FIRST EDITION ELDRIDGE CLEAVER'S 1978 AUTOBIOGRAPHY, SOUL ON FIRE, INSCRIBED BY HIM IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION
CLEAVER, Eldridge. Soul on Fire. Waco, Texas: Word Books, (1978). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $1100.
First edition of the revolutionary Black Panther's 1978 autobiography, looking back on his life in the decade since Soul on Ice (1968), inscribed by him in the year of publication, "For M— , Who worked hard to set our launching in motion. Right On! Eldridge Cleaver 9/18/78."
Eldridge Cleaver broke with the Black Panthers in the early 1970s. After moving abroad, "he underwent a mystical conversion to Christianity after an experience in which he said he saw the figure of Jesus Christ on the face of the moon. He came to believe that the socialist and Marxist systems he had witnessed in other countries failed to deliver on their promises" (New York Times). On returning to the U.S. as a born-again Christian, he authored and published Soul on Fire, where he writes of his transformation. Cleaver joined the Republican Party and later battled drug and alcohol addictions before his death in 1998. First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on the copyright page. Containing 21 pages of black-and-white illustrations. With laid-in typed note to recipient Maria Ryan from public relations executive William Liss, with his signature. Accompanied by copies of two typed letters regarding a September 1978 press conference for the publication of Soul on Fire, from the marketing director of Word Books to executives at ABC.
Book fine; small closed tear to lower front edge of about-fine dust jacket.