Carey McWilliams (1905-1980) was a writer, lawyer, journalist, lecturer, activist, as well as Chief of the California Division
of Immigration and Housing (1938-1942) and editor of
The Nation (1955-1975). This collection contains correspondence, primarily letters written to McWilliams.
Carey McWilliams was born December 13, 1905 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He completed his Juris Doctorate from the University
of Southern California in 1927. From 1927-1938, McWilliams was an attorney at the law firm Black, Hammack in Los Angeles.
In 1938, he was appointed as Chief of the Division of Immigration and Housing of the State of California, a position he kept
until 1942. During the period from 1945-1955, he began his long association with
The Nation, becoming successively contributing editor, associate editor, and then editorial director. From 1955-1975, he was
The Nation's editor. In addition to his editorial duties, McWilliams was a prolific lecturer and writer, speaking on many subjects and
contributing articles and essays to numerous publications. After his retirement from
The Nation, he continued to write a regular column for that publication. His monographs include
Ambrose Bierce, a biography (1929);
Louis Adamic and shadow America (1935);
Factories in the field: the story of migratory farm labor in California (1939);
Ill fares the land: migrants and migratory labor in the United States (1942);
Brothers under the skin (1943);
Prejudice: Japanese-Americans, symbol of racial intolerance (1944);
Southern California country: an island on the land (1946);
A mask for privilege: anti-Semitism in America (1948);
North from Mexico: the Spanish-speaking people of the United States (1949); California: the great exception (1949);
Witch hunt: the revival of heresy (1950); and his autobiography
The education of Carey McWilliams (1979). In the late 1970s, McWilliams was briefly a Regents Lecturer at the University of California Riverside and then taught
one quarter at the University of California Los Angeles in the History Department. He died of cancer at the age of 74 on June
27, 1980 in New York, New York.
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