A rumor has been circulating that the money Martin Peretz used to fund The New Republic was inherited by his wife Anne Labouisse Farnsworth from a fascist gold bug grandfather who tried to overthrow the U.S. government during the 1930s. This is incorrect; the fascist in question was Peretz’s wife’s great-uncle, and based on what we know at this time, the grandfather from whom she inherited the money was not an active fascist.
It has also been rumored that the money inherited traces back to the inventor of the sewing machine, Isaac Merritt Singer. While the money does trace back to the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Isaac Singer did not invent the sewing machine, and Peretz’s uxorial nest egg traces back to Edward Clark, Singer’s patent lawyer, who was granted a full partnership in return for wresting the sewing machine patent away from the actual inventor, Elias Howe.
It is also not true that Peretz is a grandson of the Yiddish author Isaac Bashevis Singer. The Yiddish author of whom Peretz is the grandson was Isaac Leib Peretz. No Isaac Singer of any description has been implicated in Peretz’s operation.
Peretz and his wife are now separated, and Peretz has sold TNR. It is not known whether Peretz dumped his wife when the money ran out, or whether his wife dumped Peretz when the money ran out. If you run into Martin, I’m sure he’d appreciate it if you bought him a meal and lent him a couple of bucks.