Slaughterhouse-Five, Or the Children’s Crusade.



Kurt Vonnegut.


Slaughterhouse-Five, Or the Children’s Crusade.


New York


Seymour Lawrence/Delacorte Press




Inscribed, signed and dated by the author.

I’ve been collecting modern first editions for a few decades. One of my absolute favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut, and for several reasons. Vonnegut was a marvelously inventive and creative writer, and was an enormously compassionate and civic-minded individual. And I got to know him a little through our mutual connection with an advertising account at Ogilvy & Mather, for which he wrote an article.

On several occasions where I would have him sign my copies of his first editions, he would inscribe and sign them, but he dated only this book. The date was February 14, 1970. Not until years later did I realize its significance. February 14, 1970 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the infamous bombing of Dresden during World War II. Twelve hundred Allied bombers dropped 4,000 tons of explosives, killing an estimated 25,000 civilians. Vonnegut was a POW in Dresden, imprisoned along with other POWs, in the sub-basement of a German slaughterhouse on the very night of the bombing. Slaughterhouse-Five, which some say is his masterpiece, is based on that experience. The fact that this is my only Vonnegut work he ever dated, and on the twenty-fifth anniversary of that event, makes this book especially meaningful to me—and I believe it was for him, too.


John R. Blaney