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Guide to the Workers Party Records TAM.136

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 (2009)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 18, 2018
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Workers Party and Independent Socialist League Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1945-1958
Abstract: The Workers Party, 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, and  The New International, both continuing until 1958, when the successor to the WP, the Independent Socialist League (1949-1958) merged with the Socialist Party. The collection contains minutes, correspondence, reports and resolutions, study guides, memorandums and position papers, and newsletters. Much of the material reflects the lively internal debates and factional conflicts within both the Workers Party and the Independent Socialist League.
Quantity: 3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM.136

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Historical/Biographical Note

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 successor to the WP, the Independent Socialist League (1949-1958) merged with the Socialist Party. The Workers Party was a source for many of the ideas, personalities and journals of the post-World War II non- and anti-communist left, and former members influenced the development of the Socialist Party and helped found the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (later Democratic Socialists of America).

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains national committee and convention minutes for both the Workers Party and Independent Socialist League, correspondence, including subscription and editorial correspondence for Labor Actionand  The New International, reports, including several from local branches, study guides and other materials produced by the Education Department, resolutions, memorandums and position papers, and newsletters, including Labor Vets Bulletin, produced by Party members active in the American Veterans Committee. Much of the material reflects the lively internal debates and factional conflicts within both the Workers Party and the Independent Socialist League. Notable individuals represented, in addition to Max Shachtman, include Ernest Rice McKinney (WP National Secretary), Nathan Gould (Director of Organization), and Gordon Haskell (  Labor Action). Also of note is the folder re the "Third Camp Contact Committee," an attempt to establish links between Western and developing countries' socialists, pacifists, and nationalists.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically.

The material is organized into one series.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: General Files

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Shachtman, Max, 1903-1972.
  • McKinney, Ernest Rice, 1886-1984.
  • Haskell, Gordon.
  • Gould, Nathan.

Document Type

  • Newsletters.
  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Reports.
  • Correspondence.

Subject Organizations

  • American Veterans Committee
  • Labor action.
  • Labor vets bulletin.
  • New international
  • Workers Party (1940-1949)
  • Independent Socialist League
  • Socialist Workers Party

Subject Topics

  • Communism -- United States -- 20th century
  • Labor movement -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Socialism -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Veterans -- United States -x Political activity -y 1945-1960.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -x Veterans -- United States -v Periodicals.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by the Workers Party and Independent Socialist League was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Workers Party and Independent Socialist League Records; Tamiment 136; 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

Max Shachtman Papers (Tamiment 103).

Oral History of the American Left (Oral Histories 2).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated in 1988; additional materials were donated in 2005. The accession number associated with this gift is 1988.004.

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Container List

Series I: General Files

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Active Workers Conference
Aug 1945
Box: 1 Folder : 2 City Convention, New York
1945
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Constitutions
1946
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Convention, Fourth National (May 27-31, 1946) Minutes
1946
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Minutes
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Active Workers Conference Minutes
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Directives - Prices Campaign
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Directives - Labor Action
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Finances
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: National Committee Plenum Minutes
May 1946
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Organization Directives
1946-1948
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: Perspectives - Labor Action
1946-1947
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Convention, Fifth National (Nov 1947) Materials: State of the Party Reporsts
1946
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Convention (March 1949) Materials
1945-1949
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Education Department: Labor Movement
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Education Department: Marxism
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Education Department: Miscellaneous
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Education Department: The Party, Fourth International, Russia
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Independent Socialist League Minutes
1950
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Independent Socialist League Minutes
1951
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Independent Socialist League Minutes
1952
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Independent Socialist League Minutes
1953
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Independent Socialist League Minutes
1957-1958
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Labor Action Correspondence, Domestic
1953
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Labor Action Correspondence, Domestic
1954-1957
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Labor Action Correspondence, Foreign
1947-1949
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Labor Action Correspondence, Foreign
1950-1953
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Labor Action Correspondence, Foreign
1954-1956
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Labor Action: Writers Guides
1950
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Labor Action/New International Correspondence, Foreign: Mailing Returns
1951-1953
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Labor Vets Bulletin (Labor Veterans Group in AVC)
1946-1947
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Local Branch Reports
1947-1949
Box: 2 Folder : 15 McKinney, Ernest Rice (National Secretary) Circulars
1946-1947
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Members Critiques of Party Positions
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Memorial Day Flood
1956
Box: 2 Folder : 18 National Committee Communications to NC Members/Alternates
1946-1947
Box: 2 Folder : 19 National Committee Minutes
Sep 25, 1945-Dec 30, 1945
Box: 2 Folder : 20 National Committee Minutes
Jul-46-Dec-46
Box: 2 Folder : 21 National Committee Plenum (Nov 23-24, 1946) Materials
1946
Box: 2 Folder : 22 National Office Communications to Local Branches
1946-1947
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Organizational Directives
1946-1948
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Party Bulletin
Oct 18, 1945
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Statements, Theses, etc.
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Third Camp Contact Committee
1954
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Weekly Letters ("To All Branches')
1946
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1940-1944
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1945
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1946
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1947
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1948
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Workers Party Records, Miscellaneous
1949

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