Marion, George, 1905-

Variant names

Hide Profile

George Marion was a journalist, author, and activist born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905. After mving to New York City, he married Celia Greenspan and joined the Communist Party. In 1936, Marion went to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War for the "Daily Worker" and the "New Masses." Greenspan went to Spain shortly after Marion to volunteer as a medical worker. At first she worked to organize a lab in Madrid for Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian surgeon who created the Canadian Blood Transfusion Service; then in February, 1937 she went to Murcia, just in time for the bloody Battle of Jarama, where she served as a nurse. Marion filed reports from Madrid, Valencia, and Murcia. Greenspan joined him in Madrid in July, 1937, and they returned together to the United States in November, 1937. Marion then worked as a journalist and freelance writer, writing primarily on the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and censorship issues in the mainstream American press, sometimes publishing under the name James Hawthorne. He died of a heart attack in 1955.

From the description of George Marion papers, 1936-1937. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 476085992

George Marion (1905-1955) was a journalist, author, and Communist Party activist.

From the description of George Marion photograph collection [graphic]. ca. 1930-ca.1939 (bulk 1936-1937) (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 60950258

George Marion was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905. His mother became a widow very young, and the family was poor. Marion began his journalism career in the advertising department of The Indianapolis Star. After moving to New York, he married Celia Greenspan. Greenspan was born in the Bronx, New York in 1907 into a lower-middle class, Jewish family. Her parents were Lithuanian-her father had been an anti-Czarist political prisoner in the south of Russia. In the early 1930s, Marion joined the Merchant Marines. He traveled and worked in India, Egypt, North Africa, West Africa, and Europe, working for a time at the Havas News Agency in Paris translating French cables and gaining knowledge about the political situation in Spain. Greenspan attended Hunter College, earning a degree as a lab technician. She joined the Communist Party in mid-1935, and Marion joined soon afterwards.

Marion reported from Spain as a freelancer in 1934-35, and returned to cover the Spanish Civil War in August, 1936 as a correspondent for the Daily Worker and The New Masses . Greenspan went to Spain in October, 1936, becoming the first American woman volunteer in Spain. She worked at first to organize a lab in Madrid for Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian surgeon who created the Canadian Blood Transfusion Service; then in February, 1937 she went to Murcia, just in time for the bloody Battle of Jarama, where she served as a nurse. Marion filed reports from Madrid, Valencia, and Murcia. Greenspan joined him in Madrid in July, 1937, and they returned together to the United States in November, 1937. Greenspan and Marion had two children, Ruth and Robert. They divorced and each later remarried.

From 1940-46 Marion was a staff reporter for the Hearst-owned tabloid, The New York Daily Mirror, which he left in June, 1946 to write the pamphlet: "The 'Free Press': Portrait of a Monopoly." Marion then joined the staff of the Daily Worker from 1947-1948. Marion's first full-length book, Bases & Empire: A Chart of American Expansion, was the first work to show the economic basis of the Cold War and established Marion's reputation. Marion experienced the effects of blacklisting for his radical views. Unable to find a commercial publisher for any of his books, he self-published under the name Fairplay Publishers; the New York Times would not print an advertisement for his books (a fact which he proclaimed on the back cover of several of his books); and libraries bought his books but would not circulate them. Marion also had difficulty getting anyone in the mainstream press to review his books; consequently, he toured and lectured widely to promote them.

Marion died of a heart attack on November 4, 1955. His obituary in the People's Daily World said that the "tremendous strain of…publishing in the face of commercial black-list was seen as having contributed to undermine his health."

Sources:

Americans in Spanish Skies, dispatch in From Spanish Trenches, ed. Marcel Acier (New York: Modern Age Books, 1937) (as James Hawthorne). From these honored dead ...(as James Hawthorne with by David McKelvy White) (Imprint New York, Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, 1939(?). "Free Press"; Portrait of a Monopoly(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1946). Bases & Empire, A Chart of American Expansion(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1948). The Communist Trial: An American Crossroads(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1949). All Quiet in the Kremlin(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1951). Next Hundred Years; V.1(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1953). Stop the Press!(New York: Fairplay Publishers, 1953). Selections from George Marion and Celia Greenspan's correspondence in Spain were printed in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade newsletter, The Volunteer, VII:2, July 1985.

From the guide to the George Marion Papers, 1936-1937, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

George Marion was a journalist, author, and Communist Party activist. For further biographical information on George Marion and to review the scope and contents of his manuscript collection see, The Guide to the George Marion Papers, ALBA 45.

Marion accrued the images in this collection during his tenure as a correspondent for the Daily Worker and the New Masses . The majority of the images were procured by Marion from the photographic bureau, Photo Mayo, Madrid. Two photographs are credited to D. Kraman. The images in the Marion Photograph Collection were separated from Marion’s manuscript materials in the course of processing.

From the guide to the George Marion Photographs, 1930s, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf George Marion Photographs, 1930s Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf George Marion Papers, 1936-1937 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
creatorOf Marion, George, 1905-. George Marion photograph collection [graphic]. © 2011 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Marion, George, 1905-. George Marion papers, 1936-1937. Churchill County Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alberti, Rafael, 1902-1999 person
associatedWith Bethune, Norman person
associatedWith Bethune, Norman. person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Díaz, José, 1896-1942 person
associatedWith Galán, Francisco person
associatedWith Greenspan, Celia (Seborer). person
associatedWith Hawthorne, James. person
associatedWith Hawthorne, James. person
associatedWith Herche, Rafael person
associatedWith Herche, Rafael. person
associatedWith Kraman, D., person
associatedWith Kraman, D. (photographer). person
associatedWith Líster, Enrique person
associatedWith Líster, Enrique. person
associatedWith Miaja Menant, José, 1878-1958 person
associatedWith Seborer, Celia Greenspan. person
associatedWith Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Abraham Lincoln Battalion. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Abraham Lincoln Battalion. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejercito Popular de la Republica. Abraham Lincoln Battalion. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Brigada Internacional, XV. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Brigada Internacional, XV. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain. Ejercito Popular de la Republica. Brigada Internacional, XV. corporateBody
associatedWith Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Historical Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Vidali, Vittorio person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Hospitals.
Spain
Madrid (Spain)
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Participation, American.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939.
Seville (Spain)
Jarama River Valley (Spain)
Spain
Seville (Spain)
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Participation, American.
Albacete (Spain)
Valencia (Spain)
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939.
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Medical care.
Murcia (Spain)
Barcelona (Spain)
Valencia (Spain)
Barcelona (Spain)
Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |x Women.
Subject
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1905

Death 1955

Russian

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w69c9mxc

Ark ID: w69c9mxc

SNAC ID: 43835612