Two Cheers for Capitalism [Association Copy with Inscription and Laid-in Letter to William Safire]
New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1978. First edition. Octavo. Publisher’s cloth in original dust jacket (not price-clipped); minor toning to dust jacket, with a small closed tear to rear top edge; faint bookseller price erasures. Ink inscription by Kristol on front free endpaper: “For Bill and Helene Safire, With love, Irving Kristol.” Near-fine in near-fine dust jacket.
Single-page letter, signed by Kristol, with mild toning to edges and neat fold across the middle, else fine. Item #87
Signed first edition of Irving Kristol’s (1920–2009) insightful appraisal of capitalism’s impact on American society. Kristol was a journalist, editor, and political commentator who is often considered a founding father of American neoconservatism, and is counted among the most consequential public intellectuals of the late twentieth century. Throughout his career Kristol edited for, contributed to, and founded several journalistic and scholarly publications. He wrote for Commentary magazine from 1947 to 1952, and from 1953 to 1958 he contributed to Encounter, a British publication that he co-founded in 1953. In 1965 he co-founded The Public Interest with Daniel Bell, and he founded and published The National Interest from 1985 to 2002. Two Cheers for Capitalism, first published in 1978 by Basic Books (for which Kristol worked from 1961 to 1969), compiles thirty of his contributions to the Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Commentary, and other publications into separate chapters that focus upon the American economy, government spending and fiscal policy, corporate governance, and a variety of important social issues. It is a classic work of American commentary that presents Kristol’s prescient and insightful views on American capitalism and the benefits and hazards it presents for American society. This copy is uniquely inscribed to American author, columnist, journalist, and Nixon speechwriter, William Safire (1929–2009), and contains an accompanying letter from Kristol to Safire at his New York Times office address, dated September 12, 1983, in which Kristol laments the delay in sending Safire an inscribed copy of the book (“I am humiliated! Embarrassed! Dismayed!”) and offers to take Safire and his wife to dinner when they are next in New York. The letter, which Kristol placed on The Public Interest letterhead, concludes “Very best, Irving,” and appears to have been neatly folded and placed in the book by Safire. A unique association copy from two important conservative commentators.