Man's Supreme Inheritance
Published 2003 (7th Edition) 284 pages
This is the first of Alexander's four books. It was first published in 1910. This edition, published in 1996 by Mouritz, has been meticulously edited, with extensive notes, by Jean Fischer. It contains two prefaces by Alexander, an introduction by John Dewey, and the section "To My Reader" with appreciations which were included in the 1918 Methuen edition but accidentally left out of later editions. Ten appendices contain further material which was omitted from earlier editions, reviews of the 1910 and the 1918 editions, extracts from reviews, a printing history and a text comparison table of the 1910 and the 1918 editions. As well as the original photographs the book contains additional illustrations. Foreword by Walter Carrington.
Alexander had previously written and published a number of leaflets and pamphlets about his work and a lot of this material is incorporated into this book. The big difference between this book and the earlier publications is the scope and magnitude of Alexander's vision. The earliest papers are concerned with speech and elocution - "Speech Culture and Natural Elocution", for instance. Later papers are concerning with breathing - "Introduction to a New Method of Respiratory Vocal Re-Education", and "The Dangers of Deep Breathing", for instance. In "Man's Supreme Inheritance" Alexander regards his discoveries as offering mankind the opportunity to make progress using conscious awareness as the means of taking control of one's manner of use (seeing "use" in the widest possible way). He believes that he brings this message at a time when mankind is rapidly regressing, responding to the ever greater demands of our evolving world in ways that an instinctive and inappropriate, inadequate for our current needs.
The book does not contain much practical explanation - although as you understand the significance of Alexander's proposals so you might see the practical implications of his work. For the most practical exposition that Alexander ever wrote, read his third book, "The Use of the Self".