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Hans Otto Storm Papers

Identifier: MSS-89-BC

Scope and Content

This collection consists of various writings by Hans Otto Storm, as well as some notes and essays by his wife, Grace Cleone Camp. These writings include short stories, essays (some published), a play, letters (primarily about other travelers along his journeys), a translation (from Spanish to English, of a piece of work by Federico Garcia Lorca), notes, and poetry. The latter item is criticized in Storm's own hand noting his shortcomings in trying to be both "whimsical and bitter at the same time." Many of his writings reflect Storm's business experiences and interactions with other foreigners in Peru. While later items comment eloquently on the intricacies of Latin American Spanish, his earlier letters reveal his strained efforts to even understand a menu written in that language. His writings also demonstrate a theoretical interest in the works of Max Weber and Thorstein Veblen. Although his letters and notes reflect his travels, his is not to be confused with most travel writing. To the contrary, in one letter to David Greenhood, Storm notes, "I abhor the tourist racket, I see no value on deliberately cooked-up experience, I have a certain element of casualness in it, that we must deceive the environment with some pretext if we are to get it to disclose its more important meanings." The collection also includes a scrapbook in which Storm's wife kept newspaper clippings about Storm's publications, his awards and lectures, and his being ousted from Peru in 1937. Telegrams received by Storm inquiring about his deportation are also included in the collection.


  • 1937-1948

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution. Rights to manuscripts marked with an asterisk are retained by Storm's literary heir.


Hans Otto Storm, born in Bloomington, California in 1895, was raised in Anaheim, California, and educated at Stanford University, where he earned his B.A. in engineering in 1920. He worked as an electrical engineer and radio telegraph engineer for All American Cables and later for Globe Wireless Company. These positions took him to various parts of Latin America, including Nicaragua and Peru. Evidently, his observations and experiences on these business trips, during which he designed and installed radio transmitters for the governments of these nations, influenced his literary endeavors. He wrote three novelettes and one full-length novel (Full Measure, Pity the Tyrant, Made in U.S.A. and Count Ten), the second of which brought him both acclaim and infamy (in different circles of readership). Pity the Tyrant, a novel which satirizes the Peruvian political situation of the late 1930s led to Storm's being deported during his second visit to Peru. Newspaper clippings of the time note that he was encouraged to leave Peru "if he wanted to remain in good health." In the United States, however, Storm received the Commonwealth Club's gold medal for "Best Work of a General Literature" by a California author in 1938. In 1935, he was elected to the executive committee of the communist-led League of American Writers. After Storm's death, David Greenhood, his literary executor, published a memorial collection of Storm's work titled Of Good Family: Stories and Observations About Spanish America. In addition to his literary accomplishments, Storm is known for developing the arc converter electrode and introducing methods to remotely control radio transmitters and receivers. Storm resided in Palo Alto, California until his death in 1941.


1 box .38 cu. ft.


This collection contains writings of Hans Otto Storm. Storm's work deals primarily with Latin America (and reflects his experiences in Peru and Nicaragua in particular). The collection includes letters, notes, one translation, one drama, short stories and essays.

Separated Material

Storm, Hans Otto. Pity the Tyrant. New York: Longmans, Green and Co. 1937 has been catalogued for the Center for Southwest Research, Bell PS3537 T7169.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes, eds. American National Biography. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, vol. 20.
  • Wilson, Edmund. The Boys in the Back Room: Notes on California Novelists. San Francisco: The Colt Press, 1941.
Finding Aid of the Hans Otto Storm Papers, 1937-1948
Processed by Karen Stocker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 89 BC::Hans Otto Storm Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss89bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131