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Joseph Lash manuscript

Identifier: MSS-110

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a manuscript titled, "Dreamers and Dealers."


  • 1987

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Joseph Lash was born on December 9, 1909 in New York City's Upper East Side. He attended City College of New York where he wrote left-wing opinion pieces for the campus newspaper and chaired the college's socialist organization. He became a leader in the Student League for International Democracy, founded the Association of Unemployed College Alumni, and served as an officer in the American Student Union. Lash was also responsible for organizing various anti-war demonstrations on college campuses from 1934 to 1941.

In the late 1930's he briefly served with the Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War, and then later decided that he could aid the cause better as a student leader. In 1939, due to his anti-communist stance in the student movement, Lash was summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee to answer questions about communist infiltration of the American Youth Congress. It was at this time that Lash and Eleanor Roosevelt first met and a friendship developed that would last until Eleanor's death in 1962. Mrs. Roosevelt helped Lash get involved with FDR's 1940 presidential campaign as the director of the Democratic National Committee's Youth Committee. In time Lash became one of Mrs. Roosevelt's most trusted advisers, even though they were criticized for their unusual friendship.

In 1946 Lash helped Mrs. Roosevelt co-found Americans for Democratic Action before he went to work for the New York Post from 1950-1966. In 1966, Elliott Roosevelt asked Lash if he would resign his job at the New York Post so that he could serve as his mother's official biographer and in 1971 Lash published, "Eleanor and Franklin." He later received the Pulitzer Prize for the aforementioned book and spent the next sixteen years writing and editing books about the New Deal and the Roosevelts. Through the years he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Frances Parkman Prize. His last book "Dreamers and Dealers" was published a year after his death on August 22, 1987 in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

EAD finding aid created 2012/10/05 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid revised 2012/10/09 by Bethany Fiechter.

Joseph Lash manuscript
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA