Gustavus Myers

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Gustavus Myers
Myers-gustavus-1909.jpg
Born (1872-03-20)March 20, 1872
Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died December 7, 1942(1942-12-07) (aged 70)
Bronx, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Journalist and author

Gustavus Myers (1872–1942) was an American journalist and historian who published a series of influential studies on capital formation. His name is associated with the muckraking era of American literature.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Gustavus Myers was born March 20, 1872 in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Julia Hillman and Abram Myers.

Career[edit]

In 1891, Myers went to work as a reporter for the Philadelphia Record, leaving the next year for New York City, where he remained for the rest of his life.[1]

In the 1890s, Myers became a member of the People's Party (commonly known as the "Populists"), later joining the Socialist Party of America (SPA).[1]

In the decade of the 1910s, Myers emerged as a leading scholar of the American socialist movement when he authored a series of volumes for Charles H. Kerr & Co., the country's largest publisher of Marxist books and pamphlets. Between 1909 and 1914, Myers published three volumes on the history of family wealth in the United States, one volume on the same topic for Canada, and a history of the Supreme Court of the United States. These publications were frequently cited and used in an academic setting for several decades, with Myers' History of the Great American Fortunes revived in a single volume format in 1936.[1]

Myers split with the Socialist Party in 1917 over the SPA's position against American intervention in World War I.[1] In 1918 Myers contributed to the American war effort by publishing a book attacking what he called "Germany's Sinister Propaganda" entitled The German Myth: The Falsity of Germany's "Social Progress" Claims.

Myers received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1941, which he used to write a book entitled History of Bigotry in the United States.[1] Myers died before the work could be published, however, with Random House releasing the work only after his death.

Death and legacy[edit]

Gustavus Myers died December 7, 1942 in Bronx, New York at age 70

Myers' papers are housed at the American Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming at Laramie. Included in the 2.5 cubic feet (71 L) of archival material are photographs of Myers and the manuscripts of two unpublished non-fiction books.[2] A finding aid is available on site.

In 1984, the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights was founded. From 2001 until 2008, the Myers Center gave out annual awards for books which are "outstanding in helping shed light on bigotry in America.".[3] In 2009, the year of the Myers Center's 25th Anniversary, the center was closed due to lack of funds.[4][5]

Works[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Francis X. Gannon, A Biographical Dictionary of the American Left: Volume 4. Boston: Western Islands, 1973; pp. 507-508.
  2. ^ Listing for the Gustavus Myers Papers, University of Wyoming, Laramie. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  3. ^ Gustavus Myers Center For The Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, "Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights 2002 Award Winners,"[dead link] December 10, 2002. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  4. ^ Loretta J. Williams, The Gustavus Myers Center For The Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America website, Boston, Massachusetts. Retrieved July 18, 2010.[dead link]
  5. ^ Loretta J. Williams, "With Sadness, Myers Center Closes: Announces Awards for Outstanding Titles in Human Rights," Peacework Magazine, New England Office of the American Friends Service Committee, Cambridge, Massachusetts, issue no. 396. Retrieved July 18, 2010.

External links[edit]