MYERS, GUSTAVUS (1872–1942), U.S. political reformer and historian. Myers was born in Trenton, New Jersey. As a reporter for several newspapers, he belonged to the muckraking movement, attacking big business and political abuses. Myers' first exposé, History of Public Franchises in New York City (1900), was followed by History of Tammany Hall (1901, 19172), and his best-known work, the History of Great American Fortunes (1910, 19363). Among Myers' other works are: Beyond the Borderline of Life (1910), History of the Supreme Court of the United States (1912), The History of American Idealism (1925), The Ending of Hereditary American Fortunes (1939), and History of Bigotry in the United States (1943), in which he attacked all forms of prejudice, including antisemitism. Myers' reputation rests principally on his painstaking research. Highly critical of the conditions that had made abuses possible, he became convinced in later years that modern innovations were contributing toward the elimination of some economic inequalities.
S.J. Kunitz and H. Haycroft, Twentieth Century Authors (1942); J. Chamberlain, Farewell to Reform (1932), index; L. Filler, Crusaders for American Liberalism (1939), index.
[Hans L. Trefousse]