The Margaret Sanger Papers


Myers, Gustavus (1872-1942)

Historian and Reformer. Married Genevieve Whitney (1904), two children. Myers began his career as a muckraking journalist interested in progressive causes, particularly municipal corruption. In 1901 he published a History of Tammany Hall which received little public attention and strong Tammany criticism. After several years, Myers' politics had moved to the left and by 1907 he had joined the Socialist Party. Committed to promoting Socialist goals, Myers was a regular contributor to The International Socialist Review, The Masses and to The Encyclopedia of Social Reform (1908). In 1909-1910 he published the notable History of American Fortunes (1909-1910), an expose of the evils of unfettered capitalism. He also wrote a History of the Supreme Court (1912) and a History of Canadian Wealth (1914). By 1912, however, Myers had become disillusioned with the Socialist Party for what he charged was its growing acceptance of materialism and, earning the enmity of many of his Socialist comrades, abandoned the Party. During World War I Myers supported the war effort by serving on the Creel Committee on Public information which supplied anti-German propaganda. During the 1920s and 1930s Myers began portraying America in a less critical light. In 1935 he wrote America Strikes Back, which attacked foreign criticism of the United States, and in 1939 published The Ending of Hereditary American Fortunes.
References: Louis Filler, "Gustavus Myers," Dictionary of American Biography, ed. Allen Johnson, (1946-1958)