“THE WORLD WAS DIVIDED INTO THOSE WHO HAD IT AND THOSE WHO DID NOT”: First Edition of The Right Stuff; Signed by Tom Wolfe and signed by Chuck Yeager and John Glenn

  • The Right Stuff.

The Right Stuff.

Item Number: 4633

New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1979.

First edition of Wolfe’s classic work. Octavo, original cloth with titles to the spine in silver. Signed by Tom Wolfe on the title page and additionally signed on the half-title page by pilot Chuck Yeager and by John Glenn; one of the Mercury Seven. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Kiyoshi Kanai.

Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. "The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing--willing?--delighted!--to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero." "One of the most romantic and thrilling books ever written about men who put themselves in peril." (The Boston Globe). Basis for the acclaimed 1983 film written and directed by Philip Kaufman, starring Sam Shepard and Ed Harris. Listed by Modern Library as one of the top 100 nonfiction works of the twentieth century.