Published Humanitas, Volume XIX, Nos. 1 and 2, 2006
National Humanities Institute
Peter Viereck was born in New York City in 1916. He died on May 13, 2006, at the age of 89 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the same house on the edge of the Mount Holyoke College campus where he and his family had lived since he started teaching at the College.
Viereck received his S.B. degree from Harvard summa cum laude in 1937. After graduate study at Oxford, he received his M.A. (1939) and Ph.D. (1942) at Harvard. He served in the Army in Africa and Italy during World War II. He taught briefly at Smith College and from 1948 and for the rest of his teaching career at Mount Holyoke College. He held the William R. Kenan, Jr., Chair of History. He was a legendary teacher and campus presence. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for his first book of poems, Terror and Decorum, and a number of other awards for poetry. He may be the only American scholar to have received Guggenheim Fellowships in both poetry and history. His prose works include Metapolitics, Conservatism Revisited, and The Unadjusted Man. His most recent poetry books are Strict Wildness and Door.
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