First Edition Points and Criteria for The City Boy

Year Published: 1948
Author Last Name: Wouk
Author First Name: Herman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Original Price: $2.95
Pages: 306

Copyright page has 7 lines of text on the top, including a line that says "COPYRIGHT, 1948, BY HERMAN WOUK". Copyright page also has two lines of text on the bottom stating that the book was manufactured by "AMERICAN BOOK-STRATFORD PRESS, INC., NEW YORK". There are no dates other than 1948, and no references to subsequent printings. Binding is red with author's initials in gold on the front. The spine has title, author, and publisher in gold, with the title printed over a black rectangular box. Photo of the author on the back of the dust jacket above a brief bio.

There has been a question whether this book is called "The City Boy" or just plain "City Boy". The short answer is that it was originally published as "The City Boy", but was truncated 21 years later to "City Boy".

To provide a bit more detail: The title page on the first edition states the full name as "The City Boy", with the subtitle: "The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder and His Cousin, Cliff". Subsequent printings of the book retained "The" in the "The City Boy" until 1969 when a Twentieth Anniversary Edition was issued. From that point forward it was simply called "City Boy" and the subtitle was shortened to "The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder". It is also interesting to note that the Twentieth Anniversary Edition was actually published 21 years after the orginal 1948 publication.

The way the book is referenced in The Caine Mutiny suggests that there was some early rethinking (or conflicting opinions) about whether the book title should have been shortened to "City Boy". Early printings of The Caine Mutiny refer to "The City Boy" in the book, but use simply "City Boy" on the back dust jacket flap. However the back panelof The Caine Mutiny first issue dust jacket had "The City Boy", which was quickly changed to "City Boy" in alignment with the back flap.

Also, in a preface to a 2004 edition of City Boy, the author states that "City Boy, my second novel, was published in 1948." He then continues, "...my working title for City Boy was Tom of the Bronx". This suggests to us that he thought of the book as the shorter "City Boy", and that leads us to speculate that the author might have originally wanted the book to be called "City Boy", but the publisher called it "The City Boy". The idea of siting "The City Boy" in The Caine Mutiny book and "City Boy" on its accompanying dust jacket may have been a compromise to address this possible conflict.

Picture of the 1948 first edition dust jacket for The City Boy.
Picture of the 1948 first edition dust jacket for The City Boy.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for The City Boy.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The City Boy.

Picture of dust jacket where original $2.95 price is found for The City Boy.
Picture of dust jacket where original $2.95 price is found for The City Boy.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The City Boy.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The City Boy.

Picture of the first edition Simon and Schuster boards for The City Boy.
Picture of the first edition Simon and Schuster boards for The City Boy.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The City Boy.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The City Boy.

Picture of the first edition title page for The City Boy.
Picture of the first edition title page for The City Boy.



Other first edition points for books by Herman Wouk include: The Caine Mutiny.

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.