Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Arthur Kemp papers
Date (inclusive): 1918-1959
Collection Number: 62017
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material:
58 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box
(25.1 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, memoranda, notes, typed copies of documents, and printed matter, relating to Herbert Hoover, American
foreign policy and domestic policies during and after the presidential administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, World War
II, international relief and reconstruction, and communism. Used as research material for writing projects of Herbert Hoover.
Includes draft writings by Hoover.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Kemp, Arthur, 1916-2002
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual
or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1962.
[Identification of item], Arthur Kemp papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
||Born, Buffalo, New York
||B.S., University of Buffalo
||M.B.A., Northwestern University
||Editorial and research assistant to Herbert Hoover
||Ph.D., New York University
||Professor of economics, Claremont Men's College
The Legal Qualities of Money
The Role of Government in Developing Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy
The Role of Gold
||Died, Claremont, California
Scope and Content of Collection
The Arthur Kemp Papers in the Archives of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace are intimately connected with
the Institution's Herbert Hoover Papers. The connection is so close that there is an element of the arbitrary as to whether
Hoover or Kemp had custody of some items at the time of their deposit. The Kemp Papers are entirely concerned with Kemp's
association with Herbert Hoover and do not include materials relating to his subsequent independent career as an economist
In an oral history interview conducted in 1968, a copy of which is in the Herbert Hoover Oral History Program Collection in
the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Kemp described his association with Hoover. It began in 1943 when, as a graduate
student and young economics instructor, he was recruited to go to work for the former President as an editorial and research
assistant. Kemp remained in this capacity until 1953 when he left New York to accept a teaching post. He continued to assist
Hoover on an occasional basis thereafter.
While Kemp was involved with a variety of Hoover's writing projects, the one that figured most prominently was the so-called
Magnum Opus. This was the ambitious critique of the domestic and World War II foreign policy record of Franklin D. Roosevelt
that occupied Hoover for decades. It was first known to Hoover and associates simply as the War Book and later as "Lost Statesmanship."
The foreign policy component saw published form only in 2011 as
Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath, edited and with an introduction by George H. Nash (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press). While most of the preliminary drafts
for this work are in the Herbert Hoover Papers, there are also some in the
Herbert Hoover Speeches and Writings series of the Kemp Papers. These include the very first drafts of the War Book, dating back to 1942 and including Hoover's
analysis of the Pacific War as a race war. There are also significant procedural memoranda laid out by Hoover for the 1946
version of the War Book, explicitly stating the themes of the project. Small portions of the domestic policy critique, variously
entitled "The Years as Crusader" and "Collectivism Comes to America," are also located in this series. Publication of this
work is scheduled.
Arthur Kemp Speeches and Writings series consists of formal compositions by Kemp, mainly intended for publication under his own name. The most substantial
item in the series is a lengthy study of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. There is one oddity
in this series. While Kemp's function was normally one of support to Hoover's writing endeavors, a reversal of roles is evident
in three letters to the editor written by Kemp under his own name. Their drafts bear editorial suggestions in Hoover's distinctive
handwriting, which was quite different from that of Kemp.
The collection includes several subject files, consisting of material other than formal writings by either Hoover or Kemp.
This material includes correspondence, notes, many memoranda exchanged between Kemp and Hoover (mainly written by Kemp to
apprise Hoover of his research findings and suggestions), and collected items of various descriptions, published and unpublished.
Herbert Hoover Subject File consists of public commentary about Hoover by third parties, with associated material. Most of this commentary is by critics
of Hoover and in a number of cases involved what Hoover regarded as slanderous allegations or "smears." The series includes
material gathered by Hoover and Kemp to refute such allegations. There is in particular a sizable volume of material related
to charges of anti-Bolshevik manipulative activities by the American Relief Administration in Russia. Some items in this series
go back to Hoover's White House days and include Federal Bureau of Investigation reports to President Hoover regarding detractors.
New Deal Subject File, the
Communist Subversion Subject File, and the extensive
World War II Subject File are all directly connected to the Magnum Opus and consist of research material on those three topics collected for use in
its composition. Of particular interest in the
World War II Subject File is material related to Hoover's unsuccessful efforts to initiate wartime food relief to occupied Europe. A large body of
other material in this series relates to the wartime American domestic economy and to Hoover's analysis of price controls
and of what he regarded as economic policy mismanagement.
General Subject File includes correspondence, notes, memoranda and collected material not directly used in the Magnum Opus as ultimately composed.
In Hoover's mind the Magnum Opus was something of an open-ended project, and the material in this series, as well as that
in the corresponding series of the Herbert Hoover Papers, gives some indication of directions in which it might have continued.
The great bulk of material in the series deals with the post-World War II period. There is a large volume on the European
Recovery Program (Marshall Plan), reflecting Hoover's nuanced views on the potentialities and limitations of American foreign
aid. Other material deals more generally with postwar American foreign policy and military policy, again reflecting Hoover's
reservations regarding paths taken. Considerable material was collected on the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration,
treatment of which was developed only in Kemp's preliminary study.
There is a significant body of material on Zionism and Palestine. Hoover took an active interest in the plight of European
Jewry during World War II, and proposed clearing the way for a Jewish homeland by resettlement of Palestinian Arabs in Iraq,
the project to be made palatable by an internationally-sponsored reclamation and development program of the Tigris and Euphrates
Another section of the
General Subject File is concerned with the work of the postwar Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government chaired by
Hoover. Kemp was employed as an assistant to Hoover in this capacity. The residue from this work in the Kemp Papers is substantial
but rather miscellaneous.
There are also a small set of
Photographs and a small
Subjects and Indexing Terms
World War, 1939-1945 -- Diplomatic history
United States -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1933-1945
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1953