Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Nathaniel Weyl Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1920-2004
Collection number: 86003
Weyl, Nathaniel, 1910-2005
Extent: 50 manuscript boxes (20.8 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, memoranda, notes, and printed matter, relating to communism, especially in Latin America; espionage
and internal security in the United States; and racial, ethnic and class analyses of political and intellectual elites.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Nathaniel Weyl Papers , [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1986.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
||Born, New York City
||B.S., Columbia University
||Postgraduate student, London School of Economics
||Economist, U.S. Agricultural Adjustment Administration
The Reconquest of Mexico: The Years of Lázaro Cárdenas
||Economist, U.S. Federal Reserve Board
||Economist, U.S. Board of Economic Warfare
||U.S. Army service
||Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Treason: The Story of Disloyalty and Betrayal in American History
The Battle against Disloyalty
The Negro in American Civilization
Red Star over Cuba: The Russian Assault on the Western Hemisphere
The Geography of Intellect
The Creative Elite in America
The Jew in American Politics
Traitors' End: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Movement in Southern Africa
American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro
Karl Marx, Racist
The Geography of American Achievement
Encounters with Communism
||Died, Ojai, California
Scope and Content of Collection
Despite copious writings, autobiographical and otherwise, Nathaniel Weyl remains an enigmatic figure. As the only child of
Walter Weyl, co-founder of the New Republic and influential molder of liberal opinion, he enjoyed a privileged upbringing.
Nathaniel Weyl was educated at a private preparatory school, Columbia University and the London School of Economics. Beginning
in 1933 he worked episodically as an economist for a succession of United States government agencies. After military service
during World War II he returned briefly to civilian government service but resigned in 1947 and thereafter made a living as
a free-lance journalist and author.
Weyl created a minor sensation in 1952 when he testified to a Congressional committee that he had been a secret member of
the Communist Party during the 1930s, that he had belonged to a group of New Deal functionaries who were also clandestine
party members and whose leader was Harold Ware, and that Alger Hiss had also been a member of the group. Although Hiss had
already been convicted of perjury, and although Weyl disclaimed any knowledge of espionage, the testimony was nonetheless
significant. Weyl was the only person ever to offer eyewitness corroboration of Whittaker Chambers' identification of Hiss
as a Communist.
Following his break with the Communist Party at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939, Weyl underwent a fundamental political
reorientation from left to right, and became a regular contributor to journals of conservative opinion. His books
Treason (1950) and
The Battle against Disloyalty (1951) sounded anti-communist and anti-subversion themes which he maintained thereafter. He also wrote frequently regarding
Latin American affairs. His book
Red Star over Cuba (1961) maintained that Fidel Castro had been a Communist agent from the outset. In some of his writings he collaborated
with his wife Sylvia, also an ex-Communist.
Weyl developed a major preoccupation with issues of race and intelligence. This followed from a series of interlocking premises,
all problematic, to which he subscribed: that social well-being depends on the leadership of elites of superior intelligence;
that intelligence is a single measurable entity and is transmitted genetically; that distinct human races are meaningful biological
categories; and that intelligence is distributed differentially among races. In particular he believed that African and American
blacks occupied a low position on a racial intelligence spectrum and that Jews occupied a high position. (Weyl was himself
Jewish on his father's side). In consequence of these convictions, he became active within Mensa, an organization requiring
high intelligence quotient scores for membership, and founded an international charity to help subsidize schooling for gifted
children. He wrote on race and intelligence themes in numerous journal articles, especially for the eugenicist
Mankind Quarterly, to which he was a regular contributor, and in several books, notably
The Geography of Intellect (co-authored with Stefan T. Possony of the Hoover Institution in 1963) and
The Creative Elite in America (1966). His book
Traitors' End (1970) defended the record of the apartheid governments of Rhodesia and South Africa.
Weyl developed a further concern for what he termed "aristocide"--the threatened extinction of natural (genetically superior)
elites, whether through the violence of envious inferiors or through their own failure to reproduce. (Ironically Nathaniel
and Sylvia Weyl had no children of their own. They adopted two.)
The collection is arranged into six series, the first two of which are small.
School Papers covers Weyl's childhood and college years. The
Government Service File consists of official documents from his employment as a United States government economist. Of special interest in this
file is the record of the security investigation of Weyl carried out by the Civil Service Commission and House Committee on
Un-American Activities in 1942-1943.
Speeches and Writings series are by far the largest in the collection and probably of greatest interest. Speeches and Writings comprehensively
covers Weyl's literary output over his entire adult life, including numerous projects left unfinished or only planned.
Correspondence, however, dates primarily from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s. The series includes a lesser amount of correspondence
from the 1950s, but only two letters dating from before 1950 and none at all after 1984.
Subject File consists mainly of material collected by Weyl rather than generated by him, but also includes his memoranda and notes not
intended for publication. Finally, there is a small
Three broad areas are likely to be of greatest interest to researchers. The first of these is Communist Party activity within
the United States government, together with related espionage and subversion issues. Although his early writings indicate
leftist sympathies, there is unfortunately no correspondence or other contemporary documentation from the 1930s of Weyl's
Communist Party membership. He told of this in his 1952 Congressional testimony and in various subsequent published accounts,
Encounters with Communism, privately printed in 2003. The collection includes substantial unpublished writings by Weyl on this subject. Notable among
these are the book-length "The Espionage Case of Alger Hiss," completed in 1981, and the voluminous "Memoirs of the Communist
Labyrinth" upon which he worked throughout much of the 1980s. Some correspondence, such as that with Hede Massing and with
Robert Gorham and Hope Davis, is relevant. Memoranda from the 1950s, apparently intended for the use of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, will be found in the
A second area of interest is Latin America.
Correspondence with Cuban exiles, including General Fulgencio Batista, will be found in the Correspondence series. "The Young Fidel Castro"
is a substantial unpublished writing, dating from around 1962. The source of this item, edited by Weyl, is not clear. Weyl
undertook a history of the Mexican Communist Party, to be entitled "Aztec Serpent, Russian Bear." Although he never completed
it, he did write a substantial amount before abandoning the project in 1971. One curious case requires explanation. Nathaniel
and Sylvia Weyl contracted to collaborate with Isaac Don Levine on a book about Ramon Mercader, who assassinated Leon Trotsky
in Mexico. Interpretive differences between the putative co-authors resulted in the eventual publication of
The Mind of an Assassin under the sole authorship of Levine in 1959. The collection, however, includes a complete draft of the book by the Weyls,
largely unused by Levine.
A third area of interest in the collection is the documentation of the biological determinist approach to social relations
manifested in Weyl's interest in race and genetics. Correspondence with Carleton S. Coon, Arthur R. Jensen, William Shockley,
South African officials, and, above all, with the
Mankind Quarterly and its editor Robert Gayre, is relevant. Weyl left two long unpublished writings in this area--"Integration: The Dream
That Failed," written in 1972, and the book-length "Aristocide: The War against Ability," dating from about 1977. Much of
Subject File material deals with this area in one way or another.
The Hoover Institution Archives acquired the main body of the collection from Nathaniel Weyl in 1986, with subsequent increments
Internal security--United States.
Elite (Social sciences)