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David Gordon Papers TAM.101

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 May 07, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Gordon, David, 1909-1973
Source - dnr: Gordon, Lottie
Title: David Gordon Papers
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1924-1973
Dates [bulk]: 1924-1945
Abstract: David Gordon (1909-1973) was a Communist trade unionist, author, editor, journalist, and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The collection contains letters, poem, short stories, plays, reports, books and memorabilia. The collection is extensive for the years 1924-1945. There is a diary, letters and writings done during his service in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and many books and pamphlets on Spain and the Spanish Civil War. The material from World War II consists of information about soldiers that he talked to for army news releases, personal correspondence and writings.
Quantity: 10 Linear Feet in 10 boxes and 2 oversize folders in a shared box
Call Phrase: TAM.101

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Historical/Biographical Note

David Gordon (1909-1973), a Communist trade unionist, author, editor and journalist, was born in the Ukraine, and immigrated to the U.S. when he was three. In 1924, he was convicted of obscenity for writing the poem "America" (published in the Daily Worker, the Communist Party USA's newspaper) which compared America to a whorehouse. Gordon was paroled to the University of Wisconsin Experimental College where he had a Zona Gale literary scholarship and studied for two years. He became active in the trade union movement and was appointed an organizer for the Paper, Pulp and Sulphite Workers Union, then became a Communist Party organizer in Toledo where he was involved in the Autolite strike of 1934. From 1936-1938, Gordon served with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War and thereafter was temporarily held in a concentration camp on the French border. In September 1942, he entered the United States Army where he wrote press releases about soldiers' families and feelings which were published in the subjects' hometown newspapers. He also wrote recommendations for medals. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he wrote feature articles for medical journals and was active in teaching communist ideology and history. He was an editor of  American Dialog a Communist-initiated cultural periodical, and served on the Cultural Commission of the Communist Party USA. In 1970, Gordon became the cultural editor of the Communist Party's newspaper, then titled the  People's Daily World. He made several trips to Cuba and wrote extensively on his experiences. Shortly before his death on June 21, 1973, he toured the Soviet Union.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters, poem, short stories, plays, reports, books and memorabilia. His writings in the reformatory are extensively represented. There is a diary, letters and writings done during his service in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and many books and pamphlets on Spain and the Spanish Civil War. The material from World War II consists of information about soldiers that he talked to for army news releases, personal correspondence and writings. Also included are a lengthy poem in tribute to Paul Robeson from the 1950s; a few story ideas; copies of his columns in the People's Daily World and a collection of obituaries about Gordon.

Arrangement

This collection has not been arranged by an archivist. The materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976
  • Gordon, Lottie

Document Type

  • Manuscripts (document genre)
  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries
  • Articles.

Subject Organizations

  • Daily Worker (New York)

Subject Topics

  • Journalists -- United States.
  • Communists.
  • Communists -- United States.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -x Journalism, Military -- United States.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans.
  • World War, 1939-1945.
  • Jewish communists -- United States.
  • Journalism, Communist -- United States.

Subject Places

  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Veterans.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Participation, American.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives 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 1924-1945, are expected to enter the public domain in 2044.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lottie Gordon, wife of David Gordon, 1981. The accession number associated with this gift is 2001.015.

Processing Information

A 1938 calendar was found in the repository and incorporated into the collection in May 2014.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1-8, 10 Assorted writings, publications, and other materials
Box: 9 Scrapbook
Box: MS0S 005 Folder : 1 Partit Socialista Unificat Calendar
Box: MSOS 005 Folder : 2 Edicions forja 1938 (Spanish Civil War Calendar)
1938

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