Emery Reves (Hungarian: Révész Imre) (16 February 1904 – 4 October 1981) was a writer, publisher, literary agent and advocate of world federalism.
Reves was born in Bácsföldvár, Hungary, from 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" 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. After the war, he purchased the rights to publish Winston Churchill's war memoirs outside Britain, and likewise Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
He is also known for publishing the book I Paid Hitler (1941) wherein 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".
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. Reves argued that world law was the only way to prevent war, and 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.
The cover of The Anatomy of Peace 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 It also exploded our inherited, outdated political ideas.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.
From 1964 until 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, originally constructed for fashion designer Coco Chanel. Winston 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 Reves. A pained letter from Reves to Winston, early in 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, was 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.
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.
- A Democratic Manifesto. Jonathan Cape: London, 1943.
- The Anatomy of Peace, Harper and Brothers, 1945.