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Andre Visson Papers

Identifier: GTM-760105

Scope and Contents

The major bulk of material from the Andre Visson papers dates from Visson's arrival in the United States in 1940. The papers are of particular interest in chronicling world events and in tracing the development of journalism from the beginning of the Second World War through the Cold War years. In each of these cases, Visson brought a unique perspective as a native of Russia who adopted the United States as his home. The role of the American press in articulating the course of the Cold War and the growth of Reader's Digest as a major periodical which became the voice of American culture and values is of particular interest in the papers.

See the External Documents section below for an inventory of the first 20 boxes that comprise this collection.


  • 1920 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical / Historical

Andre Visson (née, Isodore Akivisson) was born September 29, 1899 in Kiev, Russia, the son of Sam-Simon Akivisson, industrialist and ship owner. In 1917 Visson entered the University of St. Vladimir in Kiev, concentrating his studies in history and art history. He left Russia with his family in November, 1918. Between 1919-1924 Visson attended universities in Geneva, Berlin, London and Paris. Sometime after 1929, while living inn Yugoslavia, Visson began his journalistic career, writing specifically on Balkan and Near Eastern affairs for such papers as l'Independence Belge and Belgrade's Vreme. In 1936 he published Aron, Friedmann et Cie under the pseudonym 'Baruch'. The novel concerns a family of Jewish financiers.

Visson came to the United States in 1940, seeking positions with Time and New York Times as a correspondent for the Low Countries. After Belgium was invaded, Visson established himself in Washington as a correspondent covering the diplomatic scene for Time magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, New York Herald Tribune, and Chicago Sun Times, among others. In 1942 he joined William Donovan's Coordinator of Information Office, later the Office of War Information, where he organized intelligence panels for broadcasts to seven Eastern European countries.

In November, 1943 Visson accepted an invitation from William Hard, journalist and broadcaster, to join the editorial staff of Reader's Digest. During Visson's long association with the Digest, he served as a Roving Editor and as the Washington Consultant on International affairs, while continuing to publish in numerous other journals and periodicals. In 1944 and 1948 Visson published two books, The Coming Struggle for Peace and As Others See Us. In these two works, as well as in a large number of his articles, Visson was concerned with educating America and Europe about each other.


25 Cubic Feet (29 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Andre Visson, January 1976. Additional materials donated by David Levey in 2016 and 2018.

Andre Visson Papers
Margaret McAleer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: Resource record created by Ted Jackson
  • 2023-12: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo
  • 2024-03: Inventory to initial donation linked via External Documents by John Zarrillo

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057