Ascoli, Max (1898-1978)

The Max Ascoli collection consists of two series: papers related to The Reporter (1949-1968) and Ascoli’s personal papers. The papers are comprehensive, with an especially large collection of correspondence (the notable correspondents are far too numerous to list in full).

The first series, the files of The Reporter, consists of the following sections: historical file; editorial correspondence; killed manuscripts, with relevant correspondence; research and projects; notes and contracts; libel files; letters to the editor; permissions files; closing files; and sound recordings.

The second series, Ascoli’s personal papers, consists of the follwing sections: manuscripts by Ascoli; printed material; correspondence; photographs; and miscellaneous material.

The “historical file” section of the first series is composed of material assembled by the editorial staff of The Reporter, describing the development of the magazine’s first issue. This material is mostly dated 1947-1950, and includes various proposals, reports, meeting minutes, memos, outlines, letters, dummy copies, story suggestions, records of story conferences, and so on; also present is material on readers’ reactions to the first issue, including letters, questionnaires, and circulation information. This section also includes reprints from The Reporter, including excerpts from editorials on public issues by Ascoli, articles by various contributors (including Jacob K. Javits and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.), promotional booklets, and similar material.

The “editorial correspondence” section of the first series is primarily composed of letters between contributors and the editorial staff. Members of the editorial staff included (at one time or another) Ascoli, George Bailey, Douglass Cater, Harlan Cleveland, Theodore Draper, Robert Gerdy, Philip Horton, Ward Just, Irving Kristol, Nora Magid, Marya Mannes, Gouverneur Paulding, Llewellyn White, and several others; they are heavily represented. Letters have been arranged in alphabetical files by correspondent; some separate “name files” were established for certain frequent contributors, and the collection includes an index to these name files. The files also contain readers’ reports, editorial memoranda, payment orders, expense vouchers, itineraries, printed material, and manuscripts. In total, the correspondence dates from ca. 1949 to 1968.

Notable correspondents in the editorial correspondence include R. W. Apple, Jr., Dean Acheson, Mortimer J. Adler, Brooks Atkinson, Ben Bagdikian, Donald Barthelme, Jacques Barzun, James F. Beard, Daniel Bell, Saul Bellow, Isaiah Berlin, Edward L. Bernays, Homer Bigart, Peter Bodganovich, Ray Bradbury, Zbigniew Brzezinski, William F. Buckley, Jr., McGeorge Bundy, Vannevar Bush, Fidel Castro, Paddy Chayefsky, Frank Church, Robert Coles, Henry Steele Commager, Alistair Cooke, John K. Cooley, Malcolm Cowley, Archibald Cox, Judith Crist, Walter Cronkite, John Paton Davies, Joan Didion, William J. Donovan, Allen W. Dulles, John Foster Dulles, Fred Dupee, Abba Eban, Albert Einstein, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Leslie H. Fiedler, Felix Frankfurter, Fred W. Friendly, Lewis Galantiere, John Kenneth Galbraith, Nathan Glazer, Graham Greene, David Halberstam, Dag Hammarskjold, Learned Hand, Averell Harriman, Nat Hentoff, William E. Hocking, Sidney Hook, Hubert H. Humphrey, Samuel P. Huntington, Randall Jarrell, Jacob K. Javits, Lyndon B. Johnson, Pauline Kael, Stanley Karnow, Alfred Kazin, Murray Kempton, Edward M. Kennedy, Barbara Kerr, Alfred A. Knopf, Henry Kissinger, Hilton Kramer, Hans Kung, Melvin Lasky, Meyer Levin, Flora Lewis, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, Bernard Malamud, Andre Malraux, Jacques Maritain, S. L. A. Marshall, Eugene Joseph McCarthy, Mary McCarthy, Herbert Mitgang, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Lewis Mumford, Edmond S. Muskie, Vladimir Nabokov, Ralph Nader, Howard Nemerov, Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Nixon, Robert Novak, Robert Oppenheimer, Alan Paton, Katherine Anne Porter, Adam Clayton Powell, V. S. Pritchett, Abraham Ribicoff, Nelson Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eugene V. Rostow, Walter W. Rostow, Philip Roth, Dean Rusk, Bertrand Rusell, Jonas Salk, May Sarton, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Daniel Schorr, Delmore Schwartz, Sargent Shriver, Upton Sinclair, Spyros K. Skouras, C. P. Snow, Stephen Spender, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Wallace Stegner, George Steiner, Adlai E. Stevenson, Leo Strauss, William Styron, Leo Szilard, Hunter S. Thompson, Alvin Toffler, Harry S. Truman, Kenneth Tynan, Gore Vidal, Kurt Waldheim, Robert Penn Warren, Rebecca West, E. B. White, Edmund Wilson, Anzia Yezierska, and Howard Zinn.

The “killed manuscripts” section of the first series consists of manuscripts by various authors, with relevant correspondence included. Authors with manuscripts and/or letters present include George Bailey, John K. Cooley, Gladys Delmas, Nat Hentoff, Ward Just, Marya Mannes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Robert Novak, George Steiner, Hunter S. Thompson, Alvin Toffler, and George W. S. Trow.

The “research and projects” section of the first series consists of files on various topics, created by editor Philip Horton. The files contain various items, including news clippings, tearsheets, correspondence, and drafts of articles; the topics include subjects related to the internal affairs of The Reporter as well as topics of interest to editors. Notable items include a letter from B. F. Skinner in the “Teaching Machines” file (1960) and several reports from Cuba by Paul D. Bethel (1962-1963).

The “notes and contracts” section of the first series consists of notes (typed and holograph) by various editors and reporters of The Reporter . Authors include Ascoli, Douglass Cater, Marya Mannes (including several poems by her, written under pseudonym S.E.C.), and others. Also present are several contracts with various editors, including George Bailey, Nat Hentoff, and Henry Kissinger.

The “libel files” section of the first series consists of manuscripts and documentation for articles subject to libel suits. The files are arranged both by author and by subject. Authors include Ben Bagdikian, Douglass Cater, Gladys Delmas, Philip Horton, and Marya Mannes; subjects include Styles Bridges, the “China Lobby,” and Joseph McCarthy.

The “letters to the editor” section of the first series consists of readers’ responses (by letter) to articles and editorials. Specific sub-sections include letters from letters from U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. Congress praising The Reporter (1950-1961; includes letters from Hubert H. Humphrey and Lyndon B. Johnson); letters responding to articles about specific subjects, such as education, urban renewal, the 1964 Presidential elections, Vietnam, China, and so on; letters regarding editorials; general reader responses; and other items. Notable correspondents include Douglass Cater, Allen W. Dulles, Lewis Galantiere, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Alfred A. Knopf, Joseph McCarthy, Richard M. Nixon, Edith K. Roosevelt, John S. Wood (regarding the House Un-American Activities Committee), Of particular interest (because of the large volume of responses) are letters responding to: Douglass Cater’s article “Senator Styles Bridges and his Far Flung Constituents” (1954) and Sen. Bridges’ subsequent denouncement of The Reporter on the Senate floor; Philip Horton’s article “Revivalism on the Far Right” (1961); and Tom Driver’s review of the James Baldwin play Blues for Mister Charlie, which review The Reporter refused to publish (1964).

The “permissions files” section of the first series consists of general correspondence files, arranged chronologically (1967-1968), and correspondence files regarding permissions to reprint articles (1953-1976). Notable correspondents include Henry Kissinger and Maxfield Parrish.

The “closing file” section of the first series consists of files about the closing of The Reporter in 1968. These files include correspondence, press releases, press clippings, memos, and other items. Notable correspondents include McGeorge Bundy, Allen W. Dulles, Jacob K. Javits, Marya Mannes, and Walter W. Rostow.

The “sound recordings” section of the first series consists of seven long-playing record albums: “Author Meets Critic” (3 records, broadcast in Canada, dated 1952); “Fourth Force in France” (2 single-sided records); and “Investigation” (2 single-sided records).

Manuscripts by Ascoli in the second series consists of material in English and Italian. Manuscripts in English include numerous articles, editorials, lectures, speeches, broadcasts and statements (1949-1968), as well as the books The Power of Freedom (Farrar and Straus, 1948) and The Fall of Mussolini, by Benito Mussolini (translated by Frances Frenaye, edited and with an introduction by Ascoli; Farrar and Straus, 1948). Also included is a notebook in Ascoli’s hand (1979). Manuscripts in Italian include several articles, lectures, speeches, broadcasts, and statements, dating from 1919 to 1946 (with one item dated 1979). Also present are Ascoli’s notebooks (1922, 1931-1932) and a partial translation of chapters from Fascism for Whom? by Ascoli and Arthur Feiler (W. W. Norton, 1938).

Printed material in the second series consists of material in English and Italian. Items in English include articles, book reviews and speeches by Ascoli (1935-1973) and articles about Ascoli (1948-1953, 1978). Items in Italian include articles and book reviews by Ascoli (1922-1957) and articles by others (1930s-1977).

Correspondence in the second series consists of personal correspondence (in English and Italian), subject and organizational files, and letters of condolence to Mrs. Max Ascoli. The personal correspondence in English dates from 1934 to 1979. Notable correspondents include Dean Acheson, Norman Angell, Mortimer J. Adler, Bernard Berenson, Isaiah Berlin, Ralph Bunche, Alan Cranston, Norman Cousins, Enrico Fermi, Felix Frankfurter, Averell Harriman, John Hersey, Sidney Hook, Hubert Humphrey, Jacob Javits, Alfred Kazin, Freda Kirchwey, Alfred A. Knopf, Fiorello LaGuardia, Claude Levi-Strauss, Walter Lippmann, Archibald MacLeish, Andre Malraux, Thomas Mann, Jacques Maritain, Golda Meir, Adolphe Menjou, Gian Carlo Menotti, Reinhold Niebuhr, Nelson Rockefeller, Eugene V. Rostow, William Shirer, Archbishop Francis J. Spellman, Adlai Stevenson, Dorothy Thompson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bayard Rustin, Leo Strauss, Chaim Weizmann, and Wendell Wilkie. Personal correspondence in Italian dates from 1934 to 1978 (some of this material is in English). Notable correspondents include Antonio Barolini, Mario Einaudi, Oriana Fallaci, Enrico Fermi, Laura (Mrs. Enrico) Fermi, Nora Kidron, Carlo Levi, Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), Max Salvadori, and Carlo Sforza. The Carlo Levi letters also include several manuscripts, including three chapters and other material for The Watch . The Antonio Barolini correspondence also includes some manuscript material.

Subject and organizational files of correspondence in the second series consist of files created by Ascoli around particular topics, arranged alphabetically. Files with significant content include “Ascoli, Max”; “Bureau of Latin American Relations”; “Committees, Organizations”; “Council for Democracy”; “Council on Foreign Relations”; “Handicraft Development, Inc.”; “Institute of International Education”; “Intelligence in Politics – Running Comments”; “Mazzini Society”; “Mussolini Book – Letters of Comment”; “National Committee for an Effective Congress”; “New School [for Social Research]”; “Political Contributions”; and “Wall Street Journal Letters.” Notable correspondents include Frank Church, John Foster Dulles, Felix Frankfurter, Oscar Hammerstein II, Learned Hand, John Hersey, Hubert H. Humphrey, Jacob Javits, Walter Lippmann, Archibald MacLeish, Jacques Maritain, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Lewis Mumford, Richard M. Nixon, W. W. Norton, Norman Vincent Peale, William Phillips, Abraham Ribicoff, Nelson Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gaetano Salvemini, Carlo Sforza, Herbert Swope, Alberto Tarchiani, and Dorothy Thompson. Letters of condolence to Mrs. Ascoli on Max Ascoli’s death in 1978 include letters from Walter Cronkite, Oriana Fallaci, John Kenneth Galbraith, Jacob Javits, Pope Paul VI, Nelson Rockefeller, Daniel Schorr, and Niccolò Tucci.

Photographs in the second series consist of black and white prints. Present are several portraits of Ascoli, in different sizes, some with negatives; photographers include Elliot Erwin, Philippe Halsman, Lotte Jacobi, and Hazel-Frieda Larsen. Other photographs include family photos and images of Ascoli with various individuals and groups, including Raymond Burr.

Miscellaneous material in the second series includes letters, photos, and a military medal belonging to Enrico Ascoli; a genealogical chart of Marion Ascoli’s family (ca. 1958); personal documents (birth certificate, membership cards, passport, etc.) belonging to Max Ascoli; printed items; blueprints and plans for the “Arcispedale S. Anna, Ferrara”; and an audio recording of an interview with Dr. Bruno Foa and Gertrude Dinsmore regarding the Handicraft Development Project (also see the subject and organizational correspondence files in the second series, above); and transcripts of interviews with various staff members of The Reporter, dated 1971.

Notable Figures
1. Ascoli, Max, 1898-1978
Associated Subjects
1. Journalism Subject Guide
2. Jewish Studies Subject Guide
3. Italian Collections Subject Guide
4. Editing and Publishing Subject Guide
5. The Vietnam War Subject Guide
6. Fascism -- Italy -- 1945-
7. Reporter (New York, 1949- )
8. World politics, 1945- -- Periodicals
9. Authors
10. Political scientists
11. Political science
12. Journalists
13. Photographs