TO ALCOHOL SOCIOLOGY HOME PAGE
In Search of the Mysterious Mrs. Marty Mann: An Evolving and (Hopefully) Collaborative Enterprise
Ron Roizen et al.
- See comment from Laura Cama of Towanda, PA at bottom of this page, posted Sept. 14, 2008.
- Note to readers, added Nov. 3, 2012: This little experiment in collective construction turned out to be remarkably unsuccessful -- that is, aside from Laura Cama's welcome contribution. It's interesting to speculate why. In our current age of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest, it might have seemed that a communal historical enterprise like the one proposed on this page back in the late 1990s would have fared better. Maybe the format was a little too formal. Or maybe the subject matter was unfamiliar to almost everyone who visited the page. Or maybe there was a proprietary sensibility among potential contributors who knew or knew of Mann. Whatever is the case -- and I'm sure other explanations are possible -- I liked the idea of this sort of endeavor and I think the page, as it stands and has stood for more than 10 years, offers some interesting ideas in relation to Mann and her career. I see no particular reason to take the page down at this point, despite its lack of progress.
I'd like to try a something new, exploiting the new technology of the World Wide Web not only to present an historical study but to build one as well.
The topic is Mrs. Marty Mann (1904-1980), co-founder and longtime Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism. I'm going to start the ball rolling with some "seed text," reflecting some of the fruits of my explorations into Mann's history and relationship to the modern alcoholism movement in the U.S. I'll revise and expand this text as the opportunities and new material arise.
I'd like to invite readers, fellow historical inquirers, friends of Mann, and others to contribute to it, too--simply by sending me an email (by clicking on my name, above). I will evaluate these contributions--and either amend or expand the text or add them to a "comments & responses" page linked to this one. My goal is to expand the historical enterprise beyond what I myself may be able to contribute, thus making use of the knowledge, research, and analyses offered by others...many of whom, I hope, will know a good deal more about Marty Mann than I do. As other contributions find there way into the text, I'll expand the list of authors with names of new contributors.
Some frustration may be inherent in such an enterprise--particularly if and when contributors provide material that I elect not to include in the main text. I apologize in advance for that possiblity. All contributions, however, will be posted at the "comments & responses" page so that other readers may at least be made aware of what's been offered and by whom.
Why Marty Mann?
Historical interest in Mann hardly needs explanation--she was one of the key figures in the modern alcoholism movement and undoubtedly the most significant voice on behalf of popularizing the disease idea to the American public.
My own interest in Mann has a special history that I'd like briefly to recount.
In 1991, I completed my dissertation, The American Discovery of Alcoholism, 1933-1939 (University of California, Berkeley, Sociology). This study addressed a single burning question that I had nursed virtually since entering the alcohol studies field in the early 1970s--namely: If the disease conception of alcoholism was as problematic as many researchers seem to believe, then why had the first generation of post-Repeal alcohol scientists embraced it with such commitment and enthusiasm?
My research took me back to the history and circumstances of a key decision taken by the prestigious Research Council on Problems of Alcohol (hereinafter, RCPA) in October, 1939--which I dubbed "Bowman's Compromise." Documents unearthed at the Lane Medical Archives at the Stanford University Medical School revealed that RCPA scientists had elected to confine much of their future research attentions to alcoholism--thus foregoing more traditional research questions relating to alcohol's various effects on the human organism--in order to make use of quiet offers of funding support from distilling interests. They reasoned that traditional research questions would inevitably have outcomes that would bear on alcohol's reputation in society. Particularly research finding that alcohol was less responsible than formerly thought for one or another health or social problem would be problematic if it were subsequently discovered that liquor industry dollars had supported the study. Questions of bias would certainly be raised. Research focussed on alcoholism, on the other hand, proffered no such disturbing prospect. And so the RCPA voted to make alcoholism its central research preoccupation in the autumn of 1939 and subsequently made use of grants from distillers (see esp. Chapter 8 of my diss.).
After finishing the dissertation, my alcoholism-movement interest turned to the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies (YCAS), the research enterprise that gained ascendancy over the RCPA in the 1940s. I wanted to expand my history into the next decade, and I was quite surprised to discover the considerable extent to which the YCAS group pulled away from the RCPA's alcoholism focus and paradigm preferring instead a more eclectic alcohol-problems model for the conceptual organization of their enterprise. This finding was not new--indeed, Robin Room (1982) and Mark Keller (1985) had previously emphasized Yale's alcohol-problems orientation--but nobody had yet explained why the Yale-based group shifted away from the previous alcoholism focus.
This shift had a special significance for me. My dissertation had shown that social-constructionist forces played a primary role in bringing forth the alcoholism focus in the nascent American alcohol science enterprise. The Yale-based groups rejection of the alcoholism focus therefore implied either (a) that social-constructionist factors were not as important as my previous study had suggested, (b) that the same forces might have different impacts in a different institutional setting, or (c) that a different set of social-constructionist factors were at work at alcohol science's Yale venue. I ended up concluding (c) and presented my findings in a paper titled "Paradigm Sidetracked: Explaining Early Resistance to the Alcoholism Paradigm at Yale's Laboratory of Applied Physiology, 1940-1944," which was presented at a conference in London, Ontario in May, 1993. My thesis was that Yale's knowledge-diffusion orientation to alcohol science, unlike the RCPA's knowledge-creation orientation, was better served by an alcohol-problems paradigm's eclectic and flexible character. The alcoholism paradigm was also ill-suited to Yale's diffusionist enterprise because little of a scientific sort was actually known about alcoholism.
But, and of course, the story was far from over. In October, 1944, E.M. Jellinek and Mrs. Marty Mann launched at Yale the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (later renamed and better known as the National Council on Alcoholism [NCA]), an endeavor singularly focussed on popularizing the disease conception of alcoholism and its various policy corollaries to the American public. Yale, it seemed, had jumped paradigmatic horses back to the RCPA's alcoholism focus, and the burning question became why. The answer lay in not only scientist Jellinek's aims and interests but in Mann's as well. Mann, who often described herself as the first woman to achieve sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), seemed to personify the conflation of the alcohol science movement's aspirations with those of AA. But I knew little of Mann and so I began the slow process of accumulating material on her--including a one-day, whirlwind visit to her papers at Syracuse University. Her story grew more complex and intriguing the more I learned about her and in due course I've become persuaded that understanding Marty Mann will bring us much closer to understanding how and why the modern alcoholism movement took off in American culture after her entry on the scene. And hence this would-be enterprise...
Mann or Anderson?
Why, then, did the Yale-based group, with Mann, switch to the alcoholism focus?
The easiest answer is that they (and "they" incidentally refers chiefly to Jellinek, Bacon, and Haggard) were beginning to see emergence of AA as a powerful player in the alcohol problems social arena and wanted somehow to make use of that fact for the promotion of their alcohol science and "science & society" agenda. There is considerable truth in that explanation, but it should not obscure the fact that a specifically "disease concept" campaign was independently emerging on the scientific side of the alcohol problems aisle before AA became a significant force..
The key document re the scientific evolution of this focus was Dwight Anderson's 1942 paper "Alcohol and Public Opinion," published in the Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol as well as presented as a lecture at the Yale Summer School and promulgated in other ways as well. Anderson was yet another public relations specialist brought in by the RCPA to try to solve the problem of how to win significant funding for the nascent, but ongoingly money-starved, alcohol science enterprise. Anderson took the 1939 RCPA decision to focus on the problem of alcoholism one step farther--he suggested that stressing the disease character of alcoholism afforded the alcohol science movement a fine central symbol by which the public could differentiate the "new scientific approach" to alcohol from the old warring dry and wet camps. Anderson was, in other words, a student of "image making" in public relations--and he proposed the disease concept theme and several of its action corollaries as the perfect "image" through which alcohol science could present itself to the public as a fundamentally new enterprise. His essay remains a brilliant and seminal artefact in the history in modern alcoholism movement.
The relationship between Mann's and Anderson's focuses and agendas for the disease concept constitutes one of the really intriguing historical mysteries of the movement. Mann may have come up with the disease-concept focus independently--i.e., in the writing of a late-night outline in February of 1944, as she described in a number or retrospective accounts. On the other hand, she may have read or otherwise been aware of Anderson's 1942 essay by that point, and then crafted its themes to her own agenda. The trouble is, I have some difficulty believing or taking at face value assertions Mann made about the provenance of the NCA's great theme or her life story in general. There are four good reasons for this: (1) Mann championed a movement in which her own biography became a central, and even defining, narrative--and thus she shaped that biographical account to the movement's rhetorical needs; (2) there is ample evidence of key points in Mann's biographical account where she misrepresented or fabricated her story; (3) Mann's tendency toward self-aggrandizement; and (4) Mann's secret lesbian sexual orientation--which amounted to a kind of invisible elephant around which she had to accomodate her autobiographical accounts.
The issue is still more complex. If this were simply a priority-of-discovery dispute--like whether Darwin or Wallace first dreamed up evolution by natural selection--then the Anderson/Mann puzzle would lead in several research directions I can describe. But the important historical issue goes well discovery, per se, and concerns how a key alliance and synergism was achieved between the scientific and AA-lay sides of the modern alcoholism movement--and what shaped that alliance. I'll return to this more important issue presently, but let me consider for a moment the discovery aspect of the story.
The Anderson/Mann issue does not seem to have troubled Anderson himself--he even speaks of Mann's seemingly independent hitting upon the disease-concept focus in his book, The Other Side of the Bottle (1950). But it did bother Anderson's wife, Missy, after Anderson died. In traces of a revealing exchange of correspondence that I found in Mann's papers at Syracuse University, Missy pressed NCA's Deputy Executive Director Yevlin Gardner in a letter dated 28 July 57 to give due credit to Anderson for defining the disease concept campaign and its various action or social policy corollaries. The occasion was the opening of NCA's library, which was to be called "The Dwight Anderson Memorial Library" and the preparation of a scroll making the announcement. A draft copy of the scroll--dated 31 Oct 57--included the following text:
The text continues with a direct quotation from Anderson's 1942 paper, in which he presented essentially the same themes described as "4 kinetic idea."
The origin of the 'three basic concepts', on which the program of the National Council on Alcoholism has been based from the beginning is hereby gratefully acknowledged. They were slightly adapted by Dwight Anderson himself for our use, as follows:
1. Alcoholism is a disease and the alcoholic a sick person
2. The alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping
3. This is a public health problem and therefore a public responsibility
Mann herself responded to Missy on 2 Aug 57 regarding the credit due Dwight Anderson. In a draft of her letter, she wrote in part:
There are (alas!) strands of disingenuousness even in this gracious paragraph authored by Mann. I, for one, am unaware of repeated statements on Mann's part highlighting the importance of Anderson's article--if I recall correctly, for example, it goes unmentioned in her 1950 book, Primer on Alcoholism (unfortunately I don't have personal copies of either Mann's or Anderson's 1950 books here in Idaho). Moreover, there are very good reasons for Mann--the activist--to steer public attention away from Anderson's essay--because it emphasized and traced the origins of the disease theme to a campaign oriented around generating funding and support for alcohol science, per se. Moreover--and ironically--I'm not sure Mann doesn't sell her own contribution short in this acknowledgement to Missy, in that Mann's original idea harbored a subtle but key difference from Anderson's. There is a thicket of history here and it is by no means a simple story.
I am whole-heartedly in accord with your idea of putting Dwight's '4 Kinetic Ideas' in print in the flolder, along with the title of the article which was their original source and its date of publication. I have repeatedly stated both in speech and in writing that that article of Dwights's was one of the major factors which triggered me into thinking up what is now The National Council on Alcoholism, and I have further gone out of my way to tag the credit for what we call 'Our Four Concepts' where it belongs: to Dwight Anderson. This is an ideal way to get it down in print and make it stick, and I personally like it tremendously.
Fatalistic and Optimistic Images of "Disease":
In understanding the significance of Mann and the NCA to the modern alcoholism movement one must first have, I believe, a keen sense of the substantial differences--even contradictions--that divided or distinguished the alcohol-science movement from the AA-lay movement. There are many telling dimensions of difference between the two camps. But perhaps the most important of these concerns the issue of gnosis.
The genius of AA was a kind of fundamental abandonment of human hubris, including human knowledge of the sources of one's alcoholism. This aspect of the AA philosophy is perhaps best expressed in Bill W.'s famous, and grateful, letter to psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung had emphasized the helplessness of conventional psychotherapy and medicoscience for the alcoholic, thus inviting a kind of admission of defeat and helplessness that could in turn act as an invitation to a spiritual renewal. The alcohol science movement, on the other hand, built the grand case for the power of human intelligence--properly marshalled--on behalf of solving the alcoholism mystery the way medicoscience had solved other disease problems...in effect, offering a new gnosis, or at least the likely prospect thereof. AA was also fundmentally a spiritually-oriented, lay, and voluntary enterprise--whereas the alcohol science movement was empiricallly, rationalistically, and professionally oriented.
A keen sense of the crucial divide between the scientific and the AA-lay movements provides the necessary starting-place for appreciating just how wide was the gap Mann's NCA movement had to span...for Mann's movement was a was fundamentally a linking enterprise, connecting the cultural capital afforded by the new science movement with that afforded by the AA-lay movement. That's the interesting social conjuction she somehow had to create. It's a conjunction that is easy to see in retrospect but not so easy to craft when one is on the ground at the time and before it has been accomplished!
What emerges from this conjunctionist enterprise is the key significance of the disease concept itself--a concept to some extent at least shared by the two different movements, science and AA. But the concept was fraught with difficulties that Mann had somehow to manage or paper over. First of all, it must be appreciated that the "disease" or "illness" idea itself is not a simple, one-dimensional conception but a complex and multi-dimensional idea with distinctively different meaning potentials. AA tended to use the idea to convey the hopelessness and inevitablity of either death or insanity for the un-rescued alcoholic. In other words, it was the ineluctability of a terrible fate that served as the spiritual opportunity that alcoholism afforded the alcoholic. In the scientific context, however, the disease conception had a quite different meaning--there, alcoholism was a disease like any other and thus susceptible (now and more so in the future) to effective treatments. The difference between the two meaning-spins is dramatic indeed, verging on opposition. It is a matter of considerable significance, I believe, that Mann took the scientific and optimistic view of the disease concept rather than AA's essentially fatalistic conception in her great campaign. Why she did that is both a clue and a mystery. By the way, it is remarkable to me that this difference did not spawn the sort of discussion and controversy that the anonymity issue sparked within AA vis-a-vis Mann's campaign--though it did at least once arise in a criticism of Mann's enterprise by an AAer (documented in Johnson's 1973 dissertation).
To understand why Mann took the optimisitic, good-treatments-are-already-out-there view of disease one must understand what Yale's ambitions were re her movement. In this way, moreover, one will get a clearer view of the indebtedness and influence of the Yale context re her campaign--though even that contextualizing falls somewhat short of a fully satisfactory answer. From Yale's perspective, the NCA campaign was to function in much the way that the American Cancer Society (ACS) or the American Lung Association (ALA) functions with respect to their disease focuses--namely, NCA was to provide the lay wing of medicoscience's effort to research and treat a disease. Such a lay wing can accomplish certain things that it is difficult for scientists themselves to do--including providing information and referral services, lobbying for more attention to the disease, and (not least) serving as a conduit for voluntary constributions for research. In the original Yale conception, the NCA was going to exploit particularly the families of alcoholics--much the way that the ACA and ALA is comprised largely of family members advocating for their afflicted husband, wife, son, or daughter. This orientation's legacy, incidentally, is apparent in Mann's 1950 book--which is addressed primarily to family members rather than to alcoholics themselves. The Yale idea, therefore, was that the diffusion and growth of AA would provide for a parallel diffusion and growth in a supporting organization patterned on the one-disease advocacy of the ACA or ALA. Mann herself once described the NCA campaign as such. A "Q&A" format article, titled "How can I help an alcoholic?" (1954)--and undoubtedly authored by Mann herself--describes the NCA in just these terms. The response to a question about the differences between AA and NCA reads in part: "The National Committee on Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a voluntary health agency, like the TB Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association. Its Board members are professional and lay citizens, mostly non-alcoholic" ("How," 1954, n.p.).
In this light, Mann's NCA must be seen as rather more the organizational offspring of the new science enterprise than AA, per se--an historial imagery that Mann tended to omit from her historical accounts. In fact, Mann was in effect a salaried employee of the Yale-based alcohol establishment for the first five years of her organization's existence. The arrangement broke down, moreover, when it simply failed to generate the flow of voluntary contributions (earmarked for Yale) that had been anticipated. It is in the breakdown of the arrangement, in fact, that the organizational-support agenda becomes particularly evident.
One may find three layers of commentary on the break-up in Mann's papers at Syracuse. The first, or public layer, offered the polite explanation--comprising some words about how NCA had grown to maturity and could survive on its own as well as how Yale was an inappropriate institutional base for a national advocacy organization. The second layer--including the minutes of the break-up meeting of NCA's board--reveals a contentious battle over money matters springing from the net drain on the Yale-based group's treasury resulting from NCA's continuing inability to generate money for the parent group. And, finally, a third layer telling how NCA and Yale actually ended up competing with each other for funding patronage--a circumstance that seems to have thoroughly annoyed Selden Bacon to the point of ending the relationship. Much is revealed in this material.
But there is much more to this story--indeed, we've only scratched the surface so far of Mann's complex relationship to Yale, AA, and the disease idea.
Mann as Architect as well as Publicist of the Disease Concept:
The picture I've been sketching of Mann's commencement on the NCA project may suggest that she was an alcoholic with considerable gifts and talents who simply landed a job at the Yale-based group and obligingly carried forward a promotional and money-seeking agenda that Jellinek, Bacon, and Haggard defined for her--laid out in Anderson's paper. She was, in effect, looking for a gig and found one at Yale. We may even venture that the subtleties or dilemmas posed by this circumstance we're somehow missed by her...in her enthusiasm and need for paying employment in what she regarded as a generally useful calling. She may even have been a little in awe of, and therefore cowed by, the impressive professoriate she encountered at Yale.
Such a picture may have been appropriate for a time...but Mann was too strong a person and thinker, and too committed to her own agenda, to become in effect a patsy for the scientific movement, even a brilliant patsy. She was important in her own right...and, I would even contend, rather more important than any account she has offered actually conveys! Ironically, to get a full sense of that importance one must begin by appreciating the weakness of the central concept she advanced, the disease idea, and therefore the problematic character of the promotional position she found herself in. Conventional historical imagery tends to make Mann into a kind of mouthpiece for knowledge residing elsewhere--notably in new scientific understanding of alcoholism and AA--but, and in fact, she was herself rather more the architect and source of that knowledge. In a sense, she created alcoholism in her own image...and then called upon the scientific and AA wings of the movement to go along with her. It's that remarkable aspect of the story that I'd like briefly to consider now.
In what sense was the disease idea weak? First of all, neither the AA nor the science side trusted it thoroughly. Bill W. expressed ambivalence about it--as Ernie Kurtz has pointed out--and in any case saw the disease question as an "outside issue" beyond AA's lay competence to judge. Even the beloved Dr. Silkworth's allergy theory is handled with an appreciative but distinctly arm's-length caution in the Big Book. (Mann, incidentally, treats the allergy hypothesis with even more distance in Primer on Alcoholism!) On the science side, neither Jellinek, Bacon, nor Haggard lent easy assent to the disease idea. Haggard and Jellinek (1942) had taken a modulated stance toward it in their 1942 popular book, Alcohol Explored. Haggard had trashed a literal interpretation of Silkworth's allergy theory in one of his first papers on alcoholism--reporting that he'd failed to find an alcoholism allergen. Bacon, for his part, had glided into the Yale group on the wings of a monumental essay arguing that normal drinking--as much as troublesome drinking--should form the focus of a panoptic alcohol science. Keep in mind the time, too: Mann co-launched the NCA in 1944, still eight long years before Jellinek would publish his famous phased symptomatology for alcoholism (Jellinek, 1952). In effect, then, Mann was asked to market a product whose putative producers viewed with ambivalence.
Moreover, the science side of the aisle--doubtless the natural place to look for the disease concept's empirical or theoretical foundations--had no real conceptual or etiological discovery or therapeutic breakthrough to point to. Indeed, the alcohol-science enterprise was just getting started...and Jellinek, the new science's would-be guru was new to the field as of 1939 and had done literature reviewing for most of his work so far. Mann finessed this dilemma in several ways--for instance, by painting science's commitment to the disease idea as a longstanding given of medicine...even tracing it as far back as the good Dr. Benjamin Rush. Mann did not stress of course that the 18th century medicine Rush practices included blood-letting and that Rush felt that negroidism (i.e., black people) might be considered a disease. Mann needed to finesse the issue of the disease concept's scientific credentials, and in this she proved not only a skilled rhetorician but a source of scientific stiffening for her central idea.
Her rhetorical dilemma gives rise to a number of interesting historical and biographical questions. For one, if Mann was aware of the contemporary problematics and weaknesses of the disease idea, then where did she herself get her strong commitment to its verity? For another, how did Mann manage so successfully to position the disease concept so as to spread its hegemony? For still another, what was it about the surrounding contemporary zeitgeist that made the disease concept so acceptable?
Perhaps the most striking--but also untold and not yet fully known--connection between Mann and the scientific strengthening of the disease concept lies in the initial AA-Grapevine survey whose data Jellinek used to construct his 1946 and 1952 analysis of alcoholism. Jellinek's 1946 paper takes a passive attitude toward these data and the analyses he undertook of them, noting in effect that he was handed the data by some AA types and is obliging them by looking it over. Mann was one of the founding editors of The Grapevine, and I have the strongest of hunches that it was Mann herself who crafted that survey, collected the data, and passed them along to Jellinek.
It would make very good sense indeed that she would undertake to shore-up the disease concept with new data...given the promotional situation she was already in vis-a-vis the emergent NCA enterprise. It would also make good sense that she would not particularly want to be known as the engine behind the survey...because such a connection might suggest that she was engineering the very science and scientific authority that she was promulgating from her NCA pulpit. If I'm right in this guess, of course, then this kind of involvement and contribution would position Mann as a developer of the new alcoholism science as much as its promoter.
There were other ways, too, in which Mann and her organization serviced the ostensibly science-diffusing function for scientific knowledge that was rather less than wholly secure. For example, one will find in Mann's archive at Syracuse a folder called "facts..." It consists of letters received from Yale and other alcohol science figures regarding various assertions NCA wanted to put out about alcoholism. Ostensibly at least, Mann and her NCA staff were dutifully and responsibly checking her assertions with proper scientific authority before putting them out to the public. Even quotes from published scientific literature were checked in this way. But the content of these letters suggests another sort of function as well. Where a scientific fact was not particularly well established, but more or less plausible, Mann could air that fact or assertion more easily than the scientific community. In this sense, the division of labor between NCA and Yale allowed for a buffer between the imponderables, unknowns, or almost-knowns of critical science and the promotional requirements of an NCA-type endeavor. In this way, fact-checking could turn into fact-buffering.
Let me share with you a wonderful example of this sort of mechanism at work in one of the letters in this file. Mollie O'Connor, an Executive Assistant at NCA, wrote to Bacon asking for permission to quote and confirmation of the assertion "3 out of 4 alcoholics are between the ages of 35 and 55," which had been made in a March 1951 issue of The Civilian Magazine. Bacon responded, in a letter of 18 Nov 57--and I'm transcribing the whole letter by the way:I suppose it's all right for you to quote the age-range figure. Nobody knows, and this sounds just as worthwhile as many other statements which purport to be factual. I think the statement would be somewhat better if it started with 'probably,' but this might so weaken it for your purposes that you would prefer to have it as in your letter. So, go ahead and, if anybody challenges it, we'll just counter-challenge them to produced a better figure.The nuance here would almost be cynical, were it not for the positive purpose that both Bacon and his correspondant saw themselves serving.
Mann could take a more pro-active and interventionist stance toward contemporary alcohol science, too. In a folder titled "Yale Summer School" in the Syracuse collection is a letter dated 26 Feb 46 in which Mann is criticizing language used by Ray McCarthy in a forthcoming QJSA article. McCarthy use of the term "drinking habit" engaged Mann's ire--and she was made bold to ask Haggard to intervene and change the language. Let me quote a long and illuminating passage from Mann's letter:On the surface, this perhaps does not seem very important, but from my point of view, it could scarcely be more important. The entire burden of my talks and efforts is directed toward a new concept of alcoholism and a new and more enlightened attitude toward its victims. This concept and this attitude depends very heavilty upon phraseology, for after all, words embody concepts. The hardest job I have is to overcome the too familiar phraseology of the ubiquitous 'drys'; a phraseology which bears in its train the associations they have given to certain phrases. Since practically all school teaching on this subject has been under their control for at least fifty years, most adults have at some time learned the typical temperance teachings, and whether or not they agree, the used of certain phrases inevitably calls up some of these associations. Outstanding in the phraseology which I am trying to supplant are the terms 'alcohol education', 'common drunkard', and 'drinking habit'. I have even been forced into arguments in the discussion periods after my lectures, particulary on the latter phrase. From my point of view, if you accept the term 'drinking habit', you are laid open to the admission that any habit can be overcome by will-power alone and furthermore, that all habit is something willfully or at least willingly entered into by its possessor, which can be qually willingly broken 'if he will only try' or even more, 'if he will only see the evils of his ways and promise to reform'.This passage is remarkable in several respects: in its echoes of Dwight Anderson's seminal paper, in its cunning understanding of the power of word choices, and even perhaps especially in its quiet implication that Mann herself had a better sense of what Haggard, the scientist editor, should be doing than Haggard himself.
Where do we go from here, folks? My plan for the next installment is an examination of some of the intriguing aspects of Mann's relationship to Dr. Harry Tiebout. But all ideas are welcome...and perhaps your own idea may become the next installment instead!
Comment from Laura Cama of Towanda, PA, posted Sept. 14, 2008:
In the Browns' book, Marty lives in NY from 1928-30, then moves to London and starts a business, drinks too much and jumps out of a window in July 1935, recovers slowly from her fractures and returns to the US in December 1936. I checked out what I could on ancestry.com and came up with a little more.
According to the 1930 census, her residence (this would be as of April 1) was Sioux City, Iowa. She was living with (Mary) Addison Pelletier and her parents, although the young women may have been in a separate structure on the property. Addison was 25, the same age as Marty, and her occupation was listed as "advertising" and her employer as "agency." Marty's was "writer" and "magazine."
Ancestry.com also has passenger lists from ships entering the US (but not outgoing ones). Marty (alone, apparently) returned from England in August 1930. The Browns say she moved there and later started a business doing photography for advertisers, with a partner whose name I do not recognize from anywhere else. Advertising was Addison's field in the US so I do wonder if she was involved.
The passenger lists show Addison returning to the US in October 1934 and again in October 1936, and Marty returning in December 1936. One of the few other things I know about Addison is that she had a radio show from 1947 or somewhat earlier to at least 1951 (The Miss Addison Pelletier Show for women, combining stories, recipes, news and petty palaver, written and produced by Eugenia Price).
I have always had the impression that Marty's description of what happened at Blythewood was only consistent with someone paying to have her there, to protect her safety. There was apparently a dispute with the business manager which upset Marty (the Browns mention the possibility that he was pressuring her sister to contribute to her support, but her sister had almost no money). Who the mystery person was I will probably never know, but Addison is at least a candidate. She probably had some money, no immediate family to support, and a reputation to protect, so Marty would have been careful not to bring her into the drunkalog when she went public.