Keith Stimely collection on revisionist history and neo-Fascist movements, 1957-1986  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Stimely, Keith, 1957-
Keith Stimely collection on revisionist history and neo-Fascist movements
1957-1986 (inclusive)
24.5 linear feet, (53 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 183
Collection comprises subject files, research files, and correspondence created by Keith Stimely in his research of revisionist historiography and journalism concerning the two world wars and their aftermaths, and in his research of American and European political movements in the 1970s and 1980s of neo-Fascist, neo-Nazi, racialist or anti-Zionist character.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Boxes 52-56 (correspondence and personal subject files) are closed until 2021.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Keith Stimely (1957-1992) received his B.S. degree in History from the University of Oregon in 1980. He has conducted his own researches into modern American and European political and intellectual movements since 1974, and from 1981-84 worked professionally as an editor and writer, specializing in problems of revisionist historiography relating to the two world wars. Stimely lived in Portland, Oregon and worked on a biography of Francis Parker Yockey. Stimely died on December 19, 1992.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Keith Stimely Collection, acquired June 1986, adds two important new dimensions to the Conservative and Libertarian holdings of the University of Oregon Library, indeed to the extant holdings in the field anywhere: (1) it updates into the mid-1980s the record of the ongoing historiographical and journalistic tradition of "Revisionism" relating to the two world wars and their aftermaths; and (2) it provides a comprehensive overview of 1970s-80s American and European political movements of an explicit or implicit Neo-Fascist/Neo--Nazi/Racialist/Anti-Zionist character. {There is also some material on mainstream conservatism, on libertarianism, and on opponents of "the Right.") Some 200 different organizations, publications, and personalities are represented in this part of the collection.

In the field of revisionist history, collections maintained at such other institutions as the University of Wyoming, the Hoover Presidential Library, and the Hoover Institution for the most part "end" during, variously, the 1940s, '50s, '60s, or early 70s. The Stimely Collection represents the first significant public archival holding of revisionist history materials, and the record of their controversies, as these continued to develop from the mid-1970s into the '80s. This period has seen something of a "renaissance" of interest and work in revisionism, anticipated and heralded in some respects by the emergence into its own during the Vietnam War of a vocal and prolific "New Left" school of Cold War revisionism. Concomitant with and after the Vietnam debacle, attempting to construct the implications and lessons thereof, a reawakening of interest in Isolationism/Noninterventionism, both as a present political alternative and as a political and historiographical tradition, manifested itself in circles including but not restricted to those of the New Left. In scholarly terms, this new interest in isolationism and revisionism was represented in the 1970s historical studies of such as Justus Doenecke, Ronald Radosh, Michelle Flynn Stenehjem, Bruce M. Russett, Bruce Bartlett, Joseph Giess, Lloyd C. Gardner, Leonard P. Liggio, James J. Martin, Thomas G. Paterson, and Les K. Adler. These writers ranged themselves in ideological hues and backgrounds from radical-left to libertarian to conservative to liberal. Their treatments taken together reflected a range of concerns and approaches: the domestic impact and economic effects of American globalism, the direct impact of that globalism on American foreign standing itself, economic motivations for globalism, the precedents set in foreign policy conducted by Presidential prerogative, the relationship between a globalist foreign policy and domestic political calculations. Critically "reading back" the lessons of Vietnam, or of the Cold War generally, into the policies of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, the 1970s revisionists were in effect re-stating concerns that had occupied an earlier generation of American scholars -- the World War II revisionists led by Harry Elmer Barnes, among whose number were counted Charles A. Beard, Charles Callan Tansill, William Henry Chamberlin, Frederic R. Sanborn, George Morgenstern, John T. Flynn, Francis Neilson, Richard N. Current, George Lundberg, and Percy L. Greaves. If the Barnesian brand of revisionism on World War II could be called the "Old" revisionism, and the New Left Cold War treatments of the 1960s could be called the "New" revisionism, then the 1970s succession of the latter by a scattered school expressing generally frank and appreciative acknowledgment of its intellectual roots in the former (roots the New Leftists for the most part shied away from claiming, or of which in some cases they were perhaps even ignorant) might be called the "New Old" revisionism.

With the turn of the 1970s, "New Old" currents were running swifter both ways -- that is: new faces in revisionism were treating explicitly and in depth, often to the accompaniment of massive publicity, areas of World War II and postwar history that seemingly represented a rather abrupt and bold radicalization and extension of previous lines of inquiry. The "radical" aspect was manifest not only in the particular treatments of subjects, but by very virtue of certain of the subjects treated themselves. Extending the scope of research and discussion far beyond diplomatic history and foreign relations -- far beyond America's role in the war and in postwar world affairs -- and with its ranks hardly or even mainly limited now to American researchers, this yet-"newer" revisionism might have seemed so new as to be a virtual thing-in-itself. In fact, it did represent a logical and inevitable progression from the "Old" World War II revisionism of the Harry Elmer Barnes school, for the issues had first been raised by that school, albeit for the most part obliquely and hesitantly, with the greatest part of the discussion of the "within ranks" type. Even for such an iconoclastic, controversy-welcoming school as that of the Barnesian revisionists, certain areas of World War II inquiry remained, in the 1950s and '60s, basically "too hot to handle" with anything but the greatest care and discretion. Doing their cautious best in their day to lay the essential groundwork, Harry Elmer Barnes and his colleagues in historiography believed that the time would come when the subsiding of contemporary passions about World War II would allow certain things to be explored and discussed much more openly.

So it came. Coalescing around 1980, but beginning in the mid-to-late 1970s with developments remarkable in that they were contemporaneous but ssentially independent of one another, a host of scholars in Europe and America, followed on closely by partisan publicists both supportive and denunciatory, set to producing various bodies of work the net and combined effect of which was to suggest a complete toppling of standard views of Hitler and the Third Reich, the Second World War, indeed the "Era of Fascism" generally. It is this body of work that the Stimely Collection highlights. The "Holocaust" controversy--the question of precisely what the National Socialist government's "Final Solution" was (and was not), how that policy coalesced and was implemented, by whom and with what successes or failures, and to what extent it has been mythologized and distorted in both contemporaneous and historical treatments--looms large in the ongoing revisionist wave, and in this collection. The work on this and related subjects conducted concomitantly in France (Prof. Robert Faurisson and his circle, following the founding lead of the late Prof. Paul Rassinier), England (David Irving and other revisionist writers), West Germany (the "functionalist" versus "intentionalist" debate among mainstream historians, and the more radical revisionary themes of right-wing authors and publishing houses), Sweden (Ditlieb Felderer), the Soviet Union (the routine denial that the alleged extermination policy singled out Jews in particular, and the more recent emergence of a school challenging the numbers of Jewish dead involved), Canada (the activities of publicist Ernst Zundel and others), and the United States (the work of several researchers, and the establishment of the Institute for Historical Review)--all these are represented in the Stimely Collection, including virtually every significant piece of material, scholarly or journalistic, that helped to generate, or was generated by, this controversy. This is in addition to important unpublished material providing inside-looks at how the contemporary revisionists have developed, refined, and publicized their views on this as well as a variety of other historical issues relating to the Second World War. The "inside" aspect of the collection makes it especially valuable to posterity as a record for researchers in historiography. The donor, a 1980 alumnus of the University of Oregon, was associated with the Institute for Historical Review for several years, two of them as editor of its quarterly publication, the Journal of Historical Review. Mr. Stimely's central position with its responsibilities and lines of communication placed him at the organizational/correspondential/publicational center of a loose world-wide movement that sought not only to represent and revitalize the long tradition of world wars revisionism, but to extend the traditional areas of research focus much further than they had ever gone.

Strongest in these areas, the collection is, however, hardly limited in scope to the "Holocaust" controversy or immediately-related issues, or to the general manifestations of revisionist activity in the last several years. There is much material on the earlier World War II revisionists and their broad tradition. Although this material is for the most part secondary--some of the exceptions are significant--and in no way approaches the depth of that found in individual collections kept elsewhere, it serves as a convenient, all-in-one-place introduction or overall-look for the student or professional researcher to four decades of issues in revisionist historiography, and to the activities in that field of such men as Harry Elmer Barnes, Charles A. Beard, Paul Rassinier, Charles Callan Tansill, David L. Hoggan, Percy L. Greaves, F.J.P. Veale, James J. Martin, and others. In breadth and categorization accessibility, if not in depth, this part of the collection represents a significant new "plus" in archival holdings of this kind.

Note: A complete set of the quarterly Journal of Historical Review, published by the Institute for Historical Review, is in the University Main Library, call number D1.J587. Bound back issues are in the main stacks, second floor; current issues are in the Periodical Reading Room, first floor.

Note: The designation "Research File" indicates, in the cases of Subject Files dealing with persons, copies of published or unpublished articles/reviews by/about the subject, bibliographies, brochures, advertisements, miscellaneous clippings, and the like.

Note: Files marked SEALED are inaccessible for a period of 35 years. The seal may be lifted in the interim only by the donor.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Fascism--Europe--History--20th century
  • Fascism--United States--History--20th century
  • History--Errors, inventions, etc.--Periodicals
  • Holocaust denial
  • Holocaust denial literature
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Historiography
  • Neo-Nazism--Europe--History--20th century
  • Neo-Nazism--United States--History--20th century

Personal Names

  • Stimely, Keith, 1957-

Corporate Names

  • Institute for Historical Review (U.S.)

Geographical Names

  • United States--History--1901-1953--Historiography