Merian Caldwell Cooper would be a top candidate for the "Most Interesting Man in the World." Although Cooper is known for his 1933 production of King Kong, there were many more interesting episodes in his life in addition to that iconic movie. Indeed, in the words of the film historian Richard Schickel, “his career was larger than life.” Expelled from Annapolis in his senior year for advocating air power, a view the navy frowned on, in 1916 he joined the Georgia National Guard and served with General Pershing’s expedition against Pancho Villa.
Not long ago the Hoover Archives received the papers and memorabilia of the US musician and military intelligence officer Ernest Schelling. Found during initial sorting of the materials was a tattered manila envelope containing two unsigned typewritten copies of a text in English ending with “Riond Bosson, Morges, Switzerland, May 29, 1920.”
With the twenty-fifth anniversary of the peaceful revolution that swept Eastern Europe approaching, Hoover Archives has made available for research the papers of Mieczysław Rakowski (1926–2008), Poland's top communist intellectual, and for many years the editor in chief of the Polish United Worker's Party (PUWP) organ Polityka, perhaps the most open and sophisticated weekly in all the Soviet bloc. Rakowski was prime minister during 1988–89, the last year of the communist regime in Poland before the takeover of the government by the Solidarity opposition.
Nikolai Nikolaevich Marchenko, a Russian émigré writer best known under the pen name Nikolai Morshen, taught Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and wrote poetry in his spare time. His father, Nikolai Vladimirovich Marchenko, pen name Nikolai Narokov, is known for two novels: Mogu! and Mnimye velichiny, translated into English as The Chains of Fear (Chicago: Regnery, 1958).
The Hoover Archives is pleased to announce the opening of materials relating to the government service of Herbert Hoover Jr., the son of President Herbert Hoover. This recently declassified set of papers documents Hoover's time as undersecretary of state during the Eisenhower administration, covering the period 1954 to 1957. Among the issues addressed are US base rights in the Philippine Islands, US/Israeli relations, the Suez Canal crisis, and foreign policy in the Middle East more broadly.
The origins of the current Ukrainian political turmoil lie in the country's recent path of development, and in particular the electoral contests that resulted in the Orange Revolution of 2004 and the election of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukrainian president in 2010. The Hoover Institution has recently acquired an important collection of papers that help to document this period and will be useful to all researchers seeking to understand the state of Ukrainian politics today.
The 1988-1991 movement for national independence in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia was resisted not only by Moscow, but it also had to contend with strong local opposition. Several pro-Soviet organizations emerged in reaction to growing popular demands for national sovereignty and independence in the Baltic region.
Hoover research fellow Paul Gregory has donated the pocket-sized English-Russian dictionary that Lee Harvey Oswald used in Russia to the Hoover Institution Archives.
A February 2013 public opinion poll of citizens in the Russian Federation found that 36 percent of respondents considered the Soviet political system better than all others, a 7 percent rise over last year. Such data should make researchers want to analyze more closely the political development of the Russian Federation since 1991, in particular the continuing appeal of the Soviet form of government among a growing sector of the population.
Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, has donated several rare publications on the history and development of Soviet anti-plague and biological warfare defense programs to the Hoover Institution Library. Of particular note is a twelve-volume set entitled Zanimatel’nye ocherki o deiatel’nosti i deiateliakh protivochumnoi sistemy Rossii i Sovetskogo Soiuza (Moskva, 1994-2002) on how to create defenses against plague and other infectious diseases.