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A Bibliography of Horatio Alger, Jr. Related Materials in Print

Biographies of Alger (Chronological by Date of Publication):

Mayes, Herbert R.Alger: A Biography Without a Hero.
New York, Macy-Masius, 1928.
The first book-length treatment of Horatio Alger's life and works. A literary hoax, admitted by the author some 50 years later, which fabricates many of the facts surrounding Alger's life, including a list of many titles which Alger did not write. Unfortunately, it also heavily influenced subsequent writers who then used the incorrect information.

Gruber, Frank.Horatio Alger, Jr. : A Biography and Bibliography.
Los Angeles : Grover Jones Press, 1961.
A brief biographical treatment of Alger, which corrects some of the Mayes' fabrications, but incorporates others. Valuable for the chronological listing of Alger editions and for the pictures which are provided for some of his works.

Tebbel, John William.From Rags to Riches : Horatio Alger, Jr. and the American Dream.
New York : Macmillan, 1963.
Tebbel relies heavily upon the work of Herbert Mayes and, therefore, continues to perpetuate much factual misinformation about Alger and his life and times.

Gardner, Ralph.Horatio Alger, or, The American Hero Era.
Mendota, IL : Wayside Press, 1964.
This volume uses artificially constructed dialogue to tell the story of Alger's life. While not always contextually accurate, it is valuable for the appended bibliography of Alger's books. Gardner single-handedly resurrected interest in Alger the writer and Alger as a collectible author during the 1960s.

Hoyt, Edwin Palmer. Horatio's Boys : The Life and Works of Horatio Alger, Jr.
Radnor, PA : Chilton Book Co., 1974.
This book depends heavily on Ralph Gardner's biography, and focuses on the sensational aspects of Alger's private life.

Scharnhorst, Gary.Horatio Alger, Jr.
Boston : Twayne Publisher, 1980.
The first biography of Alger which is factually reliable.

Scharnhorst, Gary with Jack Bales.The Lost Life of Horatio Alger, Jr.
Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, 1985.
Excellent archival reconstruction of the essential facts of Alger's life. Less satisfactory on the influence of Alger's writings and succumbs to strident scholarship when discussing earlier Alger biographers.

Nackenoff, Carol.The Fictional Republic : Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
This exceptional volume is a scholarly and well researched account of Horatio Alger's writings and their influence on the American character.


Bibliographies of Alger books (Alphabetical by author):

Bennett, Bob.Horatio Alger, Jr. : A Comprehensive Bibliography.
Mt. Pleasant, MI : Flying Eagle Publishing Co., 1980.

Chase, Bradford. Horatio Alger Books Published by A. L. Burt.
Enfield, CT : B.S. Chase, 1983.

Chase, Bradford.Horatio Alger Books Published by M. A. Donohue.
Enfield, CT : B.S. Chase, 1994.

Chase, Bradford.Horatio Alger Books Published by the New York Book Company.
Enfield, CT : B.S. Chase, 1998

Chase, Bradford. Horatio Alger Books Published by Twelve Small Alger Publishers
Enfield, CT : B.S. Chase, 1995.

Chase, Bradford.Horatio Alger Books Published by Whitman Publishing Co.
Enfield, CT : Sandpiper Publishing, 2001.

Gardner, Ralph. Road to Success : The Bibliography of the Works of Horatio Alger.
Mendota, IL : Wayside Press, 1971.

Saywer, Robert & Jim Thorp.The Winston Formats.
[Gahanna, Ohio?] : Nancy Turner, 1984.

Alger-related Manuscripts held in Special Collections

Letters to Ralph Gardner (finding aid)

Alger-Related Serials held in Special Collections

Newsboy: Official Publication of the Horatio Alger Society. Lake Zurich, IL.
Call number: PS1029.A3 Z74A in the Alger Collection; also available on Microfilm.