Boston: Hale, Cushman & Flint, 1929. 8vo. 129,  pp. FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. Publisher's cloth, in the original dust-jacket. End-papers printed with hanged-man-on-gallows pattern. Aside from some minor chipping and wear to dust-jacket, a very good copy. Item #12807
First American edition (published the prior year in London) of this satirical attack on capital punishment. Covering not only hanging, this book also discusses methods such as electrocution, decapitation, gassing, as well as failed executions. "The very essence of successful satire. There has never been a more vivid indictment of capital punishment in the skillful guise of a seeming plea for "bigger and better" hangings!" (dust-jacket). Topics covered include "English Neck-breaking the best," "How to make hangings more impressive," and the "Vital importance of the drop," amongst numerous others. The tag line on the title page sums it up best, however: "Dislocation of the Neck is the ideal to be aimed at."
Duff (1894-1966) was an officer in the British Merchant Navy during World War I before joining the Intelligence division of the Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service. After retiring, he became a teacher of languages and linguistics, and wrote numerous books including Mysterious People: An Introduction to the Gypsie; The Truth about Columbus and the Discovery of America and Six Days to Shake an Empire, as well as several language guides in French, Russian, Italian and Spanish.