New York: The Dial Press, 1954. Hardcover. 566p., hardbound first edition in black quarter-cloth backed green boards gilt-titled in dust jacket, a rather worn copy with a nick to spine panel and light damp-staining to tail of cloth area, dust-soil and more light stain to top edge; price-clipped jacket is slightly edgeworn and has a verso tape-repair to the head, a good-only copy. Note, we have handled two variants of this jacket, this one with no publisher emblem to lower rear flap, union bug at bottom of same and one with no union bug, published emblem to right of publisher's name. This version has no orange in the design, the other version shows the author's name and pentagon shape on front cover in orange. The African American novelist's first book, which he has inscribed and signed twice over the years: inscribed October 28 1954 on the first blank to _____ "with sincere compliments of" and signed as "John Killens," then inscribed again on the front free endpaper to a major collector ("For ____ and freedom") signed in full 5-9-1980. We note that the handwriting has changed over the years, in particular gets more confident.