Emery Reves

Emery Reves (Hungarian: Révész Imre) (16 February 1904 – 4 October 1981) was a writer, publisher, literary agent and advocate of world federalism.

Youth

Reves was born in Bácsföldvár, Hungary, to Jewish parents and educated in Berlin, Zurich and Paris.

Publishing career and Winston Churchill

In 1933, he founded a publishing company, the "Cooperation Publishing Service", which was known for its strong anti-Nazi stance. In 1937, he befriended Winston Churchill, becoming his literary agent. When Churchill was elected Prime Minister, Reves was sent to New York to help build up the British propaganda organisation in both North and South America. In 1940 he was naturalised as a British subject.[1] After the war, he purchased the rights to publish Churchill's war memoirs outside the United Kingdom and likewise Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples.

He is also known for publishing the book I Paid Hitler (1941) in which he said Fritz Thyssen was clearly, in his mind, "one of the men most responsible for the rise of Hitler and for the seeking of power by the National Socialists in Germany".[2]

The Anatomy of Peace and an Open Letter to the American People

He was the author of The Anatomy of Peace, a 1945 book that helped popularize the cause of world federalism.[3] Reves argued that world law was the only way to prevent war and that the fledgling United Nations Security Council would be inadequate to preserve peace because it was an instrument of power, rather than an instrument of law. His book was endorsed by Albert Einstein and numerous other prominent figures.[4]

The cover of the book had an "Open Letter to the American People", signed by Owen J. Roberts, J.W. Fulbright, Claude Pepper, Elbert D. Thomas, and other dignitaries, which began:

The first atomic bomb destroyed more than the city of Hiroshima. It also exploded our inherited, outdated political ideas.
A few days before the force of Nature was tried out for the first time in history, the San Francisco Charter was ratified in Washington. The dream of a League of Nations, after 26 years, was accepted by the Senate.
How long will the United Nations Charter endure? With luck, a generation? A century? There is no one who does not hope for at least that much luck- for the Charter, for himself, for his work, and for his children’s children. But is it enough to have Peace by Luck? Peace by Law is what the peoples of the world, beginning with our selves, can have if they want it. And now is the time to get it.

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950.[5]

Later life

Graves of Emery and Wendy Reves (cropped)
Grave of Emery and Wendy Reves on the campus of the College of William and Mary

From 1964 to his death, he was married to Wendy Russell, an American former fashion model who had been his companion since 1948. The couple established a home in the early 1950s in the Villa La Pausa, which had originally been constructed for fashion designer Coco Chanel. Churchill was a regular guest at La Pausa in the late 1950s, but his friendship with Emery and Wendy cooled, apparently due to Clementine Churchill's dislike of Wendy. A pained letter from Reves to Churchil in early 1960, refusing to invite him to La Pausa again, shows how bitterly estranged the former friends had become; Reves wrote openly about Wendy's struggle with depression and seemed to imply that Clementine, if not Winston himself, had been partly responsible for it.

In 1985, Reves's widow established the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art with a donation that stipulated the recreation within the museum of the 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) villa, especially for the display of the collection. In 1989, Wendy Reves established the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William & Mary to honor her late husband and his commitment to internationalism; the adjacent residence hall is also named for the couple.[6]

In 1991, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra commissioned a piece called Anatomy of Peace in Reves's memory; it was composed by Marvin Hamlisch and orchestrated by Richard Danielpour.

Works

  • A Democratic Manifesto. Jonathan Cape: London, 1943.
  • The Anatomy of Peace, Harper and Brothers, 1945.

References

  1. ^ "No. 34807". The London Gazette. 8 March 1940. p. 1388.
  2. ^ Fritz Thyssen, I Paid Hitler, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd: London, 1941, pp. 14-15. (Foreword by Emery Reves)
  3. ^ Reves, Emery (1945). The Anatomy of Peace (1 ed.). New York & London: Harper & Brothers Publishers – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ Einstein, Albert (1994). "Atomic War or Peace". Ideas and Opinions: With An Introduction by Alan Lightman, Based on Mein Weltbild, edited by Carl Seelig, and Other Sources, New Translations and Revisions by Sonja Bargmann. New York: The Modern Library. p. 134.
  5. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via Nobelprize.org.
  6. ^ "William & Mary - Reves Hall". Wm.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-02.

External links

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