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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 35

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This is the grave of Archibald MacLeish.

2016-02-12 13.36.25

Born in Illinois, MacLeish grew up rich, went to Harvard, served in World War I, and went to law school. But his career took a sharp left turn in the 1920s, when he decided to commit himself to a literary life and became part of the American expatriate community in Paris. He moved significantly to the left, even as he was writing for Fortune, and became an important part of the Popular Front in the 1930s, although one willing to criticize communist actions as well. He committed himself to fusing populism and nationalism, turning his back on his expatriate years for a new commitment to American ideals in a leftist light. FDR spent actual political capital naming MacLeish the Librarian of Congress because the poet was known for his communist sympathies and received significant Republican opposition. He became assistant director of the Office of War Information during World War II. After the war, he became a target for anticommunists, but this did not much affect his career. He taught at Harvard from 1949 until he retired in 1962. He died in 1982.

If you want a good chuckle, you can read MacLeish’s Conservapedia entry. HE WORKED FOR THE SAME LAW FIRM AS ALGER HISS!!!!

Also, just to point out how hard I work to please you people and the sheer physicality of blogging, note that I had to drive up a rural country dirt road into the mountains to find this. Then the cemetery was covered in 6-10 inches of snow. I had to do some investigation to figure out what part of the cemetery this was in and then went and started moving snow off of likely areas. The whole thing really reinforced my masculinity.

Archibald MacLeish is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Conway, Massachusetts.

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