Guide to the Oral History of the American Left Collection, 1940-2011

ArchivalResource

Guide to the Oral History of the American Left Collection, 1940-2011

1940-2011

The Tamiment Library at New York University established the Oral History of the American Left in 1976 in order to collect and preserve the memories of veteran activists. These interviews describe seven decades of Left politics from the 1910s through the 1970s. They document the full spectrum of left politics in the twentieth century, including socialism, Communism, anarchism, Trotskyism, and the New Left. There are interviews with both leaders and rank-and-file activists.

30 Linear Feet in 11 record cartons and 19 compact disk boxes.

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Related Entities

There are 76 Entities related to this resource.

Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6k46k6g (person)

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was an American folk singer and social activist. As a member of the Weavers, Seeger was often heard on the radio in the early 1950s, most notably on their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene". In the 1960s, Seeger re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture, workers' rights, and environmental causes. A prolific songwriter, his best-known songs include "Where Have ...

Aptheker, Herbert, 1915-2003

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hq3xj6 (person)

American Marxist author, lecturer, and apologist. From the guide to the Herbert Aptheker letter to Mrs. Doares, 1970, (The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Archives.) Noted Marxist scholar Dr. Herbert Aptheker was born in New York City in 1915. His more than thirty published books include such titles as THE ERA OF McCARTHYISM (1957), THE WORLD OF C. WRIGHT MILLS (1960), THE URGENCY OF MARXIST-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE (1970), but he is best known for hi...

Kolehmainen, Mary

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6v99fss (person)

Berrigan, Daniel.

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Daniel Berrigan is a Catholic priest associated with peace and social justice movements throughout his life. A believer in non-violent civil disobedience, he has been arrested and imprisoned numerous times. He is most noted for his leadership of opposition to the Viet Nam war, but his work did not begin or end there. From the description of Daniel Berrigan scrapbook, 1930-1950. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64692915 The brothers Daniel Berrigan (born 1921...

Matteotti Club

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Boggs, James

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Revolutionary socialists who played a leading role in organizing radical organizations in Detroit and nationally, as well as theorizing and updating the political philosophy of Marxist-Leninism. Contributed to the founding of the National Organizations for an American Revolution (NOAR). Primary theorists and organizers for NOAR from 1979-1987. From the description of James and Grace Lee Boggs papers, 1962-1987. (Wayne State University, Archives of Labor & Urban). WorldCat record ...

Berry, Abner

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Harrington, Michael, 1928-

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Michael Harrington (1928-1989), a U.S. socialist writer and political leader, was born in St. Louis, received a Jesuit secondary education, graduated from Holy Cross College in 1947 and, after a brief interval at Yale Law School, received a MA degree in English from the University of Chicago in 1949, then moved to New York City. From 1951-53 he was a volunteer at the radical Catholic Worker house on New York's Lower East Side, and was associate editor of its newspaper, also called t...

Chernin, Rose

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nc76b4 (person)

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence

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American poet. From the description of Lawrence Ferlinghetti correspondence with Tram Combs, 1957-1964. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 37971574 American poet, editor and publisher. Born Lawrence Ferling, March [24?], 1919. Owner of City Lights Books, San Francisco. Representative figure of the Beat movement. From the description of Lawrence Ferlinghetti papers, 1919-2003. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 7879719...

Weir, Stan

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Dunayevskaya, Raya

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Norris, Clarence Windzell

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Gitlin, Todd.

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Harap, Louis

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Draper, Hal.

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Prolific Marxist writer and social activist whose career spanned 58 years (1932-1900). From the description of Hal Draper papers, circa 1940-1990. (University of California, Davis). WorldCat record id: 61444480 ...

Goldberg, Iṭshe

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64q91kr (person)

Foner, Moe, 1915-

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Labor union organizer. From the description of Reminiscences of Moe Foner: oral history, 1986. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309737252 ...

Matteotti Club.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6461511 (corporateBody)

Breitman, George

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George Breitman was an American Trotskyist who was a long-time member of the Socialist Workers Party, a movement historian and journalist, and editor of the 14-volume Writings of Leon Trotsky, 1929-1940, and of Malcolm X Speaks. He was born in a working-class neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, in 1916. Unemployed in the Depression years after graduating from high school, he eventually found work in the Civilian Conservation Corps, and later the Works Progress Administration. By 193...

Workers Party (1940-1949)

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The Workers Party (1940-1949), a Trotskyist organization founded and led by Max Shachtman, split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1940, holding the Soviet Union to be a novel exploitative social formation, bureaucratic collectivism. Opposing the "two camps" of imperialism, the WP led struggles against the World War II no-strike pledge, and published Labor Action, a rank-and-file newspaper, and The New International, a political/theoretical journal, both continuing until 1958, when the success...

Johnson, Howard Eugene, 1915-2000

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Howard "Stretch" Johnson (1915-2000) was a tap dancer and social activist. Johnson danced with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. A member of the NAACP, the Young Communist League and the Communist Party, through which he worked in the civil rights movement and fought against McCarthyism. Johnson later became a printer at the New York Times and taught at the Fieldston School and the State University of New York at New Paltz....

Glotzer, Albert, 1908-1999

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6p85768 (person)

American Trotskyist and subsequently social democratic leader; official recorder, Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made Against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials, Mexico City, 1937. From the description of Albert Glotzer papers, 1919-1999. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754872385 Biographical/Historical Note 1908 Born, Ivanik, Russia (now Belarus) ...

Bloom, Jonathan

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Glaberman, Martin

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Editor of labor newspaper and social reformer, of Detroit, Mich.; b. 1918. From the description of Martin and Jessie Glaberman collection, 1939-1979. (Wayne State University). WorldCat record id: 28414015 ...

Gitlin, Todd

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Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985.

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Mural painter. From the description of Hugo Gellert interview, 1984 Apr. 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83826254 Painter; New York, N.Y. From the description of Hugo Gellert lecture, 1985. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122394902 Hugo Gellert (1892-1985) was a communist graphic artist, cartoonist, muralist and painter. He was born in Hungary in 1892 and came to the U.S. in 1906. Gellert was a leading contributor of art work to The Masses, The Liberato...

Kolehmainen, Mary

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fk8fbm (person)

Darcy, Samuel, 1905-

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60p1mz3 (person)

Darcy was a Communist Party activist. From the description of Oral history interviews with Samuel Adams Darcy, 1970 September 18 and 1971 March 23. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 31484957 Samuel Adams Darcy was born as Samuel Dardeck in 1905 in the Ukraine of Jewish-socialist background was a leading official of the CPUSA from 1925-44 and also headed the Communist International's Anglo-American Secretariat (1935-38). He was head of the Young W...

Yoneda, Karl Gozo, 1906-1999

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6s76x0t (person)

Yoneda was born in Glendale, CA, in 1906; studied in Japan, 1913-26; returned to the US, 1927; joined American Communist Party and launched career as a labor activist; a longshoreman by trade, he was affiliated with the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, and also served as a CIO labor organizer; edited Rodo Shimbun (Japanese Labor News), the publication of the Japanese Bureau of the American Communist Party; wrote 5 books, 4 in Japanese; interned at the Manzanar Relocation Ce...

Nelson, Steve, 1903-1993

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fj2x26 (person)

Steve Nelson was born Stjepan Mesaroš in Croatia, and emigrated to the United States with his family after World War I. He was a labor activist and organizer, Communist Party official, Political Commissar in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and National Commander of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB). During his time in Spain he took part in the Brunete offensive, as well as the battles of Quinto and Belchite. He was wounded at Belchite, and then was recalled to the United States by...

Industrial Workers of the World

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The IWW is a labor organization dedicated to uniting laborers around the world into a single large union. From the description of Collection 1916-1939. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 778701431 Established in Chicago in 1905 by sponsors of socialism and the remnants of previous labor unions, including the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners and the American Labor Union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or "Wobblies", evolved into a radical industrial unio...

Boggs, James

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jz4bv9 (person)

Berrigan, Daniel

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6t567zq (person)

"Daniel Berrigan." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed November 2011). Additional nformation derived from the collection. Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan is a poet, playwright, teacher, and civil disobedience activist. Daniel Berrigan, who was born May 9, 1921, in Virginia, Minnesota, entered the Order of Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1939 and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest...

Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

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Students for a Democratic Society was a successor to the Student League for Industrial Democracy, founded in 1930, which had merged with the National Student Union to form the American Student Union. A quiescent period followed World War II, but the 1960s saw a revival by new activist radicals, including James Farmer, who was a chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality. In 1964, the SDS outlined its ideals in the Port Huron Statement. It rejected Marxism and envisioned an established democracy...

De Leon, Solon, 1883-

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6h13grm (person)

Solon DeLeon was born in New York City on September 2, 1883. He was the son of Daniel DeLeon, Marxist theoretician and leader of the Socialist Labor Party (SLP). Although his parents were Jewish, he was unaware of this until he was an adult. He graduated from City College in 1902 and after working in Connecticut as a carpenter, house painter, and teacher, he returned to New York in 1905 to work on the SLP publications Daily People and Weekly People as a reporter, rewrite man, and as...

Harrington, Michael, 1928-1989?

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ww834x (person)

Michael Harrington (1928-1989), a U.S. socialist writer and political leader, best known as the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States (1962), and as the founder and leader of Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S. affiliate to the Socialist International, was born in St. Louis, received a Jesuit secondary education, graduated from Holy Cross College in 1947 and, after a brief interval at Yale Law School, received a MA degree in English from the University of ...

Noṿiḳ, P., 1891-

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nk4m84 (person)

Sholem Asch, Yiddish writer. Paul Novick, editor of the Morgen frayhayt (Morning Freedom), a Communist Party newspaper in New York. From the description of Paul Novick papers relating to Sholem Asch, 1943-1963. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702135837 ...

McGrath, Thomas, 1916-1990

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w62v2fsh (person)

Thomas McGrath was born in 1916 near Sheldon, North Dakota. He first attended Moorhead State University and in 1939 earned a B.A. at the University of North Dakota. He studied at Louisiana State with Cleanth Brooks, was involved in radical political activity, wrote, and published his first book of poems. In the 1940-1941 academic year McGrath taught at Colby College in Maine then went to New York city where he wrote, did legal research for attorneys engaged in "political" cases, and worked at th...

Tamiment Library

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The Tamiment Library Web Archive (Labor and the Left): Education and Student Movements, was created with the Web Archiving Service from the California Digital Library. This service employs open source web archiving utilities developed by Internet Archive with the support of the The International Internet Preservation Consortium. The Web Archiving Service was made possible with support from the National Digital Information and Infrastructure Preservation Program and the University of California, ...

Draper, Hal

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Chernin, Rose

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Rodney, Lester, 1911-2009

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Goldberg, Itshe

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Buhle, Paul, 1944-....

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Paul Buhle (b. 1944), is an historian of the American Left, and was the founding editor of the journal Radical America (1967–1999), and founder of Cultural Correspondence (1977–83), a journal of popular culture studies, and a founder and director of the Oral History of the American Left archive at New York University. From the guide to the Social Humor Collection, 1970s-1980s, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives) Paul Buhle, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and A...

Rawick, George P. 1929-

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Southern Negro Youth Congress

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O'Connor, Harvey, 1897-1987

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Harvey O'Connor was born March 29, 1897 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended high school in Tacoma, Washington. During the period from 1918-1924 Mr. O'Connor did editoral work in Seattle. From 1924-1927 he was assistant editor of Locomotive Engineers Journal in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. O'Connor was a bureau manager for Federated Press from 1927-1930. And from 1935-1937 he was managing editor of People's Press. He was also editor of Ken from 1937-1938 in Chicago. Mr. O'Connor has been active in the...

Weir, Stan

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6xb8891 (person)

Foner, Henry

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6n37n42 (person)

Henry J. Foner (1919- ), longtime activist leader of the Joint Board, Fur, Leather and Machine Workers Union (FLM), grew up in New York, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. His father had a seltzer delivery route, and later owned a garage. In high school, Foner started playing saxophone with a band at hotels in the Catskills. He also started composing comic verses, played to the tunes of popular songs. By the late 1930s, Foner had acquired an interest in history and politics fr...

Young Communist League of the U.S.

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James, C. L. R. (Cyril Lionel Robert), 1901-1989

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gm8gx9 (person)

C.L.R. James has made exceptional contributions as a historian, political theorist, activist, creative writer, and cultural and literary critic. One of the most influential figures in the West Indies, he has been acclaimed as one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th century. From the description of The black Jacobins / by C.L.R. James, 1967. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 50616692 West Indian scholar, political activist and writer. Died in 198...

Prago, Ruth.

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Magil, A. B. (Abraham Bernard), 1905-

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Communist Party of the United States of America

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The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), a Marxist-Leninist party aligned with the Soviet Union, was founded in 1919 in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution by the left wing members of the Socialist Party USA. These split into two groups, with each holding founding conventions in Chicago in September 1919: one which established the Communist Labor Party, and a second which established the Communist Party of America. In a 1920 Joint Unity Convention, a minority faction of t...

McKinney, Ernest Rice, 1886-1984

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6cg0m3v (person)

Born in Malden, West Virginia, in 1886 , McKinney, also known under the pseudonym David Coolidge, was the son of coal miner. At different points in his life McKinney endeavored a variety of jobs which included becoming editor of, This Month; a columnist for the Pittsburgh Courier (1932); Executive Secretary of the Unemployed Citizens' League of Allegheny County (1933); a Social Worker; and Assistant to the Director, Kingsley House. In 1916 an oral history conducted at Columbia University resulte...

Berry, Abner

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w61m57p3 (person)

Patterson, Louise Thompson, 1901-1999

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6x646dn (person)

Louise Alone Thompson Patterson, born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 9, 1901, the only child of William Toles and Lula P. Brown. After the divorce of her parents when she was four, Patterson spent her childhood in numerous western cities. She graduated cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley in 1923 with a degree in economics. She worked various jobs and taught for two years before going to New York City to study at the New York School of Social Work (now part of...

Dunayevskaya, Raya

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ph4p74 (person)

McLevy, Jasper, 1878-1962

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6b87smx (person)

Baxandall, Rosalyn Fraad, 1939-2015

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Rosalyn Fraad "Ros" Baxandall was an American historian of women's activism and an active New York City feminist....

Johnson-Forest Tendency

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Weiss, Myra Tanner

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6766jj4 (person)

Myra Tanner Weiss was born May 17, 1916. She joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1935 while attending the University of Utah. She moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s, at which time she organized agricultural and cannery workers. She also helped establish the SWP in Los Angeles where she met another party organizer, Murry Weiss [born Morris, in Chicago, September 9, 1915, son of Joseph and Freida; died December 26, 1981] whom she later married. Tanner Weiss ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1945 an...

Le Sueur, Meridel

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w67p90kx (person)

Meridel Le Sueur was born February 22, 1900, in Murray, Iowa. She did not finish high school, dropping out before the First World War. She began writing at the age of fifteen. Largely self-taught, Miss Le Sueur attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She came to know John Reed and met Theodore Dreiser and Edna St. Vincent Millay at Mabel Dodge's literary salon. She won acclaim in 1927 for her story Persephone and again in 1934 for The Horse. She was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. S...

Thomas Norman Mattoon, 1884-1968

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6d50kt2 (person)

Norman Mattoon Thomas (1884-1968), was a leading American socialist, pacifist, author, and six-time presidential candidate on the Socialist Party of America ticket, between 1928 and 1948. Born in Marion, Ohio, he was a graduate of Princeton University, attended Union Theological Seminary, where he became a socialist, and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1911. Thomas opposed the United States' entry into the First World War, a position that earned him the disapproval of many in his soci...

American Committee for the Protection of Foreign Born

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The American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (1933-1982), based in New York City, was founded for the purpose of defending the rights of the foreign born, especially radicals and Communist Party members, thereby filling a void left by other civil rights defense groups. The Committee's formation was initiated by Roger Baldwin of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Committee pursued its aims through litigation, legislation and public education. In its early years, the Committee's acti...

Harap, Louis

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6z15bkh (person)

Rubinstein, Annette T. (Annette Teta), 1910-2007

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zc96x9 (person)

Rubinstein, Marxist educator, editor, writer, literary critic and political activist, was born in New York on April 12, 1910. She studied philosophy at Columbia University, completing her dissertation, Realistic Ethics, in 1934. Although often critical of its positions, Rubinstein was a member of the Communist Party from the 1930s into the 1950s. She was active in the American Labor Party and later became its Vice-Chairman for New York. In 1934 she began a long relationship with the...

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6235134 (person)

Biography Lawrence Ferlinghetti, American poet, editor, and publisher, was born in March of 1919 in Yonkers, N.Y., the son of Charles S. and Clemence Ferling. From 1920 to 1924, he lived in France with his aunt, and after their return to the U.S., was educated in New York, at the Riverside Country School (1927-28) and Bronxville Public School (1929-33). Ferlinghetti attended high school at Mount Hermon School in Greenfield, Mass. (1933-37), t...

Lemisch, Bea.

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Epstein, Melech

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Melech Epstein (1889-1979), author and journalist, was born in Byelorussia and moved to the United States in 1913. He was a member of the Communist party until 1939 and edited the Yiddish Communist daily, DIE FREIHEIT. From the description of Melech Epstein papers, 1964-1978. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 173863314 ...

Socialist Workers' Party (Great Britain)

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Members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party have worked with the farm movement and have covered farm protests for the Party's newspaper, The militant, since the 1970s. The items in this collection were collected by various members who were active with the farm movement. From the description of Farm protests collection, 1954-1990, n.d. (Iowa State University). WorldCat record id: 221317319 American socialist political party. From the description of Socia...

Trade Union Unity League (U.S.)

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Socialist Party (U.S.)

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The Socialist Party (U.S.) was founded in 1901, bringing together moderate socialists from the Social Democratic Party, and dissident members of the Socialist Labor Party. In 1936 the ongoing differences between the “Old Guard” and “Militant” factions, resulted in a split, with the Militant group retaining the SP name and much of the membership, while the Old Guard faction retained most of the organizational and financial assets. From the guide to the Socialist Party (U.S.) Minutes, ...

Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gq6xd7 (person)

American editor and writer. From the description of Letter to Matthew Bruccoli [manuscript], 1975 December 30. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647812058 From the description of Papers of Malcolm Cowley [manuscript], 1969. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647810601 From the description of Papers of Malcolm Cowley [manuscript], 1936-1955. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647874698 Malcolm Cowley was an influential liter...

International Labor Defense

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Established by the Communist Party of the United States of America as its legal defense arm in 1925 to aid labor, political prisoners, and victims of reactionary violence. Using mass demonstrations and publicity, the International Labor Defense (ILD) conducted national and worldwide campaigns to gather support for its cases. In 1946 the ILD merged with the Civil Rights Congress. From the description of International Labor Defense records, 1926-1946. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122...