[an uncommon "Wilshire" copy] New York: Wilshire Book Company, (1908). 4 pp undated ads. Original dark blue cloth decorated in grey and gilt.
First Edition, Wilshire Book issue, of this futuristic (and socialistic) fantasy written in 1906. Discovered hundreds of years in the future, a 1932 manuscript details the 1912-1918 events leading to the fascist totalitarian takeover of the United States by the "Iron Heel," an organization of industrial monopolies. THE IRON HEEL "has never enjoyed the fame of BRAVE NEW WORLD or 1984 but... it has greater claims than either as a forecast of things to come: the reader of the present knows that everything described actually came to pass" [CGEL].~As a vision of the rise of totalitarian power, THE IRON HEEL... shook the democratic Socialist leaders in 1906. It shakes the modern reader, especially as the first assault of fascism has come and gone -- and like the hydra, grows its heads again in South America and Africa. It is more than a blueprint for class war, it is a dark glimpse of the Gotterdammerung of human society. In it, Jack conjured up from his nightmares his inner conviction that the struggle must be long and murderous before the rule of the beast. [Sinclair]~THE IRON HEEL was printed for The Macmillan Company, and most copies bear the Macmillan name on the spine, title page, and ads. However, a small minority of these copies were instead issued with this "Wilshire Book Company | Clearing House for all Socialist Literature" cancel title page (and with Wilshire's logo at the foot of the spine); however, Macmillan's logo remains on the half-title verso, and their name is on two of the ad pages. (Similar to these Wilshire copies, some were issued with the imprint of Eugene Debs's "Appeal to Reason" in Girard Kansas.)~This is a very good copy (moderate wear just at some corners) of an uncommon imprint. Sisson & Martens pp 123-124; not specifically cited in Blanck 11908. Item #13711