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Guide to the New American Movement Records TAM.051

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 25, 2018
Finding aid written in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Scope and content and box level description updated by Shirin Khaki Edited by Heather Mulliner to include materials from 2018 accretion  , June 2017 , January 2018

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New American Movement (Organization)
Source - dnr: Blau, Joel
Title: New American Movement Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1971-1982
Abstract: The New American Movement (NAM) was established in 1972 by veterans of the New Left who wanted to move beyond the activism of the 1960s and rejected a Communist "vanguard party" approach to organizing. NAM's overarching goal was to create a democratic socialist society, characterized by racial, sexual and economic equality. In 1982, the organization joined with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to form the Democratic Socialists of America. This collection contains conference and convention materials, correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, position papers, reports, educational materials, and printed ephemera. The collection also contains some files on other socialist and left organizations, some of which contain discussion of NAM's relations with these organizations.
Quantity: 20 Linear Feet in 19 record cartons and 2 manuscript boxes
Location: Materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu at least two business days prior to research visit.
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: TAM.051

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Historical Note

The New American Movement (NAM), a self-identified "new type" of socialist organization, held its founding convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1972. Established largely by veterans of the New Left, NAM wanted to move beyond the activism of the 1960s and rejected a Communist "vanguard party" approach to organizing. The group was opposed to the Vietnam War and called for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. NAM's overarching goal was to create a democratic socialist society, characterized by racial, sexual and economic equality. In 1982, the organization joined with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, led by Michael Harrington, to form the Democratic Socialists of America.

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Scope and Contents

The New American Movement Records (1971-1982) consist of correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, conference and convention materials, position papers, reports, educational materials, and printed ephemera. The collection includes materials related to various New American Movement (NAM) committees, commissions, task forces, and regional chapter files. There are also files on other socialist and left organizations, some of which contain discussion of NAM's relations with these organizations, including discussion within NAM on whether or not to merge with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to form the Democratic Socialists of America.

Material from NAM conventions includes notes, resolutions, agendas, statements, convention packets, song sheets, correspondence, planning and workshop materials.

Position paper topics address discrimination against women, racism, foreign policy, occupational health and safety, fair taxation, housing and other economic issues. The collection also contains statements addressing NAM strategies and activity proposals.

Printed ephemera found in the collection includes some issues of Discussion Bulletin,  Move On,  Red Gargoyle,  Gateway Star and other regional newsletters. There is also a selection of materials regarding the production of some NAM publications.

The collection contains a variety of material produced by the NAM National Office, National Interim Committee, the Expanded National Interim Committee, and the Political Committee. NAM commissions, caucuses and task forces documented in the collection include the Anti-Racism Commission, Campus Commission, Class Study Commission, Economic Task Force, Electoral Commission, Energy Commission, Gay Caucus, Health Commission, Commission on Internationalism, Labor Commission, Marxist Leninist Caucus, Occupational Health and Safety Task Force, Socialist Feminists, Urban Commission, and others.

Regional chapter files include correspondence, newsletters, position papers, agendas and notes from NAM chapters across the country. Represented regions include the Industrial Heartland, Midwest, West Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain Region, South, Northwest, and Northeast chapters. There are materials on both active and inactive chapters, chapter evaluations, chapter report summaries and rejected NAM Chapter applications.

Correspondence with other organizations, parties, and groups includes some ephemera produced by those organizations. Organizations represented in the collection include ACORN, American Friends Service Committee, Christians for Socialism, Coalition for New Foreign and Military Policies, Freedom Socialist Party, International Socialists, Movement for Economic Justice, National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, National Black Political Assembly, New Action Party, New Democratic Party, People's Party, Socialist Party USA, Sojourner Truth Organization, War Resistance League, Wisconsin Alliance and others.

One box of materials added to the collection in 2018 includes additional position papers, resolutions, statements, and proposals related to the 1972 Founding Constitutional Conference, as well as organizational literature and pamphlets produced around the same time.

Arrangement

With the exception of box 18, this collection has not been arranged by an archivist. The majority of materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Blau, Joel

Document Type

  • Correspondence.
  • Bulletins.
  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Reports.
  • Printed ephemera.

Subject Organizations

  • New American Movement (Organization)
  • Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (U.S.)
  • Democratic Socialists of America.

Subject Topics

  • New Left -- United States.
  • Socialist parties -- United States.
  • Student movements -- United States.
  • Socialism and youth -- United States.
  • Socialist feminism.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Tamiment Library has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1971-1982, are expected to enter the public domain in 2103.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; New American Movement Records; TAM 051; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Democratic Socialists of America Records (TAM 105)

Michael Harrington Papers (TAM 209)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in repository; provenance is unknown. Accession numbers associated with this collection are 1980.009 and 2011.016. Additionally, a copy of a police report on the New American Movement was donated by Joel Blau in 1998; its associated accession number is 2014.077. One box of conference position papers and organizational literature was found in repository and added to the collection in 2018. The accession number associated with this gift is 2018.008.

Processing Information

Some materials in the collection have been placed in new acid-free folders. Original folder information, when available, has been retained. Box 18, formerly box 1, was arranged by an archivist sometime prior to 2017.

In 2018 one box of position papers and organizational literature was added to the collection as box 21. These materials have not been organized by an archivist.

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Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 National Office correspondence
1971-1972
Box: 1 Regional chapter correspondence
1976-1979
Box: 2 Northeast region and general correspondence
1976-1979
Box: 2 Conventions
1976-1981
Box: 3 Conventions
1972-1975
Box: 3 Movement organizing literature, proposals and papers
1971-1972
Box: 3 Correspondence with other organizations
1972-1979
Box: 4 Schools and training sessions
1977-1979
Box: 4 Newspaper correspondence, editorial policy
1973-1976
Box: 4 Chapter evaluations
1980
Box: 4 Chapter reports and summaries
1973-1976
Box: 4 Commissions and caucuses
1972-1979
Box: 4 Meeting minutes, newsletters and reports
1972-1981
Box: 5 National Office mailings
1971-1981
Box: 5 National Interim Committee notes
1980-1981
Box: 5 National Interim Committee, Political Committee, and individual correspondence
1975-1978
Box: 6 Membership mailings and correspondence, statements, drafts and notes
1980-1982
Box: 6 Committees
1972-1973, 1980-1982
Box: 6 Printed ephemera, including NAM Women's newsletters
1973-1981
Box: 7 National Interim Committee and Expanded National Interim Committee files
1974-1981
Box: 8 Regional chapter files
1971-1973
Box: 8 Davenport Conference
1971
Box: 9 Dorothy Healey's files
1974-1976
Box: 9 Movement organizing literature and mailings
1972
Box: 9 Meeting notes
1981
Box: 9 Travel reports
1971-1979
Box: 9 Publication production files, including Moving On and Discussion Bulletin
1976-1980
Box: 9 Speaker's bureau
1976-1977
Box: 9 NAM constitution and by-laws
1976
Box: 9 Fundraising
1975-1979
Box: 10 General office files
1976-1978
Box: 10 Correspondence with other organizations
1973-1979
Box: 11 Correspondence with other organizations
1973-1978
Box: 11 Movement organizing literature
1972
Box: 11 Regional chapter files
1973-1980
Box: 12 Regional chapter files
1973-1980
Box: 13 Regional chapter files
1973-1980
Box: 14 Regional chapter files
1973-1980
Box: 15 Commissions
1978-1981
Box: 15 Conventions
1972-1974, 1977
Box: 15 National Office, National Interim Committee, and Expanded National Interim Committee files
1972-1977
Box: 16 Commissions and task forces
1971-1979
Box: 17 Printed ephemera
1972-1982
Box: 17 Correspondence and ephemera gathered by NAM Queens Chapter, includes material from NAM and other organizations
1972-1974
Box: 17 Police report
1972
Box: 18 Conferences
1971-1973
Box: 18 National Interim Committee files
1971-1978
Box: 18 Regional chapter files
1971-1973
Box: 18 Committees and task forces
1972
Box: 18 Position papers, proposals, and press releases
1971-1973
Box: 18 Socialist-Feminist Conference
1975
Box: 18 Printed ephemera and statements from other organizations
1970-1973
Box: 19 Printed ephemera, 2011 accession
1975-1982
Box: 20 Commissions and caucuses
1975-1981
Box: 20 Parliamentary procedures and constitution
1975-1976
Box: 20 Regional chapter files, primarily West Coast, St. Louis and Southside Chicago
1975-1981
Box: 20 Printed ephemera, primarily regional newsletters
1975-1982
Box: 21 Conference Position Papers and Organizational Literature
1971-1974

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