Fawn McKay Brodie papers, 1932-1983

Overview of the Collection

Brodie, Fawn McKay, 1915-1981
Fawn McKay Brodie papers
1932-1983 (inclusive)
25.25 linear feet
Collection Number
MS 0360
The Fawn McKay Brodie papers (1932-1983) document the life (1915-1981) and writings of this well-known but controversial Utah-born author and university professor. Included are personal materials, including a biography, interviews, awards, an obituary, and memorial; a file regarding her husband, Bernard Brodie, and her mother, Fawn Brimhall McKay; and family correspondence. The bulk of the collection deals with Brodie's five books: No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith The Mormon Prophet (1945); Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South (1959); The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton (1967); Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (1974); and Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character (1981). Of interest is extensive correspondence with noted historian Dale L. Morgan in which he comments extensively on the preparation of No Man Knows My History. Other documents reflect Brodie's tenure as professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, 1967-1977. Also present are articles, book reviews, and lectures.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Fawn M. Brodie was born September 15, 1915, in Ogden, Utah, and raised on the family farm in Huntsville, a small town fifteen miles east of Ogden. Hers was, by her own account, an idyllic childhood. Her father, Thomas E. McKay, was a "very devout Mormon," an assistant to the Twelve Apostles, and president of the European Mission. His brother was David O. McKay, who later became president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her mother, Fawn Brimhall McKay, was in her daughter's phrase a "quiet heretic." Fawn Brodie's maternal uncle, Dean Brimhall, was widely known as a free thinker and scholar. It was from her mother's family that Fawn Brodie took her course in life.

Fawn Brodie began her education in the Weber County School District. By the time she was eighteen, she had attended both Weber State College in Ogden and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and earned a B.A. in English literature from the latter. It was at the University of Utah she began to feel "a quiet kind of liberation" from "the parochialism of the Mormon community." She later described this feeling as "like taking off a hot coat in the summertime." By the time she entered the University of Chicago for graduate work in 1936, her break with the past was almost complete. It was there, while working in the cafeteria, that she met Bernard Brodie, a young Jewish student of political science. Despite the objections of both sets of parents, they were married on August 25, 1936. She received her M.A. in English literature on the same day.

In an effort to answer Bernard's questions on the Book of Mormon, Fawn Brodie began researching her own religious background in the university library where she worked. Her research convinced her that an objective biography of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, was needed and her preliminary work on a biography led to her being awarded the Alfred A. Knopf Fellowship in Biography in 1943.

In the meantime Bernard Brodie accepted a teaching position at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was here their first child, Richard, was born in 1942. For a short time during World War II, Bernard worked for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., but in 1945 he began teaching political science at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. While at New Haven, Fawn Brodie completed work on No Man Knows my History: The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. It was published in November 1945 and instantly aroused a storm of controversy that has not yet subsided. The book and its author were denounced in the highest circles of the L.D.S. Church, and even now few people who are familiar with the work are ambivalent about it. As a direct result of the book, Fawn Brodie was excommunicated from the L.D.S. Church in June of 1946.

These vicissitudes notwithstanding, the years at Yale were happy ones for the Brodies. They built a house in Bethany, a small town near New Haven, that was featured in Your House and Home magazine in 1950. It was here their other two children were born, Bruce in 1946 and Pamela in 1950. Bernard Brodie had meanwhile joined the RAND Corporation, and after less than a year in Washington, D.C., was transferred to corporate headquarters in Santa Monica, California. There the Brodies lived in a small bungalow while building their next home in Pacific Palisades. This was to be their home for the rest of their lives.

Once settled in their home, Fawn Brodie turned again to writing. Her second book, Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South, was published in 1959. In that same year, Bernard was awarded a grant by the Carnegie Foundation. The grant, a "Reflective Year Fellowship," allowed the family to spend a year in Paris. Out of this came Fawn and Bernard Brodie's first collaborative work, From Crossbow to H-Bomb.

In 1967 Fawn accepted a position as senior lecturer in history at the University of California, Los Angeles. In this same year, she finished her third book, The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton; her work as a historian and biographer now began to be recognized. She was named a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society, and other awards and honors soon followed. In 1974 her fourth book, Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, was published. This book was second only to No Man Knows My History in terms of the controversy it produced. In her efforts to reveal Jefferson's "inner life," she presented detailed evidence of his long-term affair with a Black enslaved person, Sally Hemings. This roused the ire of the conservative "Jefferson establishment," which had long held such stories to be untrue.

Fawn Brodie began research on her fifth and final book, a biography of Richard Nixon, in 1976. Her husband, her publisher, and many of her friends tried to dissuade her from this project, but she persisted. This book was a radical change for her, as up to this point all of her biographies had been about men she greatly admired. Nixon, however, she "detested." About this time, Bernard Brodie was diagnosed as having cancer of the lymph system, and Fawn Brodie was increasingly concerned with her husband's health. After a period of remission, the disease prevailed and Bernard died in November of 1978. Fawn Brodie was devastated by his death and entered a state of depression from which she never fully recovered. She was reluctant to continue work on the Nixon biography--in a letter from this period she wrote that Nixon's life just seemed an "obscenity"--but it had been Bernard's final wish that she finish the book.

Soon after her sixty-fifth birthday, in September of 1980, Fawn Brodie too was found to be suffering from terminal cancer. She was just finishing the Nixon biography, and now raced against her impending death to complete the manuscript. It was finished in December of 1980; the final editing was done by her sons, Richard and Bruce, and Bruce's wife Janet. Fawn Brodie did not live to see Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character in print, for she died on January 10, 1981.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Fawn McKay Brodie papers (1932-1983) document the life (1915-1981) and writings of this well-known but controversial Utah-born author and university professor.

The personal materials in the first seven boxes are divided into two broad areas: Personal Materials and Correspondence. Box 1 contains biographical materials, interviews, awards, obituaries, and memorials. Also included is a file on her husband Bernard Brodie and the notebooks of her mother Fawn Brimhall McKay. The rest of these boxes contain correspondence arranged as follows: Family Correspondence, Brimhall Family Correspondence, Personal Correspondence, Miscellaneous Correspondence, Business Correspondence, and Dale L. Morgan Correspondence, which also contains some research materials. The highlights of this section are the Brimhall family and Dale L. Morgan correspondence. The correspondence of Fawn M. Brodie's maternal grandparents and their relatives provides a glimpse into the world of the Mormons in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The correspondence of fellow scholar Dale L. Morgan, in many ways Fawn Brodie's mentor, provides insight into the mind and methods of one of America's eminent historians.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of materials dealing with each of Fawn Brodie's five books. These are No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, published in 1945; Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South, 1959; The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton, 1967; Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, 1974; and Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character, 1981. The records of the first three books are not complete. The notes and manuscript for No Man Knows My History were apparently discarded. There is, however, an extensive file of correspondence relating to the book, which Fawn Brodie arranged in the categories Non-Mormon, Mormon-Favorable, Mormon-Unfavorable, and "Crackpot." The letters are arranged alphabetically within the folders. There is also one box of miscellaneous materials on the L.D.S. Church Fawn Brodie labeled "Mormon File." For Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South, there is only a finished manuscript, some research materials, and a few book reviews. The fate of the remainder of the materials is unknown. The collection of materials on The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton is even more sketchy. The manuscript, research materials, and an extensive library of Burton's works were sold to the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. The materials on her last two books are much more complete. Both Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History and Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character contain the manuscripts, research materials, and correspondence requesting permission to use quotations and asking for interviews. The Nixon book also contains page proofs, galleys, and publisher's notes.

The next group of materials deals with Fawn Brodie's tenure as professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1967 to 1977. This consists primarily of lecture notes she used teaching her classes in history and biography. Also included are two boxes of student papers with her comments, one box of recommendations written by Fawn Brodie for students, one box of business materials concerned with UCLA such as personal data sheets and forms, and one box containing a series of lectures Fawn Brodie was to give at the National Defense Academy in Japan in 1977, which she had to cancel.

The final section is labeled Articles, Book Reviews, Lectures, Miscellaneous. As a prominent scholar, Fawn Brodie often gave lectures, wrote book reviews, and submitted articles to scholarly journals, magazines, and encyclopedias. This section consists of drafts of articles and speeches, correspondence dealing with them, and miscellaneous materials relating to her lectures such as programs, posters, and notes. The final box contains books written by Fawn and Bernard Brodie and tapes of talks and interviews with Fawn Brodie.

An addendum to the collection consists of articles, correspondence, and an annotated first edition of No Man Knows My History.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library's Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Organized in nine series: I. Personal Material; II. Correspondence; III. No Man Knows My History; The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet; IV. Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South; V. The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton; VI. Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History; VII. Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character; VIII. University of California at Los Angeles; IX. Articles, Book Reviews and Lectures. Arranged alphabetically thereunder.

Separated Materials

Photographs and audio-visual materials were tranferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (P0026 and A0026).

Acquisition Information

Boxes 1-72 were donated Fawn Brodie and her children in 1985 and 1995.

Processing Note

Processed by Marlene Lewis, Roy D. Webb in 1983.

Addendum processed by Mark Jensen in 1997.

Click here to read a statement on harmful language in library records.

Related Materials

Forms part of the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archives.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

I:  Personal MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Personal, Biographical, Awards, Bernard Brodie File
Box Folder
1 1
Curriculum Vita
1 2
Publication Lists
1 3
Memorial Service
1981 January 17
1 4
Obituary and Tributes
1 5
Interviews with Fawn and Bernard Brodie
The interviews cover Brodie's early life, especially in regard to her book No Man Knows My History. She also discusses her other books, her children, and her career at the University of California, Los Angeles.
1 6
Letter of Excommunication from the L.D.S. Church (2 copies)
In June of 1946, as a direct result of the publication of her book No Man Knows My History, Brodie was excommunicated from the L.D.S. Church.
1946 June 19
1 7
Awards and Honors
  • 1967 - Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society, September 23.
  • 1971 - Morris S. Rosenblatt Award, September 18.
  • 1972 - Society of American Historians, February 11.
  • 1976 - Emeritus Merit of Honor Award, May 13.
  • 1976 - Berkshire Conference Prize, June 28.
  • 1978 - Honorary Alumna Member Phi Beta Kappa, June.
  • 1978/79 - Who's Who.
1 8
Bernard Brodie - Miscellaneous
Correspondence, essays, articles, and reviews of Bernard Brodie's books.
1 9
Fawn Brimhall McKay - Notebooks, "Near the End"
Fawn Brodie's mother, Fawn Brimhall McKay, died in 1962. These notebooks, labeled "Near the End," were kept by her. They contain mostly quotations and religious passages and are undated.
1 10
Biographical Articles on Brodie
Typescript of tape by Bruce Brodie; newsclippings.
1 11
Miscellaneous Notes of Brodie

II:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

These boxes contain non-family correspondence with Brodie. Box 4 contains personal correspondence with close friends and/or colleagues. The criteria used to distinguish this correspondence from any other was whoever addressed her as "Fawn" or "Dear Fawn." This box also contains letters found in a file labeled "VIPs" by Fawn Brodie. Those addressed to "Professor Brodie," "Fawn M. Brodie," or "Mrs. Brodie," are filed in Box 5, Miscellaneous Correspondence. Box 6 contains business correspondence primarily with publishers, although one folder contains other business correspondence. Box 7 is correspondence with Dale L. Morgan from 1944-1970. Unless otherwise noted, all letters are written to Fawn Brodie. This is not all of Brodie's non-family correspondence. The correspondence concerning each of her books is filed with the other materials relating to the book, and correspondence concerning her time at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been filed with the materials relating to that part of the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
Family Correspondence, Calendars
Box Folder
2 1
Brodie, Fawn M., to Fawn B. and Thomas E. McKay
  • May 18, 1943 - Tells her parents she has won the Alfred A. Knopf Fellowship, and warns them "the book is likely to get a good bit of hostile criticism from the authorities of the church."
  • May 24, 1943 - Tells them about her progress on No Man Knows My History.
  • April 15, 1946 - Writes concerning an Elder Bowen's attack on the accuracy of her book No Man Knows My History. Discusses Bernard Brodie, Dick Brodie (their son), and household matters.
  • Ivins, Heber Grant, to Thomas E. McKay
  • June 12, 1946 - Congratulates McKay on the courage of his daughter [Fawn Brodie] for writing No Man Knows My History in an "unbiased and scholarly manner." States, somewhat prophetically, "one might just as well expect to write an objective story of Thomas Jefferson's life." Copy of the letter sent to Fawn Brodie by Thomas E. McKay.
  • Brimhall, Dean, to Fawn B. McKay
  • March 24, 1946 - "D[avid] O. McKay's attack on the family at the B.Y.U. meeting must be answered . . . . . By indirection he ttacked her 'upbringing'. . . he insulted her father and since the book was dedicated to McKeen [Dean Brimhall's deceased son] his slander about Fawn has spread over me."
2 2
Brodie, Bruce, to Fawn Brodie
Undated handwritten letters from Bruce Brodie, second son of Fawn and Bernard Brodie, discussing family affairs, his wife Janet, the birth of their son Jedediah, and the work of Bruce and Janet on their respective doctoral dissertations.
2 3
Brodie, Janet, to Fawn Brodie
The daughter-in-law of Fawn Brodie, Janet Brodie's letters date from before her marriage to Bruce Brodie in 1969 to 1979, when Bruce and Janet moved from Boston to Los Angeles. The letters are concerned mostly with their son, Jed, and her work on her dissertation.
2 4
Brodie, Richard, to Fawn Brodie
The oldest son of Fawn and Bernard Brodie, Richard's letters, a postcard, and a Christmas card are all mailed from Stockholm, Sweden, where he was studying.
2 5
Brodie, Pamela, to Fawn Brodie
Letters from Pamela, Fawn and Bernard's daughter, and one from Jonathan Kuntz, Pamela's husband.
2 6
Brodie, Fawn, to Family Members
Bruce and Janet Brodie (6); Dick Brodie (1); Flora Crawford, a niece (1); To Whom it May Concern, December 21, 1980. In this letter, written less than two weeks before her death, Fawn Brodie discusses a blessing she received from her brother, Thomas B. McKay. She says that contrary to rumor, she had no intention of re-entering the L.D.S. Church and furthermore, "Any exaggeration about my request for a blessing meaning that I was asking to be taken back into the Church at that moment I strictly repudiate and would for all time."
2 7
Brimhall, Dean, to Fawn Brodie
  • April 12, 1966 - Discusses Ezra Taft Benson and his relation to the John Birch Society.
  • March 8, 1970 - Mentions Dick Brodie and Brim hall's recent discovery of an apparent mastodon petroglyph.
  • Brimhall, Dean, to Preston Nibley
  • May 26, 1946 - Discussion of Brodie and her book No Man Knows My History. Brimhall discusses the manipulation of its history by the L.D.S. Church and compares this historical manipulation to Joseph Stalin and the Communist party, and then to the Jesuits of the Catholic church. Copy of letter sent to Fawn Brodie by Dean Brimhall.
2 8
Family Business - Correspondence
  • Crawford, Flora, to Brodie
  • February 16, 1970 - Concerning the estate of Thomas E. McKay.
2 9
Miscellaneous Family Correspondence
2 1
Calendars and Appointment Books
Brimhall Family Correspondence
This box contains correspondence of the Brimhall family written in the 1800s. Unless otherwise noted, all are letters written to George W. Brimhall by his brothers, sisters, sons, daughter, nephew, and cousins. A large family, it split in the 1850s along religious lines. Part of the family, including George W., John, Norman, and Noah, joined the Mormon church and migrated to Utah. The rest of the family, including Horace, the eldest; Sylvanus, Andrew, Samuel, Mary, and Triphenia, the two sisters, stayed in the eastern United States. The letters paint an interesting picture of nineteenth century America, the Mormons, and the Civil War.
Box Folder
3 1
Brimhall, Sylvanus V.
Mainly family business and discussions of the weather.
1870 February-1890 December
3 2
Brimhall, John
Written from various places in southern Utah. John, a devout member of the Mormon church, exhorts his brother George to remain faithful to Mormonism. He writes of family problems in Diamond City in the Tintic Mining District. Also included is one letter from John Jr., nephew of George Brimhall.
1865 October-1893 August
3 3
Brimhall, Horace
  • Horace was the eldest of the family, and in many ways the most outspoken. He was apparently quite prosperous, although in a letter to his brother George, Sylvanus calls Horace a "miser." In this folder are two letters to George W. Brimhall, two letters to John Brimhall, one letter to Noah Brimhall, and one from Horace Brimhall, Jr., to George W. Brimhall.
  • June 2, 1859 - "I suppose you would like to know what I think about Mormon religion; Well I am so busy about making money and educating my children I don't think much about it. As we have got clear of the Damn debasing sect out of our state we don't think much about it. I suppose you think Brigham Young a Prophet, well I do to, but a false one. Well George, every one for their notion. But I know I could not live in the same neighborhood 2 weeks with the damn cup [?] I should be sure to kill him, now you may think hard but I speak my mind I don't have to consult a priest for what I say - I say what I think I don't belong to Youngs church with a gag in my mouth, I want you to write to me about money and politics, about the Republican Party, Democrat Party, American Party. The President, Seward, Douglas tell me what you think about them, I don't care about your mormon prophets. Hell is so full of such now that their legs are sticking out."
  • Also included in this same letter is a letter written by Horace for their sister Nancy, who was too ill to write. Her two daughters had just died, and she was soon to follow them.
  • June 2, 1862 - Horace discusses the causes of the Civil War and replies to George's suggestion that he (Horace) come to Utah to escape the effects of the war.
  • June 10, 1880 - to John Brimhall "Truth compels me to say that the majority of the Brimhall tribe is the most romancing, visionary, ignorant, phanatical class of people I ever knew."
1859 June-1882 November
3 4
Brimhall, Samuel, to George W. Brimhall
February 8, 1883 - Informs him of the death of their eldest brother, Horace J. Brimhall.
3 5
Brimhall, Norman
3 6
Brimhall, Andrew J.
Andrew was a Methodist preacher who apparently came to Utah to labor among the "heathen" Mormons.
3 7
Brimhall, Triphenia, and S. Brimhall
November 7, 1852 - Part of this letter is written by Triphenia and part by S (Samuel ?) Brimhall, the father of the clan.
3 8
Brimhall, Mary Crocker
This group of letters spans nearly forty years. Most are family oriented.
3 9
Brimhall, Samuel (nephew of George W.)
November 22, 1862 - Written from an army camp near Nashville, Tennessee, where Samuel Brimhall was stationed during the Civil War. "I once lived in a happy country and in a happy home but now alas those times have gone and in their place is servile war that is devastating and laying waste our fertile fields into battle grounds and our [illegible] into heaps of bloody [ashes] and every day the war spirit get higher and oh how I should like to go to some peasfull land whare storms of malice never blow and sorrow never can come." He mentions the battles he has been in and the devastation of the surrounding country.
3 10
Randall, Mary Eliza
Daughter of George W. Brimhall by his first wife.
3 11
Brimhall, Rufus
Son of George W. Brimhall by his first wife.
3 12
Jackson, Harriet
3 13
George W. Brimhall
Various records of George W. Brimhall, from the Utah Territorial Legislature, Probate Court, and school.
3 14
Miscellaneous Brimhall Correspondence
Personal Correspondence
Box Folder
4 1
Arrington, Leonard
4 2
Bentley, Hal
4 3
Brooks, Juanita
May 4, 1971 - Comments on the recent death of Dale L. Morgan.
4 4
Bush, Alfred
4 5
Carter, Rosalynn
4 6-6B
Cooley, Everett L.
  • This file documents the acquisition of Brodie's collection for the University of Utah Library. Also mentioned are her speaking engagements in Utah and personal items such as the deaths of various persons known to both Cooley and Brodie.
  • September 22, 1967 - "Tuesday I spent a very delightful day with Dale Morgan. . . . as we drove through Huntsville Dale suggested that perhaps you would be willing to submit for publication in the Utah Historical Quarterly a piece you did some years ago which he read on your growing up in Huntsville."
  • Brodie, Fawn, to Everett Cooley
  • January 26, 1970 - Brodie agrees to deposit her papers at the University of Utah. "I consider it an honor to be asked, and there is no place I would rather leave whatever I have collected."
  • November 12, 1970 - "Going through your correspondence . . . here is a great source of information on the psychology of the devout individual whose ideas are challenged by a piece of fine research."
  • Brodie, Fawn to Everett Cooley
  • November 16, 1970 -"I do, however, have an almost complete file of letters from Dale Morgan, dating back to the early 1940's, and this I cherish."
  • January 16, 1971 - "It has become known here that Dale [Morgan] has cancer and is not in a good condition."
  • Brodie, Fawn, to Everett Cooley
  • June 5, 1971 - Comments on the Dale Morgan correspondence she has just sent to the Manuscripts Division and on her relationship with Morgan.
  • August 31, 1978 - "Concerning the Dale [Morgan] Madeline [McQuown] relationship . . . I am anxious to learn just what influence she had on Dale."
4 7
Cranston, Alan
4 8
Erikson, Erik
4 9
Finnin, Gerald
Concerning Madeline McQuown.
4 10
Fonda, Henry and Jane
4 11
Halsted, Anna B.
4 12
Hinckley, Robert
4 13
Johnson, Mrs. Lyndon B.
4 14
Linford, Ernie
4 15
Miller, David E.
4 16
Nelson, Lowry, and Lowry Nelson, Jr.
4 17
Papanikolas, Helen
4 18
Reston, James, Jr.
4 19
Stegner, Wallace
  • Contains information about contemporary figures in the field of history. His letters are full of wit and humor. There are many revealing passages about his own and others' work.
  • November 5, 1970 - "I'm sorry I couldn't . . . hear you on the subject of manipulating history. Since I've been manipulating history for the purposes of fiction for three years, I'm interested. Is it ok if I twist events and personalities for fictional purposes? or have I sinned? (I'm fairly certain I have--I've got that feeling.)"
  • May 9, 1971 - "I had heard of Dale's [Morgan] death . . . almost one's first thought is the unwritten book [History of the L.D.S. Church] and that's heartless, really. Because he was so fine and decent and generous . . . one should think first of the person we've lost."
  • April 24, 1978 - "You're being rehabilitated in Utah. This is the benign influence of Spencer Kimball. Wait til Ezra [Taft Benson] takes over out you'll go on a rail."
4 20
Taylor, Samuel W.
All of these letters concern the L.D.S. Church and demonstrate Brodie's continuing interest in the Mormons. This folder also contains a copy of an article written by Taylor titled "How to be a Mormon Scholar." January 9, 1978 - "You might be aware that BYU Studies, Summer 1977, might be called the antiBrodie issue . . . . I think you should get an onorary award from the Mormon History Association for your contribution to establishment scholars. If they hadn't had you to buffet for the past 30 years, just what in hell would they have talked about?"
4 21
Udall, Stewart
4 22
Weller, Sam
4 23-27
Miscellaneous Personal Correspondence
These letters are defined as personal by the salutation "Fawn," or "Dear Fawn." This is Brodie's arrangement. Apparently, these were personal friends. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically.
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Congratulatory letters about Brodie's books, research inquiries, and other non-business, non-personal correspondence. The materials in this box are arranged alphabetically by surname of the sender.
Business Correspondence
The majority of this correspondence is with Brodie's various publishers and deals with her books and articles.
Box Folder
6 1
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
This company first published No Man Knows My History in 1945. The correspondence between Brodie and Ashbel Green, managing editor, deals primarily with that book.
6 2
Brockway, George
These letters concern Thaddeus Stevens and The Devil Drives.
6 3
Brockway, George
  • The main subject of almost all of this correspondence is Thomas Jefferson.
  • Brodie, Fawn, to George Brockway
  • March 4, 1973 - "Here is the Jefferson manuscript. . . . I have resolutely kept from taking the advice of my psychoanalyst friends here who want me to engage in more theorizing. This is not psychobiography but an intimate history--or an attempt to portray the inner life, which is not the same as the intimate life."
6 4
Brockway, George
October 16, 1974-I quite understand your obsession with our recent president [Richard Nixon] There is pathology here that cries out for analysis .... Whether there's a market for such a book is another question entirely .... I should add that any big book on any big subject by Fawn Brodie is going to get taken seriously."
6 5
Brockway, George
  • These letters cover the period in which Brodie was writing Richard Nixon. This correspondence also mentions the fatal illnesses of both Bernard and Fawn Brodie. Two undated letters are included at the end of the folder.
  • September 6, 1977-"Your disturbance is unnecessary. My aversion is not to a book about Nixon but to watching the Thing try to justify itself. Stories about him I find endlessly fascinating. Stories by him, endlessly revolting."
  • Brodie, Fawn, to George Brockway
  • October 18, 1977-"As for the Nixon manuscript--I'm delighted that you like it .... Bernard is now beginning to think that my writing the book may make sense after all. His disapproval has been very difficult to live with."
  • Brockway, George, to Richard Brodie
  • July 28, 1981-"The enclosed review is from the current issue of Publisher's Weekly. It's a pity your mother couldn't have seen it." (enclosure)
6 6
Other Publishers
Correspondence between Brodie and other publishers including Spottiswoode LTD., and Eyre Methuen LTD., British publishers of her books No Man Knows My History, The Devil Drives, and Thomas Jefferson.
6 7
International Creative Management
6 8
Personal Finances
6 9
Miscellaneous Business Correspondence
Dale L. Morgan Correspondence
Brodie and Dale L. Morgan, well-known western historian, carried on a correspondence for almost thirty years. Much of this contained research materials. Their common interest was the L.D.S. Church, and a large part of this correspondence deals with that and related subjects. They were also close friends, however, and many items of personal interest are found in these letters. Unless otherwise noted, all following excerpts are from Morgan to Brodie.
Box Folder
7 1
These two letters were probably written before the publication of No Man Knows My History. In one, titled "Memo from Dale Morgan," in Brodie's hand, he gives her specific criticisms and suggestions after reading the first ten chapters of the manuscript.
7 2
  • January 14, 1943-"I know little or nothing about Orson Pratt's marriages, except that a fearful tangle probably exists in heaven from all the women who got sealed to him after his death; I understand that a lot of straightening out will be necessary after judgment day."
  • September 10, 1943-"I think David O. [McKay] really was thinking it would be a hell of a note to be uncle to a naturalistic biographer of the prophet; it would be a reflection on him. If he couldn't keep the members of his own family converted, what future was there for him as a president of the church?"
7 3
  • February 12, 1944-Discusses Porter Rockwell and the Danites, with accompanying notes.
  • April 27, 1944-"I shall go to hell, I know, but I'm enjoying myself now, and I wouldn't be surprised if I enjoy myself somewhat in Hell, too. After all, just think of all the living headaches who are figuring on putting up in heaven."
  • June 18, 1944-Morgan quotes extensively from the journals of Oliver Huntington, an early L.D.S. Church member.
1944 January-June
7 4
  • August 3, 1944-Discusses John Bennett, an early church leader and apostate, and the wives of Joseph Smith.
  • August 28, 1944-This letter contains Dale Morgan's criticisms, thoughts, and suggestions on reading the finished manuscript of No Man Knows My History. Many of the comments and suggestions made about the manuscript appeared in the published book.
  • November 17, 1944-Morgan mentions he has been asked to do a book on Great Salt Lake.
1944 July-December
7 5
April 14, 1945-Morgan comments on a review of No Man Knows My History in the L.D.S. Church publication Improvement Era, written by church leader Dr. John A. Widtsoe. Morgan closes the letter "Your brother in the Gospel, Dale."
1945 January-June
7 6
August 25, 1945-Discusses the end of World War II and its effect on Morgan's position at the Office of Price Administration. He also describes his future plans now the war is over. October 28, 1945-More discussion of No Man Knows My History. "I think that it is a sufficient summarization of your book, that on the third reading in three years, and after all that has gone into it, I can be spell bound by it still, and read in it with absolute fascination."
1945 July-December
7 7
  • January 7, 1946-Morgan indulges in "psychologizing" at some length about the reason Brodie wrote about Joseph Smith. "I have an idea that you haven't come full circle yet in liberating yourself from the church. You have an intellectual but not yet emotional objectivity about Mormonism .... Your book was written out of an emotional compulsion . . . writing Joseph's biography was your act of liberation and of exorcism."
  • May 15, 1946-Discusses the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hugh Nibley's pamphlet "No Ma'am, That's Not History," and his own progress on his book The Great Salt Lake.
1946 January-June
7 8
  • November 21, 1946-Morgan tells Brodie he has finished his book on the Great Salt Lake. He describes a letter he received from a woman who attended a review by David O. McKay of No Man Knows My History. Finally, in a departure from the usual content of his letters, he comments at some length on the current political situation.
  • December 11, 1946-"This is a free soul who is writing you, Hooray! I got my official 30 day notice the day before Thanksgiving . . . come January 1 I am going into the Dale L. Morgan business ... I never felt more exhilarated in my life. I feel as though a lot of damned nonsense had been thrown into my life, and I am now getting about my proper business."
1946 July-December
7 9
1947 January-June
7 10
December 2, 1947-Morgan describes a trip through upstate New York. "Saturday I drove via Palmyra. I think no one but you will know what I mean precisely when I tell you that the ghosts of my youth were trampling around like a herd of elephants. The Hill Cumorah, The Sacred Grove, and all the rest of it."
1947 July-December
7 11
July 20, 1948-"I am sure you will be chagrined to know that you have been barking up the wrong tree all this time, but in a recent radio address on Joseph the Prophet . . . J. Reuben Clark says that 'falsehoods, palpably so on the actual facts, have been told; false situations have been invented; court records have been invented and used as the basis of whole books of vilification and misrepresentation.' Guided by this intelligence, you will no doubt want to revise your book for the next edition."
7 12
7 13
August 16, 1951 - This is the first letter in which Morgan alludes to the fact that he has shifted the emphasis of his studies from Mormon history to the fur trade. He goes on to mention the journals of early trappers he has acquired and quotes from them. There is an unexplained gap in the correspondence of almost four years. From the content of the remaining letters it seems obvious they corresponded during this period, August 1951 to May 1955, but these letters have apparently been lost.
7 14
  • August 21, 1967-In a long letter, Morgan apologizes for not writing. He then lists the books he has written or edited since 1965. He also mentions he has been diagnosed as a mild diabetic. Morgan goes on to describe a biography of Brigham Young, by Madeline R. McQuown, which was supposedly "substantially complete." Apparently Brodie considered writing a biography of Young, but in this letter Morgan advises her to wait until McQuown's book is published.
  • October 5, 1967-"The bestowal of this award [Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society] in effect marked the end of a 22-year period in which your violation of the sacred Mormon prophet taboo exposed you to the usual back-biting of an affronted Utah society, the sniping and the snide remarks."
7 15
December 24, 1969-The only handwritten letter from Dale Morgan. He mentions the death of his mother and tells Brodie he has proposed marriage to an old friend. He then remarks about plans to retire from the Bancroft Library at age fifty-six to devote himself to writing full time.
7 16
Research Materials
Transcripts, copies, and photostats of various research materials, all relating to early Mormon history, that were enclosed in letters from Dale Morgan to Brodie.

III:   No Man Knows My History; The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet Return to Top

When this book was published in November 1945, it instantly aroused controversy. It has remained controversial to this day in both the state of Utah and the nation. Boxes 8-12 contain the only remaining materials relating to the book, its publication, and its aftermath. "Remaining," because the manuscript and research materials were discarded by Brodie (Brodie to Monsignor Jerome Stoffel, November 3, 1967, Bx 9, Fd 3). Box 8 contains notes used for the revised edition of 1971, various research materials, and book reviews. Also included is a signed copy of the second edition and a roll of microfilm pertaining to early church history. Box 9 contains pertinent correspondence. Box 10 is what Brodie called her "Mormon File," plus other materials dealing with the L.D.S. Church but not directly with No Man Knows My History. Boxes 11-12 contain a set of the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, edited by B. H. Roberts, which were originally owned by Thomas E. McKay, Brodie's father.

Container(s) Description Dates
Notes, Research Materials, Reviews
Box Folder
8 1
Miscellaneous Handwritten Notes
8 2
Miscellaneous Typed Notes on Joseph Smith
8 3
Correspondence and Research Materials
These letters contain research information. One, an unsolicited letter to Brodie from Loren G. Kilmer, relates an interesting version of how the printing of the original Book of Mormon was financed.
8 4
Negative copy and reprint of the New York Baptist Register, June 13, 1834.
8 5
Joseph Smith: An Oration, by Nephi Jensen
8 6
Papers and Articles on Mormon Topics
Copies of articles on various aspects of Mormon history sent to Brodie by other scholars interested in the subject.
8 7
Papers and Articles on Mormons and Freemasonry
8 8
Walters, Reverend Wesley P.
Reverend Walters, a Presbyterian minister who did a considerable amount of research into the origins of the Mormon church, often shared the results of his research with Brodie.
8 9-14
Reviews of No Man Knows My History
The reviews range from the New York Times, which called it "one of the best of the Mormon books," and "A masterly job of research," to the extremely hostile Deseret News and Saints Herald (Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) attacks. The hostile reviews include a pamphlet of four reviews compiled by Hugh Nibley. Also included are reviews in British newspapers concerning the British edition of 1963.
Box Folder
9 1
Arrington, Leonard, and William Russell
These letters concern Brodie's access to the L.D.S. Church Archives during the period she was writing No Man Knows My History.
9 2
Kirkham, Francis W.
Two copies of a letter sent to Francis W. Kirkham in response to an article by him in the Improvement Era. Also included is a biography of William D. Purple and a copy of a newspaper article written by Purple in 1877 about the early history of Joseph Smith.
9 3
Stoffel, Monsignor Jerome
October 6, 1967-"You must realize that not only is your story on the life of Joseph Smith great literature but that it is also related to much of the intellectual ferment in Utah .... An Arrington or a Whelan, a McMurrin or an O'Dea are now possible because you pioneered and took the brunt of slander."
9 4
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Non-Mormon, A-G
For the letters in Fds 4-16 the labeling and filing system used by Brodie has been retained, although some of these fall under the category of personal correspondence as defined for Box 4. In a few instances, letters which came to Fawn Brodie after this material had been donated to the University of Utah Libraries (1973) and which deal directly with No Man Knows My History have been added.
9 5
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Non-Mormon, H-M
9 6
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Non-Mormon, P-V
9 7
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Mormon-Favorable, A-E
9 8
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Mormon-Favorable, Fife, Austin E.
9 9
Miscellaneous Correspondence-Mormon-Favorable, G-I
9 10
Miscellaneous Correspondence-Mormon-Favorable, Jensen, George E.
Jensen, professor emeritus at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, describes himself as an "old, cold cynic," but his letters to Brodie are articulate, witty, full of good humor, and sprinkled liberally with quotes from Byron, Kipling, and Twain. Two of the letters are copies, one he sent to Dr. Wells Jakeman, an archaeologist at Brigham Young University, about the factual base of the Book of Mormon, and the other to Preston Nibley, mostly about his nephew Hugh Nibley.
9 11
Miscellaneous Correspondence-Mormon-Favorable, J-N
9 12
Miscellaneous Correspondence-Mormon-Favorable, P-Y
9 13
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Mormon-Unfavorable
Anderson, J. Leland, to John Dart, religion writer for the Los Angeles Times. April 25, 1977 (copy to Brodie)-"May I suggest that you and the Times stop going to negative sources for your information [on the L. D. S. Church] .... Remember there are thousands of Latter-day Saints who read the Times .... the Church, I understand, is also a substantial stockholder of the Times." This folder also contains two unsigned letters that qualify as "hate" mail.
9 14
Miscellaneous Correspondence, Mormon-Unfavorable
9 15
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Letters from members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints commenting unfavorably about No Man Knows My History. The main objection seemed to be the evidence presented by Brodie of Joseph Smitn's polygamy, which their church denies. One member, C. J. Hunt, "age eighty-two," includes a pamphlet printed by him titled The Brodie Book, "No Man Knows My History," Exposed and Rejected. In another letter he alludes to the New York State Penal Code and other laws dealing with "malicious publications."
9 16
Fawn Brodie's "Mormon File"
These materials deal with various aspects of the Mormon religion, but not directly with Joseph Smith or the writing, research, and publication of No Man Knows My History. The box is labeled "Mormon Miscellanea." Other items besides those originally in the file have been added.
Box Folder
10 1
Johnson, Sonia
Newspaper clippings about Sonia Johnson, the excommunicated Mormon feminist.
10 2
Jones, Wesley M.-- Essays
Three essays by Jones on the origins of the Book of Mormon.
10 3
Morgan, Dale L.
"Introduction to A Mormon Bibliography, 1830-1930."
10 4
Nibley, Hugh,-Autobiography
Newspaper article, BYU Today, August 1978.
10 5
Roberts, Brigham Henry
Chapter III of "Book of Mormon Difficulties" and an article based on Roberts' study of the origins of the Book of Mormon.
10 6
Smith, George D., "Looking at the Book of Mormon"
Paper presented by George D. Smith at the sunstone Theological Symposium, August 24-25, 1979.
10 7
Tanner, Sandra and Jerald
Correspondence between Jerald and Sandra Tanner and Brodie, copies of materials sent to the Tanners, and five issues of their newsletter, The Salt Lake City Messenger, July 1978 to July 1980.
10 8
Vetterli, Richard, Research Notes and Articles
10 9
"Mormon Letters"
These letters contain references to No Man Knows My History, but deal more directly with other aspects of the L.D.S. Church. The label on the folder is Brodie's.
10 10
Mormon Articles
From The Christian Century and BYU Studies.
10 11
Mormons and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
10 12
Revelation About Black men
Copy of the 1978 revelation of Spencer W. Kimball, president of the L.D.S. Church, granting the priesthood in that church to Black men.
10 13
Egyptian Papyri
Statement from the Smithsonian Institution on the Book of Mormon. Letter from Brodie to the curator of Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, requesting photographic prints of papyri purchased by the L.D.S. Church.
10 14
Reed Smoot Testimony, Century Magazine
1922 December
10 15
Mormon Bibliography and General Information
A bibliography and two fragmentary sketches about the Mormons by Brodie.
10 16
University of Utah Pen Controversy
Deseret News clippings and editorials dealing with the controversy over the University of Utah's choice of contributors for the Centennial issue (1850-1950) of the Pen, a University of Utah literary journal.
History of the Church
These two boxes contain the multi-volume work edited by B. H. Roberts that was originally owned by Thomas E. McKay, Brodie's father. Box 11 contains volumes 1-4. Box 12 contains a duplicate volume 4, volumes 5-7, and a one-volume history of the life of Wilford Woodruff, originally owned by George H. Brimhall.
History of the Church

IV:   Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South Return to Top

These two boxes contain the materials from Brodie's second book, published in 1959, by W. W. Norton.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
13 1-37
Folders 1-31 contain the introduction and manuscript chapters 1-30. Folders 32-36 contain the footnotes. Folder 37 contains later changes in the manuscript.
Research Materials and Autographed Copy
This box contains the only known existing research materials relating to the book and a signed paperback copy.
Box Folder
14 1
Research Materials -- Articles
14 2
Research Materials -- Photostats
14 3
Research Materials -- Newspapers
14 4
Research Materials -- Photographs
14 5
Book Reviews
14 6
Copyright Infringement
Correspondence about a case of copyright infringement. Brodie threatened to sue, but the matter was settled out of court.
14 1
Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South, W. W. Norton
Autographed soft-bound copy.

V:   The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Research Materials, Photographs, Reviews, Sir Richard Burton Books, Correspondence, Copyright
This box contains the only materials in the collection relating to Brodie's third book, published by W. W. Norton in 1966. The rest of the materials, including the manuscript, notes, almost all of the research materials, and the extensive library of Burton's works which Brodie collected, were sold to the Bancroft Library. All that remains is correspondence, reviews, a folder containing materials concerning a copyright infringement case, and an autographed copy of the book.
Box Folder
15 1
Research Materials
Burton's letters -- transcripts.
15 2
Research Materials
Burton's letters -- photocopies.
15 3
Research Materials
Article by John M. Magel, 1968, about Sir Richard Burton's book The Kasidah of Hati Abdu El-Yezdi, A Lay of the Higher Law.
15 4
Miscellaneous Research Materials
15 5
15 6-10
Reviews of The Devil Drives that appeared in British, American, and Canadian periodicals.
15 11
History Book Club
15 12
Sir Richard Burton Books
Inventory of Burton's works Brodie gathered. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page is the handwritten notation "$2500." This is apparently the price she received from the Bancroft Library for the collection.
15 13-29
Concerned with the book. Included are letters from researchers, scholars, government officals, and admirers.
15 30
Copyright Infringement
15 1
The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton
W.W. Norton, autographed first-edition.

VI:   Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History Return to Top

Next to No Man Knows My History, this was Brodie's most controversial book. Her attempt to relate Jefferson's "inner life" and to detail his affair with a Black enslaved woman greatly offended the conservative scholars of the "Jefferson establishment," who considered her book defamatory and slanderous to the nation's founding fathers. These nine boxes contain almost the complete project, from manuscript to book reviews.

Container(s) Description Dates
Manuscript--Chapters 1-32
Also, final draft of the manuscript including sample cover pages and table of contents.
Manuscript--Appendices, Footnotes, Bibliography, Index
Box Folder
17 1-3
Manuscript--Appendices 1-3
17 4-9
17 10
17 11
Rough draft pages.
17 12
17 13
Book Jacket
17 1
Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History W. W. Norton
Autographed first-edition copy.
Research Notes--Subjects
Box Folder
18 1
18 2
18 3-9
Contemporaries (Specifics) A-W
18 10
18 11-17
18 18
18 19
18 20
Psychological and Medical
18 21
18 22
18 23
Science and Invention
18 24-25
18 26
18 27
Women, Relationships With
18 28-31
Women: Maria Cosway
18 32
Women: Mrs. Betsey Walker
18 33
Research Materials--Sally Hemings
Box Folder
19 1
Source Research
19 2
Source Notes
Account Book, Garden Book, Farm Book.
19 3
Jefferson's Slaves
Counts and Lists.
19 4
19 5
Sally Hemings and Her Children
19 6
Tom Hemings
Woodson Correspondence.
19 7
Beverly Hemings
19 8-11
Madison Hemings
Correspondence and Notes.
19 12-16
Eston Hemings
Correspondence and Notes.
19 17
Joe Fosset
19 18
Family Denial
Jefferson's White descendants vehemently denied his involvment with Sally Hemings. This folder contains documentation of their arguments.
19 19
James Thomson Callender
19 20
Miscegenation and Incest
19 21
19 22
Pearl Graham Material
19 23
Pearl Graham Article
19 24
Published Articles
19 25
Correspondence: Information
19 26
Correspondence: Descendants-assertions
19 27
Correspondence: James A. Bear, Jr.
19 28
Correspondence: Wilson R. Gathings
19 29
Jefferson's Lost Descendants
19 30-32
"The Great Jefferson Taboo," American Heritage, vol. XXIII, no. 4
Correspondence, galleys.
1972 June
19 33
"Thomas Jefferson's Unknown Grandchildren: A Study in Historical Silences," American Heritage, vol. XXVII, no. 6
1976 October
Research Notes--Sources
Box Folder
20 1
Source Notes
20 2
People to be acknowledged.
20 3-9
Authors A-W
20 10-20
20 21
Jefferson Papers (Boyd Edition)
20 22
"Land B"
20 23-26
Account Book
20 27
Farm Book
20 28
Garden Book
20 29
Commonplace Book
20 30
20 31-32
Copies of Correspondence
20 33
Notes and Quotations from Correspondence
20 34
Johnson, Paula, and Virginia Leake
20 35
20 36
Woodson Family
Research Materials--Books, Articles
Box Folder
21 1
Inventing America
21 2
Inventing America
Uncorrected proof.
21 3-5
21 6
Newspaper Articles
21 7
Newspaper Articles
Other books about Jefferson.
Research Materials--Microfilm
Box Reel
22 2
Boston Repertory
22 3-4
New England Palladium
22 5
Richmond Examiner
1801 December 8-1804 January 10
22 6-7
Richmond Recorder
1802 September 1-1803 June 15
22 8
Virginia Federalist
1799 June 1-1800 August 2
22 9
Defense of Young and Minns
Book Reviews, Advertisements, Book Clubs
Box Folder
23 1
Bestseller Lists
23 2-12
23 13-15
23 16
Radio and Television, 1974-1975.
23 17-18
In academic journals.
23 19
Book Advertisements
23 20
Book Clubs
Controversy Notes, Correspondence
Box Folder
24 1
Controversy Notes
Brodie's notes relating to the controversy surrounding her claim that Jefferson had various mistresses.
24 1
Account Books
24 2
24 3-4
Photograph use and permission.
24 5-16
For the period 1968-1973, the letters are requests from Brodie for permission to use quotations, for photocopies, etc. From 1974-1980, the correspondence is concerned with the book itself. Most are favorable, but a few are negative. One writer calls the book and the author a "disgrace"; another refers to her as "Communist supported."
Scripts, Plays about Sally Hemings
Brodie wrote several scripts, screen plays, and filmscripts about Jefferson and Hemings. She tried unsuccessfully to interest studios in her screenplay or filmscript. A play based on Sally Hemings was finally produced.
Box Folder
25 1
Film Proposal
Folders 1-21 pertain to "The Reluctant Revolutionary."
25 2
Film Proposal Abstract
25 3
Film Abstract
25 4-5
1971 August
25 6-11
25 12-13
25 14
Notes: Contemporaries
25 15
Notes: Contemporaries
25 16
Notes: Family
25 17
Notes: Politics and Government
25 18
Notes: Revolution
25 19
Notes: Slavery
25 20
Notes: Women
25 21
Notes: Miscellaneous
25 22
Folders 22-28 pertain to "Sally Hemings," by novelist Barbara Chase-Riboud.
25 23
Publicity and Newspaper Clippings
25 24
Brodie--Suggested Revisions
25 25-28
25 29
Correspondence and Newspaper Clippings
Folders 29-31 pertain to "Thomas J.: A Musical Portrait."
25 30-31
25 32
"The Silver Swan"-Notice

VII:   Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character Return to Top

Boxes 26-54 contain the materials used by Brodie to write her fifth and last book. These twenty-nine boxes comprise the most complete collection detailing the writing and publication of Brodie's books. These boxes contain the entire project from inception to the finished volume. There are research notes, rough drafts, final edited manuscripts, paste-ups and page proofs, tapes of interviews, correspondence, book reviews, and the book itself. This book was written under trying conditions. Both her husband, Bernard Brodie, and her publisher, George Brockway, opposed the project at the start. In the midst of it, in 1977, her husband was diagnosed as having cancer and died in November of 1978. Brodie was reluctant to continue work on the book and stated in a letter at that time that Nixon's life seemed an "obscenity." Bernard Brodie had urged her to finish the project, however, and she resumed work on it. In the summer of 1980, as the book was nearing completion, she was also diagnosed as suffering from terminal cancer. She finished the manuscript in December of 1980, and died a month later. The final touches and editing were done by her sons Dick and Bruce and her daughter-in-law, Janet.

Container(s) Description
Rough Draft--Miscellaneous Pages
Rough Draft--Chapters 1-11
Rough Draft--Chapters 12-20
Rough Draft--Chapters 21-31
Rough Draft--Chapters 32-34, Bibliography
Final Draft--With Notes by Dick, Bruce, and Janet Brodie
Edited Manuscript--With Front Pages, Chapters 1-24
Edited Manuscript--Chapters 25-34, Index, Footnotes, Interviews List, Bibliography
Manuscript Corrections, Paste-up, Corrections, Page Proofs
Research Notes--Assassination-Character
Research Notes--Contemporaries (Acheson-Conally)
Research Notes--Contemporaries (Dean-Johnson)
Research Notes--Contemporaries (Kennedy-Reagan)
Research Notes--Contemporaries (Rebozo-Voorhis)
Research Notes--Cuba Election Campaigns
Research Notes--Family-intelligence Agencies
Research Notes-Interviews A-N
Research Notes-Interviews O-Z-Law
Research Notes-Navy Record-War
Research Notes-War (Vietnam)-Watergate (Tape Transcripts)
Research Notes-Watergate-Yorba Linda
Address Cards
Addresses of the many persons Brodie contacted as sources of information for the book.
Books, Articles
Magazines, Newspapers
Autographed Book and Book Reviews

VIII:  University of California, Los Angeles, 1967-1977Return to Top

These boxes contain materials covering Brodie's career at the University of California at Los Angeles. She began as a senior lecturer in history and advanced to full professor of history and biography. She left UCLA in 1977 to devote full time to her biography of Richard Nixon. These boxes contain Brodie's general correspondence and records, lecture notes from various classes she taught, student papers with her comments, and letters of recommendation for students applying for jobs or entering graduate school. This section also includes the notes and lectures she was to have given at the National Defense Academy of Japan. Notes Brodie used in teaching her courses at UCLA vary widely in format--some are neatly typed, almost essays, while others are handwritten notes. They are arranged by course number and title. Within the individual courses, the notes follow Brodie's arrangement where possible (Lecture I, Lecture II, Lecture III, and so on). It is apparent, however, that where material used in one class applied to another, she re-used the notes, and this leads to some confusion. Some of the notes are missing from the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Correspondence, records, and various documents dating from the period of Brodie's employment by UCLA.
Box Folder
54 1
Personnel Records
Forms, Notices.
54 2
"Bio Bibliography"
Personal data sheets submitted annually by Brodie to the UCLA Personnel office to update her file. The information includes courses taught, publications, committees, awards, and professional activities.
54 3
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Brodie to Robert Burr, chairperson of History Department, January 4, 1977-Discusses her retirement from UCLA. "I leave not without some regret. My years in the department have been wonderfully stimulating."
54 4
"Letters regarding tenure fight"
In early 1971, Brodie applied for tenure as a full professor at UCLA. The reguest was denied, but after writing letters of protest and getting the support of her colleagues, the ruling was reversed. These letters document the events.
Box Folder
55 1-14
American Political Biography
56 1-7
American Political Biography
56 8
The Artist on Oath
56 9-10
56 11
The United States in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
History--Nineteenth--Century America
Box Folder
57 1
Syllabus, Class Outline
57 2-19
Box Folder
58 1-9
An Introduction to Historical Practice
58 10-18
Jeffersonian America
Civil War and Reconstruction
Box Folder
59 1-19
History--Psychohistory and Psychobiography
Box Folder
60 1-2
60 3-4
60 5
60 6-7
60 8-9
Psychoanalysis Seminars
Brodie participated in a series of monthly seminars on psychoanalysis. Other participants were faculty members from UCLA and psychiatrists and psychologists from the Los Angeles area. Each session concentrated on a particular aspect of psychoanalysis, history, or person.
1966 May-1970 March
60 10
Lectures on Biography as Art
60 11-12
Notes on Biographies
Miscellaneous notes on various historical figures arranged alphabetically by the surname of the person.
60 13
The Presidency
Student Papers, A-L
Student Papers, M-V
Letters of Recommendation
As a university professor and noted scholar, Brodie was often asked to write letters of recommendation for former students who were applying for admission to graduate schools or for jobs. This box contains many of those letters. The letters are arranged alphabetically by the student's surname. Also included are students' letters to Brodie asking for recommendations.
Japan Lecture Series
In June 1977 Brodie was invited by the National Defense Academy of Japan to present a series of lectures on the history of the American presidency. She accepted and prepared ten lectures. In November her husband Bernard had to undergo emergency surgery, and as a result they were forced to cancel their trip. This box contains the correspondence, the lectures, and miscellaneous notes used in preparing the lectures.

IX:  Articles, Book Reviews, Lectures, Miscellaneous, and AddendumReturn to Top

In addition to her books, Brodie also published many articles, essays, and book reviews. Box 65 contains articles written for periodicals. In some cases a copy of the magazine or journal is included; in others there is only a photocopy or the typed draft of the article. Box 66 contains articles written for newspapers and those written for encyclopedias. This box also contains the correspondence dealing with the articles. Box 67 contains all of the drafts, research, and correspondence for one particular article, "The Dead Body of the Hero." Box 68 contains book reviews written by Brodie. Brodie was often asked to speak at seminars, ceremonies, and conferences around the country and throughout the world. Boxes 69-70 contain materials relating to her many speaking engagements. Box 69 contains the drafts of the speeches. Box 70 contains other materials dealing with the various speeches and lectures, including correspondence, programs, notes, and other miscellaneous materials. Both boxes are arranged by year. If known, the location where the lecture was given is noted.

Container(s) Description Dates
Articles by Fawn Brodie
Box Folder
65 1
"Polygamy Shocks the Mormons," The American Mercury
65 2
"The Mormon Intellectual," Western Review
Never published.
65 3
"New Writers and Mormonism," Frontier
65 4
"A Lincoln Who Never Was," The Reporter
65 5
"Abolitionists and Historians," Dissent
65 6
"Ronald Reagan Plays Surgeon," The Reporter
65 7
"The Political Hero in America . . .," Virginia Quarterly Review
65 8
"Sir Richard Burton. . . .," Utah Historical Quarterly
65 9
"The Brimhall Saga" (Parts 1 and 2), The American West
65 10
"A Letter from the Camp of Israel," Princeton University Library Chronicle
65 11
"The Great Jefferson Taboo," American Heritage
65 12
"Inflation Idyll: A Family Farm in Huntsville," Utah Historical Quarterly
65 13
"Thomas Jefferson's Unknown Grandchildren," American Heritage
65 14
"Jefferson the Lawyer," New York State Bar Journal
65 15
"Hidden Presidents," Harpers
65 16
"The Hero of Amy's School," National Retired Teachers Journal
65 17
"Amy's School Can Look Back Proudly," Student Outlook
65 18
"I Think Hiss is Lying," American Heritage
Articles for Encyclopedias, Newspapers, and Miscellaneous Articles
Box Folder
66 1
Encyclopedia Britannica
66 2
American Oxford Encyclopedia
66 3
Colliers Encyclopedia
66 4
Notable American Women
66 5
Encyclopedia of World Biography
66 6
Encyclopedia of Notable Americans
66 7
Dictionary of American Negro Biography
66 8
Articles from Newspapers
66 9
"Search for the Nile" (Film Guide)
66 10
"Remembering," University of Utah
66 11
Articles--"Dead Body of the Hero"
Box Folder
67 1-6
67 7
67 8-9
Research Notes
Book Reviews by Fawn Brodie
Box Folder
68 1-11
Book Reviews by Year
68 12
68 13-17
Book Review Drafts
Speeches and Lectures--Drafts
Box Folder
69 1
"Psychoanalysis in Biography"-Pitzer College
69 2
"Thomas Jefferson: His Private Life and Public Policy"
69 3
"Burton and the City of the Saints"-Provo, Utah
69 4
"Can We Manipulate the Past?"-University of Utah
69 5
"Thomas Jefferson and Miscegenation"-New Orleans
69 6
Commencement Address, Immaculate Heart College-Los Angeles
69 7
Phi Beta Kappa-University of California, Los Angeles
69 8
Woman of Science Award-Los Angeles
69 9
"Presidential Sin: Jefferson to Nixon"-University of California, Los Angeles
69 10
"Thomas Jefferson" (Debate with Gary Wills)-Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
69 11-12
"Richard Nixon: The Child in the Man"
69 13
"The Libraries in My Life"-Utah Library Association, Salt Lake City, Utah
69 14
"Richard Nixon: The Difficulties of a Clinical Look"-Michael Reese Hospital
69 15
"Richard Nixon"-Smithsonian Institute
69 16
"The Presidential Hero: Reality or Illusion?"
69 17
"The American Political Hero"
69 18
"A Judgment on Nixon: The Historical Hazards"
69 19
"Picking the Carcass: Can the Historian be Fair to Richard Nixon?"
69 20
"Nixon: The Paradoxes"
69 21
"Nixon, Death and Lying"
Speeches and Lectures--Correspondence, Miscellaneous Material
Box Folder
70 1-9
70 8-15
70 16
Books by Fawn and Bernard Brodie
Copies of books by Fawn and Bernard Brodie that are not included in the rest of the collection.
Box Volume
71 1
Peace Aims and Post-War Reconstruction: An Annotated Bibliography (Preliminary)
71 2
Our Far Eastern Record, by Fawn Brodie
71 3
Peace Aims and Post-War Planning, by Fawn Brodie
71 4
A Layman's Guide to Naval Strategy, by Bernard Brodie
71 5
From Crossbow to H-Bomb, by Bernard and Fawn Brodie
71 1
Writings and Correspondence
Box Folder
72 1
No Man Knows My History
Publisher correspondence, contract, and book jacket.
72 2-5
Correspondence from reviewers and interested individuals, including Carl Sandburg, regarding No Man Knows My History.
72 6-7
Rev. Wesley P. Walters Correspondence
72 8
"A Parallel"
"Copy of a document found among the papers of Brigham H. Roberts, after his demise," that compares the Book of Mormon with the View of the Hebrews.
72 9-10
Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South"
Correspondence, reviews, and news clippings regarding this book, written by Brodie.
72 11
"Who Won the Civil War, Anyway?"
A copy of Brodie's article for the New York Times Book Review. Also includes correspondence, newspaper commentaries, and letters-to-the-editor regarding this article.
72 12
"Going to Russia? Think Twice, But Go!"
72 13
"Israel Notebook"
72 14
News Clippings
Regarding events in Brodie's life.
1932; 1933; 1972

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Latter Day Saint churches--History
  • Women authors, American

Personal Names

  • Brodie, Fawn McKay, 1915-1981--Archives
  • Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890
  • Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
  • Morgan, Dale L. (Dale Lowell), 1914-1971
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844
  • Stevens, Thaddeus, 1792-1868

Form or Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Correspondence
  • Lectures
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Office files