Bernard De Voto
De Voto, Bernard Augustine (11 January 1897 - 13 November 1955)
De Voto, an American writer and editor, wrote “The Easy Chair” for Harper’s Magazine (1936—1938) and was editor of the Saturday Review of Literature. In addition to writing many books on history and literature, he was the official editor of the Mark Twain manuscripts and wrote Mark Twain’s America (1932). He won a Pulitzer Prize for his Across the Wide Missouri (1948).
De Voto responded in the mid-1950s to Warren Allen Smith concerning various categories of humanism, “I’m too ignorant to have a philosophy. The only person on your list I’ve ever read is T. S. Eliot. At a guess, I would be instinctively against all positions you name. The words which name them are so hideous that the thinking must be hideous, too.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated him, possibly thinking he was a closet Communist. One FBI memo read:
- DeVoto "is the son of a fallen away priest of the Roman Catholic Church (and) is himself a fallen away Catholic," one memo noted. Another document surveyed DeVoto’s educational history and came up with this nugget: At the University of Utah in 1915, DeVoto "quickly established himself as an intellectual revolutionary."