Skip to main content

Robert O. Anthony collection of Walter Lippmann

 Collection
Call Number: MS 766

Scope and Contents

All known published writings by Walter Lippmann have been brought together in this collection. Included are whole books, essays in books, magazine and newspaper articles and addresses. A significant portion of the collection is devoted as well to works about Lippmann, ranging from newspaper clippings to essays, dissertions and books. In addition to written work, the collection includes published photographs, cartoons and other pictures of Lippmann. Correspondence with Lippmann and others relating to the collection (1933-1978) occupies nearly three linear feet.

Dates

  • 1901-1978

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research. Series I-III are available on microfilm. Patrons must use HM 39, instead of the originals.

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

Gift of Robert O. Anthony in 1946 and succeeding years.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in seven series: Series I. Magazines, 1903-1977. Series II. Newspapers, 1909-1969. Series III. Bulletins, pamphlets and miscellaneous, 1901-1976. Series IV. Newspaper and magazine clippings and photostats, 1908-1975. Series V. Dissertations, essays, theses, and study groups, 1938-1974. Series VI. Books, 1910-1977. Series VII. Correspondence relating to collection, 1933-1978.

Related Materials

Walter Lippmann Papers (MS 326). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

Extent

107.25 Linear Feet (123 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0766

Overview

All known published writings by Walter Lippmann have been brought together in this collection. Included are whole books, essays in books, magazine and newspaper articles and addresses. A significant portion of the collection is devoted as well to works about Lippmann, ranging from newspaper clippings to essays, dissertions and books. In addition to written work, the collection includes published photographs, cartoons and other pictures of Lippmann. Correspondence with Lippmann and others relating to the collection (1933-1978) occupies nearly three linear feet.

Biographical / Historical

The death of Walter Lippmann on December 14, 1974, at age eighty-five, completed the career of one of the most distinguished journalists of this century. A writer and political analyst, he was for sixty years the preeminent voice of reason in American journalism. It was an extraordinary career as a political philosopher; “…the lodestar for the ablest journalists of his time, the first political columnist in the modern sense, and he had no peer," said Louis M. Lyons over Boston's public television station WGBH. His friend Marquis Childs wrote, "It is safe to say that no other journalist, author, philosopher, has in this century been so often quoted. Genius may be the work for it, but it is more than that. His scrupulous dedication to his craft, the care with which he met thousands of deadlines, is a lesson which strikes home today."

Lippmann's career passed through a number of phases before he discovered his bent as author, editor and journalist. As an undergraduate at Harvard, for example, he cultivated esthetic tastes, taught a course in fine arts at the Cambridge Social Union, and fancied a future as an American Ruskin. And as a volunteer to help the victims of the great Chelsea conflagration, he discovered the social problems of poverty, bad housing and general evidence of want, founded the Harvard Socialist Club and became a reformer of the roots of evil. But for this he might have been tempted toward scholarly paths, for his brilliance at Harvard drew the attention of his teachers, William James and Graham Wallas among others, and he was selected as an assistant to George Santayana to teach a course in philosophy during his final year.

Lippmann's journalistic career had three main phases. The first and the briefest and least significant--was as one of the editors of the New Republic from 1914 to 1921. The nine years on the New York World (1922-1931) were far more important. There he came under the influence of Frank I. Cobb an editor with a strong idealism, a shrewd practical judgment, and a keen instinct for American traditions and folkways. When Cobb died in the fall of 1923, Lippmann took charge of one of the three or four most powerful dailies in the country. In these nine years on a fighting party newspaper, Lippmann learned to interpret the opinion of Americans and to guide it.

In 1931 came the beginning of the third, longest and most important phase of his career as a publicist with his "Today and Tomorrow" column syndicated by the New York Herald Tribune. On the New Republic he spoke to the intelligentsia and on the World he spoke to a metropolitan audience. Now he spoke to the whole country in over 200 newspapers reaching perhaps ten million readers. The secret of his ability to carry his vigorous opinions into widely different newspapers lay in his expert information, his reasonableness of temper, his complete honesty and his profound attachment to the principles of liberty. His independence was unquestioned perhaps because, as someone put it, “He addressed himself to possibilities, not imaginings.”

The life of Walter Lippmann has been the subject of a number of books and magazine articles, and it seems unnecessary to include a biographical sketch here. The researcher is, however, directed to the following sources:

Books:

Walter Lippmann, by David E. Weingast. 1949

Through These Men, by John Mason Brown. Chapter IX. 1956

Walter Lippmann and His Times, by Marquis Childs and James Reston. 1959

Ten Contemporary Thinkers, by Victor E. Amend and Leo T. Hendrick. Chapter VII. 1964

Famous Headliners, by Aylesa Forsee. Chapter V. 1967

Arrivals and Departures, by Richard H. Revere. Chapter IX. 1976

Magazines:

American, September, 1932. A Man with a Flashlight Mind, by Beverly Smith.

Saturday Review of Literature, January 7, 1933. Walter Lippmann, by James Truslow Adams.

Book-of-the-Month Club News, June, 1943. Walter Lippmann, by Allan Nevins.

Public Opinion Quarterly, Summer, 1950. Walter Lippmann: A Content Analysis, by David E. Weingast.

Flair, January, 1951. Walter Lippmann: Pundit and Prophet, by Richard H. Revere.

Harper's, April, 1957. The New American Conservatives, by Clinton Rossiter.

New York Times Magazine, September 14, 1969. A Talk With Walter Lippmann, by Henry Brandon.

Quill, October, 1973. Tribute to Walter Lippmann, by Marquis W. Childs.

New Republic, September 29, 1974. A Birthday Greeting to Walter Lippmann, by Gilbert A. Harrison.

New Republic, December 28, 1974. Walter Lippmann, 1889-1974, by Ronald Steel.

New Yorker, December 30, 1974. Notes and Comments, by Richard H. Rovere.

Nieman Reports, Winter, 1974. Walter Lippmann, by Louis M. Lyons.

New Times, January 10, 1975. Final Tribute, by Harrison E. Salisbury.

New Republic, January 25, 1975. Fine Print, by Doris Grumbach.

American Scholar, Autumn, 1975. Walter Lippmann, by Richard H. Rovere.

Washingtonian, February, 1977. The Man Who Knew Walter Lippmann.

Gilbert A. Harrison interviewed by Doris Grumbach.

Existence and Location of Copies

Series I-III are available on microfilm (13,400 frames on 12 reels, 35mm.) from Scholarly Resources, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware. Order no. HM39.

Processing Information

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short. - Thoreau

In the beginning there was no plan -- no "plan" at all -- to build a collection of the writings of Walter Lippmann. In 1931 he was just the name of an author of a book, Public Opinion, which had been assigned as required reading by Lindsay Rogers, Professor of Political Science, to his students at Amherst College in 1925. I happened to be one of his students in my junior year.

The death of Dwight Whitney Morrow on October 5, 1931, changed all that. It was Lippmann's "Today and Tomorrow" column in the New York Herald Tribune, dated October 6, 1931, entitled, "Dwight Morrow," which caught my attention as a young telephone engineer working for the Bell System in Brooklyn, New York. Dwight Morrow was an Amherst man, Class of 1895, a classmate of Calvin Coolidge, and many of the Amherst students in the 1920s had met him. Elected a life trustee in 1916, he was lavish in devoting to Amherst the more precious resources of his energy and time, in addition to his own munificence. "It would require more composure than I can muster in the first shock of the news of Dwight Morrow's death to attempt an estimate of the man or a just tribute to his qualities," wrote his old friend Walter Lippmann. And the column the following day, "Dwight W. Morrow: A Tribute," moved me to clip both articles and file them in the top drawer of my desk for re-reading.

Lippmann was writing four "Today and Tomorrow" columns a week in the 1930s on important current subjects which soon interested millions of readers. It was his clarity and prose style, too, which caused me to "clip and reread" for the next few weeks. It was then that the idea of a collection of the "Today and Tomorrow" column came about.

It is just possible that a philosophic thought dropped one day in Professor Geoffrey (Jeff) Atkinson's French class around 1925 led me subconsciously to start the complete collection of the works of Walter Lippmann several years later. The thought was that “the best use of a life is to spend it on something which outlives it.” Possible, but at that early stage, spending time on a stack of clippings would hardly justify the best use of a life. But toward the end of 1931 an office associate, Charles Peter Rarich, Lafayette '27, looking over the clippings one day, conceived the idea of indexing the "Today and Tomorrow" column to make the clippings more usable as to subject matter. It seemed a good idea, and while I clipped and pasted into scrapbooks, usually three months to a volume, Rarich indexed them. In order to make the column complete, copies back to the first one, September 8, 1931, were obtained from the back-number newspaper dealer down under the Times Building in Times Square. This arrangement continued for the first ten volumes, from September, 1931, through June, 1934, when Rarich married and found that he no longer had the time to spend on indexing, and I took it over to the final article 33 years later.

Amherst College entered the picture again in November, 1932, when Walter Lippmann was invited by his great friend Stanley King, President of Amherst, to deliver the Armistice Day address in College Hall on Friday, November 11th. Knowing this, and the fact that the Amherst-Williams Little Three football championship would be decided the following day, my wife Gladys and I decided to make a weekend of it, hear Lippmann and see what he looked like. We did this, and saw Faye Lippmann, too, as she was coming from the balcony with Mrs. King, but were unable to approach Walter Lippmann. The following afternoon at Pratt Field, however, the opportunity presented itself.

Seated at the top of the Amherst cheering section that Saturday, just below the press box, was a distinguished group including the Presidents of Amherst and Williams, Governor Ely of Massachusetts,--and Walter Lippmann. Gladys and I did not know this, of course, and wondered why there were so many state troopers in front of that section. Between the halves, seated in the end zone, Gladys said, "That looks like Walter Lippmann up there under the press box. Why don't you go over and see? Perhaps you could meet him." Over I strolled, recognized Lippmann, and impulsively started up through the cheering section. Stopped immediately by a trooper saying, "The Governor is there and you can't go up," the alternative to giving up on the idea was to walk past the last trooper, then make a dash through the student body to the press box, which I did. Arriving at the top, I stumbled and landed with both hands on Lippmann's shoulders. Not too startled, Lippmann said, "Hello." After introducing myself as an alumnus of Amherst, I told him I was working on a project which he might like to see. He replied, "Fine. Where do you work?" When told New York City, Lippmann replied, "So do I. Call my office. I'd be interested in seeing you."

The following Monday I telephoned Lippmann's office at the New York Herald Tribune and talked with his secretary, Miss Orrie Lashin, about an appointment. Skeptical at first, she said, "No. Everyone wants to see him and he's too busy," but added, "Well, perhaps you can--he was in Amherst over the weekend and it adds up. Just one moment,” then, "He has fifteen minutes Thursday at 3:15 P.M. You may come in then."

Rarich and I were there ahead of time that Thursday and were ushered into the inner office. Lippmann was shown the three indexed volumes of the "Today and Tomorrow" column and called to Miss Lashin, "Come here and look at this. I always wanted you to do this but you said you were too busy.” Lippmann said, "This indexing is invaluable to me and to Miss Lashin in answering telephone and mail requests for dates when I wrote on a particular subject. Would you make copies for me?" "Here are copies for you," was the reply. We left with inscribed copies of Lippmann's book, Interpretations: 1931-1932, which had just been published. A few days later Miss Lashin telephoned me at my office to express thanks for the indices and confided, "You know, the boss said that you would never keep up this indexing." It was in 1935 that I decided to spread into other fields of my hobby which I jokingly referred to as "Lippman(n)ia." It was not that my job in the Bell System was not interesting, or that I had time on my hands. Yet I found myself devoting some ten to twelve hours a week collecting, clipping, pasting, indexing, typing and binding the Lippmann columns. In the early days the telephone business was challenging indeed and the growth of the telephone art interesting. After all, I was present for forty years of the development of the telephone from the hand-cranked magneto instrument through ringdown to straightforward trunking, from manual to dial operation, and finally to ESS (Electronic Switching Systems). To this day the reason for the urge to build the Walter Lippmann collection escapes me.

My first goal was to obtain a list of magazine articles by and about Lippmann from the H. W. Wilson Guide to Periodical Literature, a formidable list going back to Everybody's magazine in 1910. Then in order to fill in the missing items in my collection, I spent many months during noon hours and weekends searching the back-number magazine stores on 4th Avenue between 8th and 14th streets in New York City. In the end, all but three magazines were found, and photostats of Lippmann's articles in these three were obtained from the New York Public Library, thus making the collection complete.

I then decided to expand the collection to include copies of each of Lippmann's books, including those which he prefaced or edited. Eventually all were found, back to the first, A Preface to Politics, and Poems of Paul Mariett (1913). To round out the book section of the collection, it was only natural to search out books prominently mentioning Lippmann, and this section alone contains over 300 volumes today.

It was in 1935, too, that Walter Lippmann became interested in my hobby and began to send me material which otherwise would not have been obtainable. For example, his secretary sent a note: "Mr. Lippmann thought you'd like to have this," a pamphlet entitled, “Harvard Dinner, 1910,” with his speech at the 25th reunion in 1935. His interest developed into friendly co-operation over the years and, of course, resulted in a collection far more complete than would have been possible otherwise. I reciprocated with the indexing of the "Today and Tomorrow" column, consolidating the four quarterly indices into a yearly index and, in 1937, consolidating 1931 through 1936 into one massive index.

It was around 1935, also, that I became concerned that Lippmann's manuscripts of his articles, books and addresses might be handled carelessly in his office, and took steps to preserve as many as possible. My plan was to notify his secretary each month as to the particular manuscripts which should be preserved from the previous month, and these were sent to me regularly, the others burned in a stove which was in the basement of Lippmann's residence. This plan worked well throughout the rest of his career.

Newspaper clippings concerning Lippmann began to pile up in the 1930s, and in 1938 a copy of every news item appearing in the New York Times was secured back to the earliest item (1915). I was able to check for completeness by using the Times Index. This was accomplished with the financial assistance of Lippmann ($39.48). It should be noted here that my hobby was not an expensive one over the years in terms of money--perhaps less than one hundred dollars a year. Lippmann had urged a policy “to do now what you would have to delay doing because of expense," but very few bills were ever sent to him for payment, nor did I make any “demands” or try to see him too often. The collection was built as far as possible without his involvement. An example of this independence occurred around 1940, after he had again suggested that I go on his payroll because of the indexing, etc., saying, "You don't get something for nothing in this world." Again refusing and being asked for the reason, I explained, "Because then you can tell me how to proceed, and it's my hobby." Lippmann commented that he had other friends who were collectors and he did not understand any of them.

Over the years only one suggested expense for his consideration was not found acceptable. When a magazine was located which had an article by or about Lippmann, I preserved the complete magazine rather than removing the article. This was particularly true of magazines published prior to 1930, and with few exceptions they are in the collection today. The proposal was that each magazine be bound for preservation at a cost of one dollar each. Lippmann wrote to James T. Babb, Yale University Librarian at the time, and asked for his opinion-of the idea. He also wrote his friend, Wilmarth S. (Lefty) Lewis, who replied that collectors go overboard sometimes with their collections and have a way of "opening other delightful vistas of expenditure," and urged a veto. Babb agreed with Lewis and the idea was dropped.

It was in March, 1938, just about a week before his marriage to Helen Byrne (Armstrong), that Lippmann telephoned and said he would like to see the collection in my apartment in Brooklyn. He asked me to meet him at his residence, 245 East 61st Street, New York City, and drive with him to show him the way. We met, picked up Helen at her apartment and proceeded to Brooklyn, Lippmann driving and Helen criticizing his failures to observe the rules of the road such as red lights. At the apartment he went through the collection, such as it was in 1938, without comment, then said, "I am glad you have this in your house; if it were in mine, I believe I would feel like jumping out of the window every time I looked at it.”

As the years went by, there would be a reference to something of Lippmann's which required his co-operation in tracking it down, and this was done usually through one of his secretaries. An example was an out-of-print League of Free Nations Association pamphlet dated 1919 which contained a speech by Lippmann on "The Fourteen Points and the League of Nations." There was a copy in his office which was turned over promptly. Another example was Carl Sandburg's book, The Chicago Race Riots, for which Lippmann had written the preface. Sandburg's manager, to whom I wrote for a copy, was unable to furnish one but gave Sandburg's home address, adding that there would probably be no reply to a letter because Sandburg did not open his mail. There was a copy in Lippmann's library which he gladly gave to the collection.

As the collection grew and Lippmann recognized my increasing knowledge of the past events of his life, he began to refer correspondence dealing with his past to me for reply. Usually he wrote the inquirer, "I refer you to Robert O. Anthony (address), a friend of mine who for some strange reason is collecting all my works. He can probably help you." This, of course, added a new dimension to the project.

On May 18, 1940, the birth of our son Bob was one of the events of the 1940s which may be of interest in this chronicle. The following July, in a letter to Lippmann's secretary on another matter, mention of the birth was made, including the chosen name. Lippmann was in Chicago attending the Democratic National Convention when a telegram front his secretary advised him of the news. Shortly thereafter a silver Paul Revere drinking mug arrived from the Marshall Field Company inscribed, "Robert Williams Anthony from Walter Lippmann," and is a prized possession of the young man today.

At the age of two or three, the young man became a problem as far as the collection was concerned. It was housed in book cases on two sides of his bedroom, and he was forever monkeying around in the shelves and handling the items carelessly. It became necessary to erect a picket fence three feet high, painted white to improve the decor, diagonally across the bedroom to separate him from the collection. When asked later in life whether the picket fence had any effect on his personality, his mumbled reply was generally unintelligible to his father.

The other event, in 1946, was the moving of the collection to New Haven, a gift by me to the Yale University Library. It supplemented the gift by Walter Lippmann of his personal papers. Details of the gift were announced in the Yale University Library Gazette, October, 1947.

As time went on, Lippmann occasionally asked for help in locating an out-of-print book he wanted for his library. In most cases the search was successful. Included were requests for the three-volume von Clausewitz On War, Jeremy Bentham's Book of Fallacies, which I located in England, and three books by Liddell Hart.

I am well aware that the building of the Walter Lippmann collection over the past 46 years, and association with a man who lived as long and became as famous as Walter Lippmann, changed my life considerably. For one thing, it culminated in the conferring of an honorary degree of LITT.D. from my Alma Mater on June 6, 1974, in part for the work on the Walter Lippmann Collection and Papers at Yale. Through Lippmann there has been correspondence and meetings with many interesting people. A case in point was my contact with Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd in 1941. In a letter to his friend Lippmann, dated July 17, 1941, Byrd wrote: "I am working on national unity and am anxious to get your ideas. Do you have the articles you have written on that subject during the past two years?” Lippmann replied, "I do not have these articles, but a friend of mine in New York has a collection of them, and I'll write him to see if I can persuade him to lend them to you. His name is Robert O. Anthony, 283 Cumberland Street, Brooklyn, New York."

Lippmann then wrote: "Dear Bob: Here is a letter from Admiral Byrd, with a copy of my reply. Do you think you could lend the newspaper articles and perhaps the Life magazine article to the Admiral? But if you want them back, you had better make very definite arrangements about getting them back." The next day a letter from Byrd arrived, a meeting was arranged at the New Yorker Hotel, the material was delivered personally to the Admiral and arrangements made for their return. Byrd used the material as the basis for his speeches on national unity throughout the United States.

And finally, over the same long period of 46 years, my greatest awareness has been of the understanding and full support of my helpmeet, Gladys. We were married on Easter Monday, April 21, 1930, about a year and a half before I started my hobby, and often during those years Gladys mused as to whether Bob would be buried with her or with Walter Lippmann.

Although she did not attempt to influence any decisions as far as the collection was concerned, neither did she remain aloof. She had, of course, met the Lippmanns. In 1968, when they had moved back to New York City from Washington, D. C., Lippmann asked her to catalog the 1,500 books he had taken with him, and Gladys spent a few days at his new apartment, 1021 Park Avenue, assisting his secretaries with this work.

Lippmann's library in Washington contained some 6,500 volumes, but his New York apartment could accommodate only 1,500. He was prevailed upon by me to give the remaining 5,000 volumes to the public library in Centerville, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where I happened to be president. The story of this gift to Centerville has been told in Jerome Beatty's column, Trade Winds, in the Saturday Review of Literature, October 25, 1969. At Lippmann's death on December 14, 1974, the 1,500 books in his apartment were added to the Walter Lippmann Reference Room in Centerville.

Gladys' sense of humor, too, kept the work of building the collection in perspective. On several occasions her husband found a tidbit in his study, surreptitiously placed on his desk when he was away. Two are reproduced on the following page [This references photocopies of cartoons by James Thurber and George Price]. More than once I have had occasion to say, "Many women are valiant, but Gladdie surpasses them all."
Title
Guide to the Robert O. Anthony Collection of Walter Lippmann
Author
compiled by Robert Olney Anthony
Date
December 1977
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • October 2013: finding aid revision description not supplied

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)