Description

    Nikita Khrushchev Signed Copy of Pope John XXIII Papal Encyclical. 24 pages, 8.75" x 13", April 11, 1963, signed by Khrushchev on the title page adding the date "12/IV - 1963" (April 12, 1963). Accompanied by a handwritten note from Norman Cousins signed,"C" (6" x 5") and dated August 1982, explaining its provenance: "This is the original of the title page of the Encyclical Pacem in Terris by Pope John XXIII, translated into Russian by the Vatican, which I delivered to Khruschev [sic], at the request of the Pope, several days before it was made public. Khruschev [sic] signed the first page (upper left) and gave it to me. I am glad you asked me to identify it. It is not without historical value."

    Pope John XXIII had given Cousins an advance copy of his Encyclical, which he had translated into Russian for the sole purpose of presenting it to Khrushchev. Cousins describes the moment he presented the Encyclical to Khrushchev in his book, The Improbable Triumvirate. Cousins' mission, as directed by President Kennedy, had been to clarify the United States' position on the nuclear test ban and to erase any misunderstanding that the Soviets may have had.

    Also included are three pages of a retained copy of the memorandum on Cousins' mission to Rome and Moscow, written by Cousins at the request of Father Morlion. Cousins notes in this memorandum the role the Encyclical played in the negotiations: "The next visit to Moscow would be concerned with the readiness Khrushchev to accept some of the main principles contained in Pacem in Terris relating to the peace."

    The full title of the encyclical, when translated into English is On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity and Liberty. The document speaks to the Vatican's reactions to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War. It was also the first encyclical in history in which a Pope addressed all mankind instead of solely Catholics. The lot includes and original, period copy of the Encyclical; but we cannot be certain if it is the copy that was given to Khrushchev, or if it is a second copy that Cousins "married" with the title page Khrushchev signed for him. We do know, that this copy originates from the Vatican and is from the same issue as the copy that Cousins presented to Khrushchev. Ex. Norman Cousins Estate.

    Condition: Lightly toned, with all pages having staple holes at top left corner, else good condition.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
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