edges rubbed; abrasions along front and rear joints (external); otherwise just light wear, in the original, unclipped dustwrapper, Very Good.
Satirical novel about an American radio troupe touring post-war Germany as part of a USO tour, drawing heavily on Freeman's own experience as a writer for the popular radio quiz show Information Please. The lengthy inscription is to American Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, who at this time would have been just seventeen years old. The connection between Sondheim and Freeman is unclear, but it is certainly plausible that they could have encountered one another - either through upper class New York circles, in which both traveled; or through the progressive preparatory school Sondheim attended (Fieldston School); or through mutual acquaintances on Broadway, where Sondheim at this time was working his first job in show-business, as a production assistant on Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro. Sondheim's name does not appear in the finding aid to Freeman's archives at the Hoover Institution.