THE CAREER OF ONE OF AMERICA’S GREAT LITERARY GENIUSES came to an abrupt end, for all intents and purposes, when he earned the ire of President Franklin D. Roosevelt by speaking out against the involvement of America in the genocidal conflict known as World War II.
For daring to stand up to the warmongers, he was locked up, charged with sedition, defamed and nearly erased from history. But the name of patriot George Sylvester Viereck is one that should be known by all peace-loving Americans, not just afficionados of mid-20th-century literature.
By Marc Roland. Not that anyone much noticed, but American literature died on July 31, 2012. To be sure, its moribund condition had been preceded decades before the death three years ago of Gore Vidal, generally recognized as the last representative of a literary heritage going back to Washington Irving and Mark Twain. That cultural continuity ended with him not merely because no one measured up as Vidal’s successor. Until 30 or 40 years ago, millions of readers in the United States could still anticipate the publication of works like his Burr or Lincoln as widely heralded literary milestones. [Read the entire article as a PDF]
The Barnes Review, September/October 2015: George Viereck: Literary Martyr