New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1967. First edition. Octavo. Original cloth over boards and dust jacket (not price-clipped). Flatsigned by Peter Viereck on half-title page. Minor edgewear to dust jacket, else fine in fine dust jacket. Item #63
Signed first edition of Peter Viereck’s (1916–2006) New and Selected Poems, 1932–1967, a poetry collection that assembles his trademark boldness, energy, and quest for inner meaning. Viereck graduated from Harvard University in 1937 with a degree in history before earning his Ph.D. in history (also from Harvard) in 1942, whereupon he joined the history faculty at Smith College and thereafter taught at Mount Holyoke College. Viereck was a prolific writer and poet, publishing numerous poems in Poetry Magazine and winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1949 for his collection in Terror and Decorum, published in 1948. Viereck was also an early leader of the nascent American conservative movement in the 1940s, arguing for the need of a new conservatism capable of combating the authoritarianism and moral relativism that had caught hold of the Western mind and reduced much of Europe to rubble. Viereck early found himself in philosophical and political disagreement with the emergent conservative movement then associated with William F. Buckley Jr. and his National Review cohort. As a result, Viereck’s conservative vision was often on the margins of contemporary conservative thought, though his perceptive insights have garnered him renewed attention in the twenty-first century. Despite his disagreements with movement conservatism, Viereck’s artistic voice and imagination were widely lauded, and his poetry was celebrated for its unique combination of wit, spirit, and conviction. Viereck’s is a voice unlike any other, and his talent is on full display in New and Selected Poems, 1932–1937, which he has flatsigned on the half-title page.