Peter Collier (political author)

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Peter Anthony Dale Collier (/ˈkɑːliər/; born June 2, 1939)[1] is a writer and publisher based in California. He was the founding publisher of Encounter Books in California and held that position from 1998 until he resigned in 2005. The company moved from San Francisco to New York City, and Collier was replaced as publisher by Roger Kimball. He continues as a consultant to the company.[2]

Collier was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966 when he became an editor at Ramparts magazine, the splashy, four color publication that transmitted New Left ideas into the mainstream and midwifed the rebirth of investigative reporting with exposes about the CIA's use of the National Student Association and other allegedly independent organizations that made it one of the most influential publications of the 1960s. Collier wrote about the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement and others radical organizations for Ramparts. He edited Ramparts until 1972.

As the Vietnam War came to an end, he and fellow Ramparts writer David Horowitz became disillusioned when the New Left turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the communist victors in Southeast Asia--the tiger cages and boat people in South Vietnam, the genocide in Cambodia. They began a slow motion political transition that led them away from the Left and ultimately made them, in their own term, "second thoughters" engaged in ongoing political combat with their former comrades. Collier and Horowitz traveled to Nicaragua in 1987 at the invitation of the State Department to encourage the "civic resistance" against the Sandinistas. The same year they organized a "Second Thoughts Convention" in Washington D.C. that brought together other former leftists whose radical god had also failed. Their book about leaving the Left and becoming its enemies, Destructive Generation (1989), was compared to Whittaker Chambers' Witness.

With Horowitz, Collier wrote best selling biographies of the Rockefellers, the Kennedys and the Fords and was called by the New York Times Book Review, "the premier biographer of American dynastic tragedy." He later wrote biographies of The Roosevelts and of his longtime friend Jeane Kirkpatrick. His book Medal of Honor: Profiles of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty (2003) profiles living recipients of the Medal.

He has served as a co-author with Horowitz on several books critical of the left and of leftists, including The Anti-Chomsky Reader (2004). He has written for The New York Times and Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Reader's Digest, The New Republic, Commentary, The Weekly Standard and other publications. He was a co-founder with Horowitz of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.


He was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and attended Hollywood Progressive School. He grew up in Burbank and attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1961 and a M.A. in 1963. He served as a civil rights activist in the South in 1964.

Returning to California, Collier taught Freshman English at UC Berkeley from 1964 to 1969 and again as a Visiting Writer from 1977-81. He also taught at UC Santa Cruz and at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. Collier is a fellow of the National Endowment of the Arts (1980). He lectured abroad for the United States Information Service in 1980, 1987, and 1998.

Collier lives with his family in Nevada City, California.[3]



With David Horowitz:



  • When Shall They Rest? The Cherokees' Long Struggle with America Dell Publishing (1975) ISBN 978-0440993414
  • Second Thoughts: Former Radicals Look Back at the Sixties (editor) Madison Books (1989) ISBN 978-0819171474
  • Second Thoughts About Race in America (editor) Madison Books (1991) ISBN 978-0819182432
  • The Fondas: A Hollywood Dynasty Berkley Books (1992) ISBN 978-0425131848
  • Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty Book and Multimedia DVD with photography by Nick Del Calzo Artis (2003) ISBN 1579653146
  • Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick Encounter Books (2012) ISBN 978-1594036040
  • Wings of Valor: Honoring America's Fighter Aces with Photography by Nick del Calzo Naval Institute Press (2016)


His short fiction has appeared in Triquarterly, Canto, the Seattle Review, and the Missouri Review.


  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy and Family History - MyHeritage". Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "Medal of Honor (Commemorative 150th Anniversary Edition)". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 

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