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Decision Magazine papers

Call Number: MS 176

Scope and Contents

The collection contains both business and literary documentation of the history of the magazine. On the business side are legal and financial papers, photographs of art work printed in the magazine, clippings, press releases and advertising circulars. The literary history is recorded in the correspondence and in an incomplete set of drafts of articles and poems. Among those whose drafts (holograph or typescript) have survived are W.H. Auden, Stefan Zweig, Heinrich Mann and Muriel Rukeyser. Particularly interesting are the drafts by William Carlos Williams for an article on Pound and by Sir Julian Huxley for "The redefinition of freedom." Klaus Mann's editorials are almost all concerned with the dangers of Nazism to America and to western culture. Also in the papers is the proof for an unpublished article by Vladimir Nabokov, "Soviet Literature 1940."


  • 1940-1942


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Correspondence to Klaus Mann available on microfilm (164 frames on 1 reel, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM30.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Klaus Mann in 1942.


0.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, drafts of articles and poems, legal documents, press releases, clippings and other papers of the magazine which was published in New York from January 1941 to February 1942 under the editorship of Klaus Mann. Correspondents and writers include W.H. Auden, André Gide, Sir Julian Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, William Carlos Williams and Stefan Zweig. Also in the papers is the proof for an unpublished article by Vladimir Nabokov, "Soviet Literature 1940."

Biographical / Historical

Decision: A review of free culture was founded in New York in December 1940 by Klaus Mann (1906-1949), a refugee writer and son of Thomas Mann. Conceived as an anti-fascist organ as well as a literary review, the magazine, from its very first issue in January 1941, was for the most part an American forum for exiled European artists and intellectuals. In addition to Thomas Mann, who contributed articles without a fee, the magazine published Stefan Zweig, Heinrich Mann, Julien Green, Vladimir Nabokov, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger and anti-Nazi English writers such as W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Spender.

Yet a number of American writers, artists and educators also took an interest in Decision. In the issue of September 1941, William Carlos Williams contributed a strong attack on Ezra Pound, who was then making broadcasts for Mussolini. Max Lerner wrote several articles, and for a brief period Muriel Rukeyser was an associate editor. The correspondence contains letters from many others expressing support for the magazine. On the permanent editorial board of directors were Stephen Vincent Benét, Louis Adamic, Horace Gregory, Robert Nathan, Ernest Boyd, Vincent Sheehan and Robert E. Sherwood. At the end of 1941, Decision found itself in grave financial difficulties and was forced to cease publication with the issue of January/February 1942.

Guide to the Decision Magazine Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
March 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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