Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995. First edition. Octavo. Original cloth and dust jacket (not price-clipped). Signed by Russell Kirk’s wife, Annette Kirk, on front free endpaper: “With best wishes! / Annette Y. Kirk / August 1997.” Fine in fine dust jacket. Item #65
A fine copy of Russell Kirk’s (1918–1994) memoirs, signed by his wife, Annette Kirk, to whom he dedicated the book. Widely celebrated as a founding father of modern intellectual conservatism, Russell Kirk—the Sage of Mecosta—set out in The Sword of Imagination to describe his participation in the intellectual, social, philosophical, and political contests of the twentieth century. Kirk wrote the book in the third person in order to tell the story of a young boy coming of age in the railroad yards outside of Detroit and maturing into one of the most influential political minds of his generation. Perhaps best remembered for his movement-defining book The Conservative Mind (1953), throughout his life Kirk wielded his sword of imagination to lay bare the conceits of a decadent modern age. The Sword of Imagination recounts what Kirk describes as his “Fifty Years’ War” against modernity and the errors of his age, and it chronicles the many political, philosophical, religious, and social debates in which Kirk engaged his contemporaries. The book also includes fascinating portraits of other pivotal figures of the twentieth century, including T. S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, Richard Nixon, Henry Ford, Wyndham Lewis, and Ronald Reagan. The Sword of Imagination relates the luminous life of a modern conservative giant, and this first edition is boldly signed by his wife, Annette Kirk, to whom he dedicated his memoirs.