Peter Collier, Author and Leading Conservative Voice, Dies at 80

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“The vision we see when we look into the glass of Sixties narcissism is distorted,” they wrote. “It may have been the best of times, but it was the worst of times as well. And by this we do not simply mean to add snapshots of the race riots at home and war in Vietnam to the sentimental collage of people being free. It was a time when innocence quickly became cynical, when American mischief fermented into American mayhem.”

Mr. Collier and Mr. Horowitz founded Heterodoxy magazine, which, as Mr. Collier described it, sought to “resemble the countercultural underground papers of our wicked youth — irreverent and provocative and willing to enter the house of power and rearrange its furniture.”

Its targets, as its masthead said, were “political correctness and other follies.”

Mr. Collier and Mr. Horowitz also founded the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a conservative research group based in Los Angeles and intended as a counterweight to liberal influences in the entertainment industry. It was later renamed the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

In 1998 Mr. Collier founded Encounter Books, which has published a range of authors, many of them conservative.

Among Mr. Collier’s own books, “Medal of Honor,” whose third edition was published in 2016, may have been his most popular, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. It contains biographical sketches of Medal of Honor recipients, accompanied by Nick Del Calzo’s photographs.

Ms. Collier said her husband donated all royalties from the book’s sales to the nonprofit Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Mr. Horowitz said the group had asked Mr. Collier if he could suggest a young writer to do the book, and that instead he volunteered to write it himself, for nothing, feeling he needed to make amends for the antiwar screeds Ramparts published during the Vietnam era.

“It was his way of paying our debt,” Mr. Horowitz said.

Peter Anthony Collier was born on June 2, 1939, in Los Angeles. His father, Donovan, sold insurance, and his mother, Doris (Cox) Collier, was a flight attendant.


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