Prago, Albert

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Albert Prago (1911-1993) was a scholar of Latin American history and Marxist economics, a college teacher and a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. After being wounded in Spain, he returned to the United States in 1938, and pursued a career in teaching and research. He published several books and articles on labor history, Latin-American history and the Spanish Civil War, earned a Ph.D. in history in 1976, and co-edited the 1987 anthology Our Fight with fellow Lincoln Brigade veteran Alvah Bessie.

Albert Prago was born in New York City in 1911. His parents were Latvian Jewish immigrants to the United States. Although his upbringing was not religious, he explained in an interview that his desire to volunteer to fight fascism had its roots in his Jewish cultural identity, an identity that is reflected in his later research on Jewish involvement in the Spanish Civil War. He joined the Communist Party in 1934. Before his departure for Spain in 1937, he was a charter member of Local 453, American Federation of Teachers, and taught social sciences in the Works Projects Administration adult education project. While a member of the Lincoln Brigade, he served both as Anglo-American editor of the International Brigades' daily newsletter and as the battalion's interpreter. Prago was wounded during the second battle of Belchite in March 1938, and spent more than a year in the hospital before his recovery was complete.

After his return to New York in 1938, Prago concentrated his efforts on teaching and research, and remained deeply involved in radical political activity. He earned a Ph.D. in history at the age of 65 from Union Institute and University, and taught at the Jefferson School of Social Science, Hofstra University, Cornell University's N.Y. State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Empire State College, and the New School for Social Research. His articles on the Spanish Civil War are collected in the 1987 anthology Our Fight: Writings by Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Spain 1936-1939, co-edited by Prago and Alvah Bessie.

Prago retired to West Palm Beach, Florida. He continued to publish historical articles and remained actively involved with the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade until his death from cancer in July 1993.

From the guide to the Albert Prago Audio Collection, 1981-1982, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Albert Prago was born in New York City in 1911. His parents were Latvian Jewish immigrants to the United States. Although his upbringing was not religious, he explained in an interview that his desire to volunteer to fight fascism had its roots in his Jewish cultural identity, an identity that is reflected in his later research on Jewish involvement in the Spanish Civil War. He joined the Communist Party in 1934. Before his departure for Spain in 1937, he was a charter member of Local 453, American Federation of Teachers, and taught social sciences in the Works Projects Administration adult education project. While a member of the Lincoln Brigade, he served both as Anglo-American editor of the International Brigades' daily newsletter and as the battalion's interpreter. Prago was wounded in the thigh by mortar fire during the second battle of Belchite in March 1938, and complications from osteomyelitis required him to spend over a year in the hospital before his recovery was complete.

After his return to New York in 1938, Prago concentrated his efforts on teaching and research, and remained deeply involved in radical political activity. He eventually earned a Ph.D. in history at the age of 65 from Union Institute and University, and taught at the Jefferson School of Social Science, Hofstra University, Cornell University's N.Y.State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Empire State College, and the New School for Social Research. His publications on the Spanish Civil War and the International Brigades include several articles exploring the roles of Jews and women in the conflict; these are collected in the 1987 anthology Our Fight: Writings by Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Spain 1936-1939 co-edited by Prago and Alvah Bessie.

Prago retired to West Palm Beach, Florida. He continued to publish historical articles and remained actively involved with the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade until his death from cancer in July 1993.

From the guide to the Albert Prago Papers, 1937-1994, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Albert Prago Papers, 1937-1994 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Albert Prago Papers, 1937-1994 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Albert Prago Audio Collection, 1981-1982 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Harriman, Manny. Manny Harriman video oral history collection, 1985-1987. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Arthur H. Landis Papers, 1915-1944; 1965-1985 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Guide to the Morris Schappes Papers, 1911-2004 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Robert Steck Papers, Bulk, 1936-1993, 1917-1998 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Manny Harriman Video Oral History Collection, Bulk, 1985-1987, 1945-1990 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) photograph collection [graphic]. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Irving Weissman Photographs, 1937-1991 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Guide to the Steve Nelson Papers, 1937-1991 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Colow, Maury person
associatedWith Gerassi, John. person
associatedWith Harriman, Manny. person
associatedWith Harriman, Manny. person
associatedWith Landis, Arthur H., 1917-1986. person
associatedWith Marzani, Carl person
associatedWith Nelson, Steve, 1903- person
associatedWith Rabinowitz, Victor. person
associatedWith Schappes, Morris U. (Morris Urman), 1907- person
associatedWith Seeger, Pete, 1919- person
associatedWith Spain. Ejercito Popular de la Republica. Abraham Lincoln Battalion. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejercito Popular de la Republica. Brigada Internacional, XV. corporateBody
associatedWith Steck, Robert. person
associatedWith Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. corporateBody
associatedWith Weissman, Irving, 1913-1998 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |v Personal narratives.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Participation, American |v Interviews.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |v Periodicals.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |v Biography.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939.
Subject
Teruel, Battle of, Teruel, Spain, 1937-1938
Ebro River, Battle of the, Spain, 1938
Brunete, Battle of, Brunete, Spain, 1937
Americans--Spain--History--20th century
Occupation
Historian
Activity

Person

Birth 1911

Death 1993-07

Information

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