Finding-Aid for the Louis Brownlow Papers (MSS018)


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Table of Contents

Collection Outline

Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Box and Folder Listing


Collection Outline

The Anatomy of the Anecdote

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Descriptive Summary

CreatorBrownlow, Louis, 1879-1963
TitleLouis Brownlow Papers
Quantity: 3 items
Identification: MSS018

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Biographical Note

Louis Brownlow (August 29, 1879–September 27, 1963) was an American author, political scientist, and consultant in the area of public administration. As chairman of the Committee on Administrative Management (better known as the Brownlow Committee) in 1937, he co-authored a report which led to passage of the Reorganization Act of 1939 and the creation of the Executive Office of the President.

Brownlow was born in Buffalo, Missouri, in August 1879. In 1900, Brownlow was hired by the Nashville Banner, and over the next several years wrote for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville Times, and several other newspapers in Tennessee as well. He also worked for the Haskin Syndicate as a political writer and later as a correspondent in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East from 1906 to 1915.

Brownlow came to Washington, D.C. and caught the attention of President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 after being one of the few newspaper reporters to correctly predict that the German Empire would go to war with Serbia over the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Expressing a desire to put into practice many of the administrative practices he had reported on from Europe, Brownlow sought and won from President Wilson appointment in 1915 as a commissioner of the District of Columbia, serving until 1920. He also served on the District of Columbia Public Utilities Commission and the District Zoning Commission from 1917 to 1919. He was City Manager of Petersburg, Virginia, from 1920 to 1923; City Manager of Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1924 to 1926; and City Manager of Radburn, New Jersey, from 1927 to 1931. He briefly worked for the United States Daily newspaper in 1927. He was a consultant to the City Housing Corporation in New York City from 1928 to 1931, and was elected a director of the corporation in 1931.

Brownlow began teaching political science at the University of Chicago in 1931, and later that year was appointed director of the Public Administration Clearing House (which he had helped organize in 1930) at the university. He remained the Clearing House's director until 1945. Brownlow became chairman of the Committee for Public Administration of the Social Science Research Council in 1933, where he worked to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners. He was also chairman of the National Institute of Public Affairs from 1934 to 1949.

Brownlow helped co-found the American Society for Public Administration in 1940, serving in various executive and advisory capacities to it until 1945. Brownlow was also director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Foundation in 1947, and director of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation from 1948 to 1953. He retired from the University of Chicago in 1949, and served as a visiting professor at the University of Washington in 1957 and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse in 1958 and 1959.

Brownlow died of a heart attack in Arlington, Virginia, in September 1963 after delivering a speech at the Army Navy Country Club.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Brownlow Papers consist of three ts. copies of Brownlow's ms., Anatomy of an Anecdote, at various stages of composition and correction.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open.

Use Restriction

None

Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of manuscript collection materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.

All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.

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Administrative Information

Source of Collection

Gift of Barry Karl, 1968.

Accruals

Interfiled within collection or by accession at end of collection.

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Box and Folder Listing

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Box/folder
1/1-3

The Anatomy of the Anecdote,

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Box/folder
1/1
Typescript and manuscript transcription of tape recorded stories, anecdotes, preparatory to Anatomy of the Anecdote. Manuscript revision, synopsis of reels, (138pp)
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Box/folder
1/2
Typescript of Anatomy of the Anecdote, beginning with ca. p 81 of published text, differing considerably from it. Heavy manuscript revision., (98pp)
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Box/folder
1/3
Typescript [carbon] of Anatomy of the Anecdote, corresponding generally to published text. Some manuscript revision. Includes preface, text., (233pp)

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