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Guide to the Myra Tanner Weiss Papers TAM 158

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 Natasha Simon, 1998. Edited by Nicole Greenhouse in compliance with DACS and Tamiment Required Elements for Archival Description, July 2013.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 24, 2018
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Myra Tanner Weiss Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1933-1997
Dates [bulk]: 1952-1963
Abstract: Myra Tanner Weiss (1916-1997) was a socialist, feminist, and the Socialist Workers Party's vice-presidential candidate in 1952, 1956, and 1960. Together with her husband Murry she organized the School for Marxist Education in New York. The papers contain correspondence, speeches and writings and Socialist Workers Party internal documents.
Quantity: 2.5 Linear Feet in five manuscript boxes.
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: TAM 158

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Historical/Biographical Note

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 and 1949. The Weisses moved to New York City in 1953 where Murry Weiss edited the Socialist Workers Party's newspaper The Militant. Running with Presidential candidate Farrell Dobbs, Myra Tanner Weiss was the Socialist Workers Party's Vice Presidential candidate in 1952, 1956, and 1960. Together with her husband she organized the School for Marxist Education in New York. Tanner Weiss left the SWP in the early 1960's because she thought the party had undergone a 'gross bureaucratization'. According to records of the New York local branch of the SWP Myra Tanner Weiss would no longer be considered a member of the Party as of October 1966. She did however remain politically active and became involved with the New York Socialist Feminists and the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP). Tanner Weiss received a masters degree in political science from New York University in 1972. She subsequently worked as a proof reader. She died on September 13, 1997.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection consists primarily of correspondence and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) internal documents, dating mostly from the 1940s-1970s. The correspondence is mostly by Tanner Weiss and her husband, Murry, related to the SWP and family correspondence. The collection contains a significant amount of SWP internal working materials, including draft resolutions, minutes, correspondence, articles, circulars, reports, flyers, convention materials, and other ephemera documenting the SWP's politics and activities, as well as the Party's responses to splits and the formation of factions. The collection also contains internal papers and correspondence which document Murry and Myra Tanner Weiss' involvement with the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP). The collection also contains speeches and writings written by Murry and Myra Tanner Weiss. Important in the collection is the letter to Tanner Weiss from Natalie Sedova-Trotsky concerning a purported meeting between Leon Trotsky and Jack Soble in Turkey in 1931-1932.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into five series:

Series I: Personal
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Socialist Workers Party
Series IV: Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP)
Series V: Speeches and Writings

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Swabeck, Arne.
  • Dobbs, Farrell
  • Weiss, Murry
  • Trotskaia, Nataliia Ivanovna, 1882-1962.
  • Breitman, George
  • Cannon, James P. (James Patrick), 1890-1974.
  • Nagel, Shirley

Subject Organizations

  • Young People's Socialist League
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • Young Socialist Alliance (U.S.)

Subject Topics

  • Women socialists -- United States.
  • Women and socialism -- United States.
  • Trotskyists |z United States.
  • Trotskyism |z United States.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by Myra Tanner Weiss was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Myra Tanner Weiss Papers; TAM 158; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Archival Materials

Tamiment's Oral History of the American Left (OH 002) contains an interview with Myra Tanner Weiss. Other institutions hold materials related to Tanner Weiss, including oral history recordings in Prometheus Research Library, New York (Myra Tanner Weiss interview 12/20/77; 2 cassettes) and Tanner Weiss's campaign literature in the Bob Chester Papers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

Separated Materials

A set of Discussion Bulletins published by the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist from 1978-1980 were separated to the library collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated by Myra Tanner Weiss and her sister, Shirley Nagel, in 1994. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1994.015, 1994.016 and NPA.1998.028.

Processing Information

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Myra Tanner Weiss Photographs (PHOTOS 085). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Myra Tanner Weiss Papers.

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Container List

Series I: Personal, 1912, 1981-1997

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains obituaries, photographs, and other personal and biographical materials related to Tanner Weiss.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Biography
1981-1997
Box: 1 Folder : 1a Photographs
1912, undated

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Series II: Correspondence, 1933-1987

Scope and Content Note

This series contains correspondence by Myra Tanner Weiss and Murry Weiss, mostly to other correspondents. The bulk of the correspondence dates from the 1940s-1970s. There is also the correspondence of Myra Tanner Weiss' husband, Murry Weiss, much of which concerns his tenure as editor of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) newspaper, The Militant. Tanner Weiss' letters and correspondence concern her speaking tours and political campaigns as SWP Vice Presidential candidate in 1952, 1956, and 1960, as well as personal correspondence with her husband and family. Correspondents include: Shane Mage, Tim Wohlforth, James Cannon, Sam Marcy, Natalie [Natalia] Sedova-Trotsky (Leon Trotsky's widow), Bert Deck, Farrell Dobbs, William Warde, George Breitman, George Clarke, Arne Swabeck, Harry Braverman, Clara Fraser, James Robertson.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Weiss Family Letters
1959
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Murry Weiss / Myra Tanner Weiss Correspondence
1948-1958
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Murry Weiss / Myra Tanner Weiss Correspondence
1960-1980
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Murry Weiss - Letters
1933-1939
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Murry Weiss - Letters
1942
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Murry Weiss - Letters
1944
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Murry Weiss - Letters
1945
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Murry Weiss - Letters
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Correspondence: Murry Weiss/California Third Party Movement
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Murry Weiss - Letters
1948
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Murry Weiss - Letters
1949
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Murry Weiss/Trotsky School Spring Mountain Camp - Correspondence
1950
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Murry Weiss - Letters
1951
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Murry Weiss - Letters
1952
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Murry Weiss - Letters
1953
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Murry Weiss - Letters
1954
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Murry Weiss - Letters
1955
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Murry Weiss - Letters
Jan-Jun 1956
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Murry Weiss - Letters
Jul-Dec 1956
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Murry Weiss - Letters
Jan-May 1957
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Murry Weiss - Letters
Jun-Dec 1957
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Murry Weiss - Letters
1958
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Murry Weiss - Letters
1959
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Murry Weiss - Letters
1960
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Murry Weiss - Letters
1962
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Murry Weiss - Letters
1963-1964
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Murry Weiss - Letters/Socialist Workers Party Membership
1966
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Murry Weiss - Letters
1976 -1978
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1946-1949
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1951
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1952
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1953
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1954-1955
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
Jan-Jun 1956
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
Jul-Dec 1956
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1957
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Correspondence: Myra Tanner Weiss/Natalie Sedova-Trotsky
1957
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1958 -1959
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1960-1966
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters/Socialist Workers Party Membership
1966
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1969-1975
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1977-1980
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters: An Open Letter to the Socialist Workers Party
1980
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1981
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1982
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1983-1985
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Myra Tanner Weiss - Letters
1986-1987
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Letters: individuals
1939-1953
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Letters: individuals
1955
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Letters: individuals
1956-1985
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Letters
undated

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Series III: Socialist Workers Party, 1944-1983

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

This series documents Weiss's activities within the Socialist Workers Party; the documents, correspondence, minutes, flyers, and other ephemera chronicle the Cochranite split, discussions and debates concerning Pabloism (Michael Pablo, Michael Raptis: head of the International Secretariat), the Party's response to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party and its effect on the Communist Party USA, and consideration of the 1956 uprisings in Poland and Hungary. SWP policy and activity is also chronicled concerning the "regroupment campaign" of 1956-1958, as well as the Party's relationship to the Young Socialist League (YSL), the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL), the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA) and the Workers World Party. In addition, there is material and correspondence concerning the opposition group the Revolutionary Tendency (TR) and the expulsion from the SWP of Lynne Harper, Laurence Ireland, Shane Mage, James Robertson, and Geoffrey White in 1963.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Martin (Cannon): Comments on the Selection of the National Committee
1944
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Felix Morrow: Where I Stand
1945
Box: 3 Folder : 2a Myra Tanner Weiss v Los Angeles Broadcasting, Inc...
1946
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Socialist Workers Party Internal Documents
1949
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Natalia Trotsky: letter re break with Fourth International and Socialist Workers Party
1951
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Johnson-Forest: What We Are Leaving Behind
1951
Box: 3 Folder : 6 M. Pablo: The Building of the Revolutionary Party
1952
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Internal Documents
1953
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Internal Documents
1954
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Club Executive Minutes
1954
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Internal Documents
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Peng: Pabloism Reviewed
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Draft Resolutions: The Soviet Union Today [sect iv]; The Third Chinese Revolution and Its Aftermath [sect ii]; The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoise [sect iii]; includes correspondence
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Digest of 1949 U.S. White Paper on China
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 14 Club Executive Minutes
1955
Box: 3 Folder : 15 Internal Documents
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 16 Communications to National Committee Members
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 17 On the CPUSA
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 18 Joseph Hansen: Report on the Trotsky School
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 19 Draft Resolution: The World Today
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 20 Draft Resolution on Stalinism
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 21 Draft Resolution: The Crisis of Stalinism
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 22 Draft Resolution on Middle East
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 23 re slogan, Federal Troops to Mississippi
1956
Box: 3 Folder : 24 Internal Documents
1957
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Tentative Outline for Political Report to Convention
1957
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Young Socialist League (YSL): correspondence and reports
1957
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Draft Resolution: Towards a Revolutionary Party in Britain; Suez and its Aftermath
1957
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Club Executive Minutes
1957
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Internal Documents
1958
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Internal Documents
1959
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Club Executive Minutes
1959
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Revised Draft Political Resolution - regroupment
1959
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Internal Documents
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 6 James Cannon: letter with 1945 "On The Party Press"
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Raj Narain Arya: statements
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Political Committee Minutes
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 9 Draft: Tasks and Perspectives Resolution; Tasks and Perspectives Resolution
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 10 Murry Weiss: Memorandum on the Principled Groundwork of Our Tactics and Slogans in the Struggle Against Imperialist War
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 11 Concerning Cuba
1960
Box: 4 Folder : 12 Internal Documents
1961
Box: 4 Folder : 13 Political Committee Minutes
1961
Box: 4 Folder : 14 Pre Convention and 19th National Convention Minutes
1961
Box: 4 Folder : 15 National Executive Committee Minutes (with attached correspondence)
1961
Box: 4 Folder : 16 Monroe Defense Movement
1961
Box: 4 Folder : 17 Internal Documents
1962
Box: 4 Folder : 18 Political Committee Draft: Problems of the Fourth International And the Next Steps
1962
Box: 4 Folder : 19 Draft Resolution: The Chinese Revolution: Its Character and Development
1962
Box: 4 Folder : 20 Political Committee Minutes
1962
Box: 4 Folder : 21 Internal Documents
1963
Box: 4 Folder : 22 Political Committee Minutes
1963
Box: 4 Folder : 23 National Committee Plenum
1963
Box: 4 Folder : 24 Myra Tanner Weiss: Plenum Speech
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Draft of Convention Resolution: Freedom Now
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Draft Resolution on the Organizational Character of the SWP
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Suspension of Robertson-Mage-White Minority Tendency: statements and correspondence
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Statement of the Reorganized Minority Tendency: The Decline of American Imperialism and the Tasks of the SWP
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Draft Resolution: Preparing for the Next Wave of Radicalism in the United States
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Draft Resolution: The SWP Position on China (May); The SWP Position on China with Wohlforth amendment (June)
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Draft Resolution: The Sino-Soviet Dispute; Marxist Policy in the Sino-Soviet Dispute
1963
Box: 5 Folder : 8 Internal Documents
1964
Box: 5 Folder : 9 Political Committee Minutes
1964
Box: 5 Folder : 10 National Executive Committee Minutes
1964
Box: 5 Folder : 11 21st National Convention Minutes
1965
Box: 5 Folder : 12 Internal Documents
1966
Box: 5 Folder : 13 Internal Documents
circa 1967
Box: 5 Folder : 14 Hildegarde Swabeck: resignation letter
circa 1967
Box: 5 Folder : 15 Internal Documents
1982-1983
Box: 5 Folder : 16 Internal Documents
undated

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Series IV: Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP), 1978-1981

Scope and Content Note

This series documents Tanner Weiss's involvement with and the activities of the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP) in 1978-1981. It consists of meeting minutes, articles, circulars, and conference proceedings. CRSP was dedicated to reinstituting American Trotskyism.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 17 Internal Documents
1978
Box: 5 Folder : 18 Internal Documents
1979
Box: 5 Folder : 19 Internal Documents
1980-1981

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Series V: Speeches and Writings, undated, 1955-1978

Scope and Content Note

This series contains speeches and other writings by Murry Weiss and Myra Tanner Weiss. Murry's speeches are related to radical political upheaval in the 1950s-1970s and often include handwritten notes. Myra's speech is related to living under FBI surveillance.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 20 Murry Weiss
1955-1978
Box: 5 Folder : 21 Myra Tanner Weiss
undated

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