Category Archives: controversies

“foul tactics”

 

 

‘Dreiser Defends Norris on Power’ – NY Times 1-2-1931

 

‘Dreiser Attacks Power Trust,’Chicago Daily Tribune 7-2-1931

 

‘Foul Tactics’ – NY Times 7-3-1931

 

 

Posted here (above) as downloadable PDF files are two news stories and an editorial focusing on controversy that Theodore Dreiser was involved in in 1931. As is well known, Dreiser did less writing after the publication of his only bestseller, An American Tragedy, and became an outspoken critic of the capitalist system. The articles posted above focus on a controversy which occurred in July 1931 when Dreiser attacked monopolistic practices of utility companies.

 

 

DREISER DEFENDS NORRIS ON POWER

The New York Times

July 2, 1931

 

 

DREISER ATTACKS “POWER TRUST” AND TELLS WHY

Chicago Daily Tribune

July 2, 1931

 

 

FOUL TACTICS (editorial)

The New York Times

July 3, 1931

 

 

The New York Times editorial in whimsical fashion segues from a discussion of Dreiser’s attack on utilities to a billboard advertising the forthcoming film An American Tragedy and Dreiser’s dissatisfaction with the film, which he tried to prevent from being shown.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

    June 2018

“Dreiser’s Alleged ‘Cribbing’ from Anderson Raises Furor”

 

 

downloadable PDF file below

 

 

“Dreiser’s Alleged ‘Cribbing’ from Anderson Raises Furor”

New York Herald Tribune

Tuesday, September 7, 1926

 

 

‘Dreiser’s Alleged Cribbing,’ NY Herald Tribune, September 1926

 

 

 

letters about Dreiser and the issue of anti-Semitism, The Nation, 1935

 

 

The Nation, May 15, 1935

 

 

These letters. published in The Nation of May 15, 1935 (see downloadable PDF file above) deal with the issue of anti-Semitism as it pertains to Theodore Dreiser.

 

 

 

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Note:

 

Dreiser scholar Donald Pizer has written extensively about this issue. See:

 

Donald Pizer,  “Dreiser and the Jews,” Dreiser Studies, vol. 35, no. 1 (summer 2004)

Donald Pizer, American Naturalism and the Jews: Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather (University of Illinois Press, 2008)

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

Bennett Cerf, “A Luncheon at the Ritz”

 

Bennett Cerf, ‘A Luncheon at the Ritz’

 

This account by Bennett Cerf (see above downloadable PDF file) appeared in the January 1966 issue of Playboy. Cerf states therein that he was at the luncheon meeting at the Ritz Hotel in New York on March 19, 1926 when Theodore Dreiser threw a cup of lukewarm coffee into publisher Horace Liverights’s face.

Cerf’s account is problematic.

In his biography, Firebrand: The Life of Horace Liveright (pg. 200), Tom Dardis observes:

The account of Bennett Cerf in his memoirs [At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf, not the account posted here] has no firsthand information, for Cerf was not present at the event and had left B&L [Boni & Liveright] a year before it happened.

Cerf says that the only persons at the luncheon were Dreiser, Horace Liveright, and himself. He does not mention film producer Jesse L. Lasky, who was also there to discuss the sale of film rights to An American Tragedy.

 

— Roger W. Smith

   March 2016

“Dreiser Not Needed Here” (editorial), Toronto Globe and Mail, December 22, 1942

 

 

Toronto Globe and Mail

December 22, 1942

 

 

Dreiser Not Needed Here

  Excellent as Mr. Theodore Dreiser is as an author, he is not great enough to be able to insult British people in an interview and then expect them to listen to him as an exponent of democracy. Toronto is tolerant, but not stupid or crazy, and it certainly would be both stupid and crazy if it welcomed a public speaker who “would rather see the Germans in England than the damn’ snobs now there.” Perhaps he doesn’t know Canada has an army in England to help keep the Germans out, that many thousands of Canadians have given their lives to assist the “damn’ snobs” in destroying the most brutal thugs that ever resorted to arms – the people Mr. Dreiser admires and to whom he belongs by ancestry.”

Mr. Dreiser has no proper place on any public platform in Toronto or Canada. The sponsors of the Town Forum made a fatal mistake in bringing him here; the City Council did the right thing in acting to prevent him from speaking.

His subject was to have been “Democracy On the Offensive.” Whatever may be his ideas on democracy, he said enough to show they are contrary to those of this country. He is no morale builder for us. He had better tell his story to Hitler.