Tom Anderson Papers

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Tom Anderson Papers


  • 1953-1972 (Creation)


1 box (5 linear inches)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Tom Anderson, editor, publisher, and conservative political activist was born in Nashville, TN in 1910. Graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1934, with a major in economics, Anderson was equally interested in political science and English. During the Great Depression, he worked briefly for the Nashville Banner newspaper. Subsequently, he was employed by the J. C. Bradford Co. brokerage firm selling securities, hoping to earn money with which he could buy and publish a weekly newspaper. He also worked as an ad salesman for the Southern Agriculturist, a monthly periodical published in Nashville, TN, in hopes of advancing to a journalist position. At the Southern Agriculturist, Anderson's forceful style of writing gained him recognition for his fearless attacks against leftists and Communism.

Later, as publisher and editor of Farm and Ranch magazine, a monthly, then weekly publication, based in Dallas, TX which had absorbed the Southern Agriculturist in 1950, Anderson was the supervising editor and author of the column "Straight Talk," which appeared on the magazine's editorial page. Anderson's column became possibly the most-quoted and most-reprinted in the area of agriculture publishing. Each month more than 375 newspapers requested permission to reprint "Straight Talk". A book, also titled Straight Talk, was eventually published, reprinting editorials by Tom Anderson, with reader comments reprinted from Farm and Ranch, the third edition appearing in 1958.

Anderson has appeared on television and radio programs. He is a past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association, a member of the Council of the John Birch Society, and is a member of the Methodist Church. He ran as a candidate for Vice-President of the United States in 1972, and for President in 1976, both times on the American Party ticket. He retired to Gatlinburg, TN.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

These papers consist of newspaper clippings containing information on income tax reform bills, vocational agriculture, and the Grass Roots Tax Revolt, reprints of the "Straight Talk" editorials from Farm and Ranch magazine, the author's copy of the 1958 third edition of the book Straight Talk, pamphlets, and newspaper articles relating to Tom Anderson.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged first with chronological news clipping followed by other printed editorial materials which are organized by type and roughly chronological within each folder.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by Mary Jasek.

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places