University of Minnesota

Adamic, Louis, Papers

Finding Aid

VITRAGE

IHRC

Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Federal Bureau of Investigation (U.S.)
Dates: 1941-1958
Abstract: The Louis Adamic collection (1941-1958), consists of photocopies of FBI files concerning Adamic obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit filed in 1986. There are several distinct components to the collection: Returned Referrals (Army, CIA, USPS); Bufile 100-1987; Bufile 100-63670 (Parts I and II); and Adamic Material from the Silvermaster File. Many documents in the collection are heavily redacted (blacked-out).
Quantity: 5 lin.in.
Language: English
Collection ID: IHRC95

PROVENANCE

Collection acquired from Leland Anderson of Denver, Colorado in 1991.

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Louis Adamic, one of the best-known ethnic American authors of the twentieth century, was born in 1898 in Slovenia. He immigrated to the United States in 1913, and worked at various jobs throughout the 1920s. By the end of that decade, his writings were getting more exposure; by 1930 he had placed eight pieces in Mencken’s “American Mercury.” He also began to publish books, such as “Dynamite” (1930), on labor violence in America; and “Laughing in the Jungle” (1932), an autobiography. His “The Native’s Return” (1934), about a trip he made back to Yugoslavia, won him wide acclaim and led to his being appointed to the Executive Board of the Foreign Language Information Service. Adamic stayed with the organization as it became on Council for American Unity, and was active in the publishing of the periodical, “Common Ground,” which sought to integrate immigrant groups into American society without the chauvinism that had traditionally accompanied this process. His publishing successes continued with “My America” (1938); “From Many Lands” (1940); “Two-Way Passage” (1942); “What’s Your Name?” (1942); “My Native Land” (1943); and “A Nation of Nations” (1945). Adamic’s politics, firmly on the left, were always contraversial. His membership during the 1930s and 1940s in a multitude of “Popular Front” organizations, with known Communist membership and sympathies, brought him under the surveillance of the FBI and other intelligence agencies. In 1943, Adamic founded the United Committee of South Slavic Americans, which sought to bring various Yugoslavian ethnic groups together behind the war effort, and particularly in support of Tito’s partisans. In the postwar period, Adamic became increasingly marginalized as American politics, both foreign and domestic, shifted rightward. He wrote a scathing critique of U.S. foreign policy, “Dinner at the White House” (1946), and continued in his support of Tito, writing “The Eagle and the Roots” (published posthumously, 1952). In 1948, he supported Henry Wallace’s abortive Progressive Party election bid. In 1951, under circumstances that remain a mystery, he was found shot dead in his burning farmhouse in Milford, New Jersey.


DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION


ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Adamic, Louis collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Adamic, Louis collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Reseach Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regrading the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


CITE AS

The Adamic, Louis Papers, Slovene American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Slovenian
Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951
Federal Bureau of Investigation (U.S.)

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