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Interesting circa 1965 Edition of the Famous 1940 Pictorial Map of the United States Urging National Unity and Warning Against the Dangers of Fascism. An Example of Which Was Once Owned and Annotated by Langston Hughes.

Large, attractive pictorial map of the United States by illustrator Emma Bourne, produced in the lead-up to the American entry into World War II by the New York City-based Council Against Intolerance in America, here republished in the late 1960s by the Council for American Unity.

The map depicts the great ethnic and religious diversity of the United States. It is filled with illustrations of people at work, harvesting, manufacturing, and building. Across each American region, a ribbon is unwound, and on it is written the countries from which the local population came. Next to each of the nationalities is a symbol for their respective religions (Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, etc.) In the lower left is a breakdown of the populations of these religious groups.

The map also includes a list of famous Americans in the fields of Literature, Science, Industry, and The Arts, and the ethnicity of the famous people listed.

A large illustration of the head of a Native American off the coast of Florida bears the caption, “With the exception of the Indian all Americans or their forefathers came here from other countries. This map shows where they live, what they do, and what their religion is."

Yale University owns an example of the map from Langston Hughes' papers, in which he has annotated it with commentary.

The Council Against Intolerance in America

In their write up of the map, Slate Magazine notes of the Council:

The Council Against Intolerance, a New York group active from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, was founded by left-leaning Jewish author James Waterman Wise. Wise is notable for having warned of the dangers of Nazism in several books as early as 1933.

The Council’s educational department printed teachers’ manuals and books to be used in adult reading groups. The group’s rhetoric was pro-American, arguing in its materials that prejudice would undermine national unity in a time of war.

Later Edition

In this edition, the lower right corner has been changed. It now reads: "Issued by | Council For American Unity | 79 Madison Ave.        New York 10, N.Y."

Furthermore, the religious populations have been updated considerably, in some cases doubling, e.g., Jewish has risen from 2.9 million to 5.6 million. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, this corresponds with the American Jewish population in the 1960s or 1970s.

The Council for American Unity is associated with 79 Madison mostly in the mid-to-late 1960s.


A wonderful pictorial map reflective of the American spirit and the political issues 

The map is quite popular online, having been written up on Slate (as linked above), Atlas Obscura, and Aleteia, among other places.

Condition Description
Mounted on poster linen. A little faint in the center of the map.
Hornsby, Stephen J. Picturing America: the Golden Age of Pictorial Maps, p. 78 and Plate 19. Rumsey 8212.