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Vervon Orval Watts papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Vervon Orval Watts papers
    Date (inclusive): 1920-1983
    Collection Number: 83064
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 23 manuscript boxes (9.2 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, notes, instructional materials, research materials, clippings, and other printed matter relating to economic conditions in the United States and economic theory, especially laissez-faire economics.
    Creator: Watts, Vervon Orval, 1898-
    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.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1983.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Vervon Orval Watts papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    1898 March 25 Born, Manitoba, Canada
    1918 Graduated from University of Manitoba
    1923 M.A., Harvard University
    1939 Economic counsel, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
    1944 Author, Do We Want Free Enterprise?
    1946 Editorial director, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
    1952 Author, Away From Freedom
    1954 Author, Union Monopoly
    1955 Author, United Nations: Planned Tyranny
    1963-1984 Director of economic education and chairman of the Division of Social Studies, Northwood University
    1976 Author, Politics vs. Prosperity
    post-1923 Ph.D., Harvard University
    circa 1925-1939 Taught at various colleges and universities, including Clark University, Harvard University, Wellesley, Antioch College, Carlton College, Claremont Men's College, Pepperdine University, and Campbell College
    1938 Author, Why Are We So Prosperous?
    1967 Author, Free Markets or Famine
    1993 Died, Palm Springs, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Vervon Orval Watts papers document the life and career of a conservative economist, academic, and opinion maker. An early critic of the New Deal, Watts maintained a lifelong commitment to laissez-faire principles, opposing government intervention in the economy and most social welfare programs. He sought to popularize these ideas by communicating them to a broad audience. His papers are largely comprised of writings, research materials, writings by others, and printed matter.
    The extensive Speeches and Writings series contains many of Watts' articles, speeches, and pamphlets, as well as several monographs that he wrote or edited. The series also includes work that Watts did as a publicist and speechwriter for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, including the texts of many lectures that he gave. The collection also has an extensive Subject File, comprised largely of clippings and articles, that reflects Watts' many research interests. Prior to serving as an economic advisor to organizations, Watts had a long teaching career, and the Academic File contains course materials, lecture notes, and syllabi relating to classes he taught at several institutions. Additionally, the academic file has a number of materials from Watts' time as a student, including papers that he wrote, as well as reading and lecture notes.
    The collection also has a significant number of Speeches and Writings by Others, mainly on economic issues. There are also many pamphlets collected by Watts in the Printed Matter series, largely written by conservative authors.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Free enterprise
    United States -- Economic conditions