The First and Last Freedom Paperback – March 26, 1975

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The First and Last Freedom Paperback – March 26, 1975
Krishnamurti is a leading spiritual teacher of our century. In The First and Last Freedom, he cuts away symbols and false associations in the search for pure truth and perfect freedom. Through discussions on suffering, fear, gossip, sex and other topics, Krishnamurti’s quest becomes the readers, an undertaking of tremendous significance

 

The book was originally published May 1954 by Harper in the US and by Gollancz in the UK. In the US, it was the second Krishnamurti-authored book to be published by a mainstream commercial publisher – unlike in other markets, where this would be the first such publication. Copyright was held by Krishnamurti Writings (KWINC), the organization then responsible for promoting Krishnamurti’s work worldwide;  publishing rights were transferred to new Krishnamurti-related organizations in the mid-1970s (the Krishnamurti Foundations), and in early 21st century, to Krishnamurti Publications (K Publications), an entity with overall responsibility for publishing his works worldwide.

The book was “an immediate success” and was in its 6th impression by the end of 1954;  a 2015 reprint of a 1975 paperback edition was the edition’s 51st print run.Opening to good reviews, it proved to be a “compelling entry” into publishing, helping to establish Krishnamurti as a viable author in the commercial publishing arena.

Unlike the editions of the 1950s and 60s, later editions of the work (such as one listed below), included a variety of Krishnamurti photographs on the front cover. A digital edition in several e-bookformats was first published by HarperCollins e-Books in 2010 (see § Select editions).

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Description

The First and Last Freedom is a book by 20th-century Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986).

Originally published 1954 with a comprehensive foreword by Aldous Huxley, it was instrumental in broadening Krishnamurti’s audience and exposing his ideas. It was one of the first Krishnamurti titles in the world of mainstream, commercial publishing, where its success helped establish him as a viable author.

The book also established a format frequently used in later Krishnamurti publications, in which he presents his ideas on various interrelated issues, followed by discussions with one or more participants. As of 2015, the work had had several editions in print and digital media.

Krishnamurti was born in India. In early adolescence he had a chance encounter with prominent occultist and theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater in the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a ‘vehicle’ for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the Order of the Star in the East, an organisation that had been established to support it.

Krishnamurti said he had no allegiance to any nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals. He wrote many books, among them The First and Last Freedom,

The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti’s Notebook. Many of his talks and discussions have been published. His last public talk was in Madras, India, in January 1986, a month before his death at his home in Ojai, California.

His supporters — working through non-profit foundations in India, Great Britain and the United States — oversee several independent schools based on his views on education.

They continue to transcribe and distribute his thousands of talks, group and individual discussions, and writings by use of a variety of media formats and languages.