The Edward Jay Epstein collection primarily consists of manuscripts and extensive research material regarding Epstein’s articles, reviews, and book-length works. The research files include interviews, notes, correspondence, printed items, legal documents, photographs, and various other items.
Titles of books by Epstein represented in the collection include News From Nowhere: Television and the News (Random House, 1973); Between Fact and Fiction: The Problem of Journalism (Vintage Books, 1975); Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America (Putnam, 1977); Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (Reader’s Digest Press, 1978); The Rise and Fall of Diamonds (Simon and Schuster, 1982); Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA (Simon and Schuster, 1989); The Assassination Chronicles: Inquest, Counterplot and Legend (Carroll and Graf, 1992); and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer (Random House, 1996).
The extensive research material for Legend includes FBI, CIA, Secret Service and U.S. State Department files on Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald, as well as reports and interviews with U.S. Marines who served with Oswald and other persons who knew him and had contact with him prior to the assassination. The Agency of Fear material contains a lengthy transcript of an interview with Egil Krogh, Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Richard M. Nixon, as well as the White House files of Krogh and Jeffrey Donfeld, Nixon’s Staff Assistant, pertaining to the administration’s war on drugs. The News from Nowhere material is primarily a collection of interviews of prominent television newsmen, including David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, and Chet Huntley. There is a great deal of material present regarding Armand Hammer,including several magazine articles by Epstien regarding Armand Hammer and Occidental Petroleum, dating from 1981 to 1996. Also present are drafts and correspondence between Epstein and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, regarding an unrealized proposal for a book on the limits of government, dating from 1972.
In addition to Epstein’s research files on the above topics, the collection includes his files regarding other subjects as well. They date from the late 1960s through the 1980s, and include research on links between the Kennedy White House and the Mafia; Vietnam; Jean-Paul Sartre; George Marenshildt; the oil industry; the Vatican bank; and others.
Correspondence in the collection includes various letters to and from Epstein, including several letters between Epstein and his research assistant; these are accompanied by additional research materials. There are also several letters regarding Epstein’s research on Armand Hammer.
Additional items in the collection include material regarding the political science courses Epstein taught in 1974-1975, including syllabi and student papers; copies of Epstein’s will and items regarding his living trust; audio recordings; and manuscript material for The Secret World of American Communism by John Haynes and Harvey Klehr.