Guide to the Eugene Lyons Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Lyons, Eugene, 1898-
Title: Eugene Lyons papers
Dates: 1929-1964 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3.0 linear feet (2 containers)
Collection Number: Coll 117
Summary: Eugene Lyons (1898- ) was a newspaperman, foreign correspondent, editor, radio commentator and a political writer. The collection includes manuscripts, publications and letters.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Eugene Lyons has been a newspaperman, foreign correspondent, editor, radio commentator, and a prolific political writer. He has corresponded with many of the prominent people responsible for major historical events in the twentieth century, and has dedicated himself to a lifetime of studies of Soviet affairs, the U.S.S.R., and communism. At first sympathetic to the "communist experiment," Lyons later turned fervently against it. He has written and lectured extensively on the Soviet system and world communism.

Lyons was born in Uzlain, Russia, on July 1, 1898, to Nathan and Minnie (Privin) Lyons. In 1907 he came to the United States. He attended the College of the City of New York in 1916-17, and Columbia University in 1917. In 1918, he joined the U.S. Army.

His career as a journalist began in 1919 as a reporter and editor for several eastern papers. In 1924, he received a position with the Tass News Agency offices in New York as either an editor or assistant director, depending upon the reference work cited.

In 1928, he was hired as a foreign correspondent for United Press and was stationed in Moscow. During this assignment he became the first foreign reporter granted an interview with Joseph Stalin. His experiences during this period are related in his book, Assignment in Utopia, published late in 1937.

During the war years (1939-1944) Lyons was the editor for The American Mercury in New York. In 1945 he initiated and served as the first editor for The Pageant; and in 1946, he was offered a post on the editorial staff of Reader's Digest where he remained until his retirement in 1968.

In his other activities, he helped found and served as the first president for the American Committee for the Liberation of Peoples of Russia (known later as the Radio Liberty Committee), was among the founding members and the second president (1939-1940) of the Overseas Press Club and was a member of the Dutch Treat Club. Lyons currently resides in New York.

Content Description

The collection consists primarily of manuscripts of published works, such as Assignment In Utopia, Our Secret Allies, and biographies of Herbert Hoover and David Sarnoff. The four folders of letters in the collection include those from prominent people, such as Major Semyon Budenni (a hero of the Russian revolution), Cecil B. deMille, Lewis Gannett, Sir Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Joseph Stalin, and Harry Truman. Most of the correspondence, however, is of the nature of "fan" letters from readers of Assignment In Utopia. Of special interest is an original typed and corrected copy of an interview of Joseph Stalin by Lyons, dated November 22, 1930 and signed by Stalin.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Eugene Lyons Papers, Coll 117, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Manuscripts and books

Series: Letters received, and mementos

Series: Addenda

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by processing staff, September 2006.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Manuscripts and books
1 Assignment in Utopia. Published by Harcourt, Brace. Carbon of original draft. Unconnected. 1937
1 David Sarnoff. Published by Harper & Row. Photocopy of final corrected copy. Galley proof, corrected. Page proof, corrected. 1966
1 Herbert Hoover. Published by Doubleday. Original draft, revised and corrected. Printer's copy, "with original title : The Many Lives of Herbert Hoover. (Box 2) 1964
1 Our Secret Allies. Published by Duell, Sloane & Pearce. Top carbon of final draft, corrected. 1953

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Letters received, and mementos
General file
2 Abbott, Leonard D. 1938
2 Anderson, Sherwood 1939
2 Atherton, Gertrude 1941
2 Atlantic Monthly. (Joseph Barber, Jr.) 1937, 1938
2 Baruch, Bernard 1940
2 Berle, A. A. 1939
2 Brittain, Vera 1957
2 Broome County Communist Party undated
2 Bullitt, William C. 1937
2 Cahan, Abraham 1938
2 Chamberlin, William H. 1938
2 Churchill, Winston. (telegram) 1940
2 Colby, Bainbridge 1936
2 Cosmopolitan Magazine (Harry Burton) undated
2 Cromwell, James 1937
2 Gushing, Richard Cardinal 1966
2 Dabney, Virginius 1936
2 DeMille, Cecil B. 1937
2 Drum, Hugh A. 1940
2 Elkin, Samuel 1938
2 Florinsky, Michael T. 1937
2 Gannett, Lewis 1935
2 Gantt, W. Horsley 1938
2 Goldman, Emma 1938
2 Harrison, Henriette K. 1938
2 Hatfield, Mark 1965
2 Holmes, John Haynes 1937
2 Hoover, Allan 1964
2 Hopkins, Harry 1940
2 Hopkins, John Henry 1938
2 Hull, Cordell 1937
2 Kirchvrey, Freda 1938
2 Lamont, Corliss. (statement by Lyons on Lament) 1941
2 Lausche, Frank J. 1959
2 Lewis, Sinclair 1940
2 Link, George B. 1938
2 Lockhart, Bruce 1940
2 Muni, Paul 1938
2 Muste, A. J. 1937
2 Newman, H. Macklin 1937
2 Nixon, Richard M. 1948
2 Oppenheimer, George 1934
2 (Romanoff), Grand Duchess Marie 1941
2 Schuster, M. Lincoln 1937
2 Scott, Evelyn 1938
2 Sinclair, Upton 1938
2 Stolberg, Ben 1938
2 Stotesberg, Eva. 1938
2 Strauss, Lewis L. 1947; 1964; 1965
2 Tresca, Carlo 1943
2 Truman, Harry 1964
2 Tsiang, Tingfu 1958
2 White, William A. 1937
2 Wilson, Edmund 1938
Special File
2 Hoover, Herbert -- Letters received.
24.0 letters
Typed, signed, and 1 card, autograph note, signed.
2 Stalin, Joseph
Typed letter, signed, Nov. 26, 1929. -- Original typed and corrected copy of interview, Lyons and Stalin. Signed by Stalin.
November 22, 1930
2 Budenni, (Marshal) Semion M. Autographed, signed letter to Lyons. undated
Special File
2 Menu of dinner given by American correspondents for Soviet Ambassador Troyanovsky. Autographed by guests, including Harpo Marx, Louis Fischer, Bella Rodman, TF. H. Charaberlin, Linton Tells, Spencer Williams, Eugene Lyons. December 4, 1933
2 Russian press identification pass issued to Eugene Lyons 1933

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2 2 David Sarnoff, a Biography, Harper & Row, Printer's copy, original, carbon, photocopy. 587 1966
2 Workers1 paradise lost, fifty years of Soviet communism: a balance sheet, H.T., Funk & Wagnalls,. Final corrected copy, photocopy, carbon, original 1967
2 Our Secret Allies. Published by Duell, Sloane & Pearce 1953
2 Eisenhower, Dwight David to Eugene Lyons.. 1 letter September 1, 1964
2 Fast, Howard to Eugene Lyons. 2 letters February 13, 1958, March 4, 1958

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  • Personal Names :
  • Budennyi, S. M. (Semen Mikhailovich), 1883-1973
  • Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
  • Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964--Biography
  • Lyons, Eugene, 1898---Correspondence
  • Sarnoff, David, 1891-1971--Biography
  • Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953
  • Subject Terms :
  • Anti-communist movements--United States
  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Communism--History--20th century
  • Conservatism
  • Conservatives--United States
  • Foreign correspondents--United States

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