Margaret Halsey (1910-February 4, 1997) was an American writer who lived in the United Kingdom for a short time. Her first book With Malice Towards Some (1938) grew out of her experiences there. It was a witty and humorous bestseller, selling 600,000 copies. It won one of the early National Book Awards: the Most Original Book of 1938, voted by members of the American Booksellers Association.
According to her obituary in The New York Times, she was "a witty writer with an acute social concern, was compared to Dorothy Parker and H. L. Mencken".
Several of her books were controversial or took on controversial subjects. Color Blind: A White Woman Looks at the Negro was banned in Georgia and favorably reviewed by Margaret Mead. It attacked racism by identifying at its core the fear of the sexuality of black people and the need for a cheap labor supply. The Pseudo-Ethic: A Speculation on American Politics and Morals was a defense of Alger Hiss.
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“Humility is not my forte, and whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other peoples characters.”
—Margaret Halsey (b. 1910)