Hard Cover. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition, first printing. Publisher’s dark blue cloth with titles in gray and gilt, sun and hands illustration outlined in blind to front board. Near fine, with light wear to corners and spine ends, bright gilt, light soiling to top of pp. 349 - 354. Overall, a lovely copy. BAL 11908. The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel, recognized today as an important predecessor to other modern dystopian classics like We, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Brave New World. In the book, the reader is presented with the Everhard Manuscript, a historical document written by Avis Everhard and spanning the years 1912 through 1932. In the document, Avis’ husband, a socialist, convinces her and a few close friends that the tenets of Marxism are true. When Avis and her husband plot a revolution, the government and oligarchy, collectively called The Iron Heel, form a private army and attempt to crush them. The book is famous for having a number of predictions that were correct or close to being correct, such as the outbreak of World War I and the Great Depression. Orwell was a huge admirer of The Iron Heel, and it has been theorized that he chose the date “1984” for his dystopian masterpiece because in The Iron Heel that date marks the completion of the fascist “wonder-city,” Asgard.