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Guide to Maurice Isserman Research Files TAM 239

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 Katja Vehlow; Entered into the Archivist's Toolkit by John D. Bence

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 08, 2018

 Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect the incorporation of a 2016 accretion  , November 2016

Descriptive Summary

Title: Maurice Isserman Research Files
Dates [inclusive]: 1940-1995
Dates [bulk]: 1970-1995
Abstract: Maurice Isserman is an historian and author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington (2000), and several other books relating to the history of the American left. The bulk of the collection contains interview transcripts, topical files, newspaper clippings and FBI files related to Isserman's research on Michael Harrington. Prominent interviewees include: William F. Buckley, Lewis Coser, Norman Dorsen, Hal Draper, Harry Fleischman, John K. Galbraith, Herbert Gans, Michael Harrington (there are also two interviews of Harrington conducted by others), his wife Stephanie Harrington, Irving Howe, Irving Kristol, David McReynolds, Jack Newfield, Victor Reuther, Eugene Rostow, Andre Schiffrin, Stanley Sheinbaum, and Diana Trilling. The collection also contains several files related to Isserman's research on American Communism between 1977 and 1980.
Quantity: 4 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM 239

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Historical/Biographical Note

Maurice Isserman is an historian and author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington (2000), and of  Which Side Are You On?: The American Communist Party during the Second World War, and  If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left (1993). Isserman is also a professor of history at Hamilton College (New York).

Michael Harrington (1928-1989), is best known as the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States (1962), and as the founder and leader of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, which later became the Democratic Socialists of America (U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International). He also taught political science at Queens College, part of the City University of New York, and continued to write, lecture and travel widely until his death from cancer in 1989. Among his many books were two autobiographical works,  Taking Sides: The Education of a Militant Mind(1985) and  The Long-Distance Runner : An Autobiography(1987),  The New American Poverty(1984),  The Politics at God's Funeral: The Spiritual Crisis of Western Civilization(1985), and  Socialism : Past and Future(1989).

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection contains oral history interviews, newspaper clippings, FBI files, and subject files compiled by Maurice Isserman for his book The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington. Oral history interviews feature prominent individuals including: William F. Buckley, Lewis Coser, Norman Dorsen, Hal Draper, Harry Fleischman, John K. Galbraith, Herbert Gans, Michael Harrington, Stephanie Harrington, Irving Howe, Irving Kristol, David McReynolds, Jack Newfield, Victor Reuther, Eugene Rostow, Andre Schiffrin, Stanley Sheinbaum, and Diana Trilling. The topical files contain background material on people, organizations, and issues. The newspaper clippings consist of articles by and about Michael Harrington. The four FOIA files were obtained by Isserman.

One folder of correspondence added to the collection in 2016 consists of photocopies of letters written by Harrington to his friends and family between 1948 and 1953. The bulk of these letters are addressed to Harrington's parents and his sister Margaret. The folder also includes several of Isserman's handwritten notes.

The collection contains several files related to Isserman's research on American Communism during World War II. These files date from 1977 to 1980 and include photocopies of Communist Party meetings between 1935 and 1940 and records related to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Communist Party. They also contain correspondence with Joe Clark, letters related to Isserman's research on Earl Browder, and transcript of an oral history interview with Steve Nelson.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into two series by reserach subject. Series I has been divided into four subseries by record type, which are arranged as follows: Subseries IA: Interview transcripts (arranged alphabetically); Subseries IB: Topical files (arranged alphabetically); Subseries IC: Newspaper clippings (arranged chronologically); Subseries ID: FOIA files (arranged by file number). Research files in Series II are arranged in alphabetical order by topic.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Schwartz, Joseph.
  • Schiffrin, André
  • Trilling, Diana
  • Noṿiḳ, P., 1891-
  • Meyerson, Harold .
  • Rosenberg, Bernard, 1923-1996
  • Rawick, George P., 1929-
  • Harrington, Michael, 1928-1989
  • Isserman, Maurice
  • Jacobson, Julius
  • Howe, Irving.
  • Kristol, Irving.
  • Buckley, William F. (William Frank), 1925-2008
  • McReynolds, David.
  • Dorsen, Norman
  • Denitch, Bogdan Denis
  • Fleischman, Harry.
  • Draper, Hal
  • Haskell, Gordon.
  • Glotzer, Albert, 1908-1999.
  • Isserman, Maurice

Document Type

  • Government records
  • Research (document genres).
  • Interviews.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)

Subject Organizations

  • Democratic Socialists of America.
  • League for Industrial Democracy
  • Fund for the Republic
  • Social Democrats, USA

Subject Topics

  • Socialism -- United States -- History.
  • Political scientists -- United States -- Biography.
  • Socialists -- United States -- Biography.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Maurice Isserman sent a gift of research files, videocassettes, and audiocassettes related to Michael Harrington in December 2000. In 2016, Isserman sent a research file related to Michael Harrington's family correspondence.

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 Maurice Isserman was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Maurice Isserman Research Files; TAM 239; 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

Maurice Isserman Oral History Interviews (OH 036)

Separated Materials

Separated from the collection were: (a) 14 videocassettes of public programs featuring or about Michael Harrington, which were transferred to the Library's NonPrint collection, and: (b) 116 audiocassettes, apparently the oral history interviews whose transcripts comprise series I, which were transferred to the Library's Sound collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated by Maurice Isserman in 2000 and 2016. The accession numbers related to these gifts are 2000.024 and 2016.060.

Processing Information

There is no documentation regarding arrangement and description decisions made before 2016. In 2016 previously undescribed materials related to Isserman's research on American Communism were described in the collection as Series II: Early Research Files. At this time all previously described materials in the collection were moved into Series I: Research Files for The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington, but the arrangement of materials within the series was not changed. The collection title was also updated from the Maurice Isserman Research Files for  The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington to the Maurice Isserman Research Files to reflect the inclusion of these new materials.

Additionally 1 folder of Michael Harrington's personal correspondence was added to the collection in 2016 and incorporated into Subseries IIB: Topical Files as Harrington, Michael - Personal Correspondence.

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Container List

Series I: Research Files for The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington, 1940-1995

Subseries IA: Interview Transcripts

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Berthelme, Elizabeth
March 17, 1995
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Bernstein, Jules
March 9, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Booth, Heather
March 11, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Brungard, Ed
December 14, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Buckley, William F.
January 6, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Chapin, Jim
April/December 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Clark, Ed
March 23, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Clark, Jack
January/March 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Clingon, Eldon
May 19, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Corbin, Marty & Ed Egan
October 30, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Coser, Lewis
May 3, 1985
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Dempsey, Richard
May 16, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Denitch, Betty
August 6, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Denitch, Bogdan
1984-1991
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Diaz, Eileen Fautino
March 16, 1995
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Dorsen, Norman
May 24, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Draper, Hal
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Dreier, Peter
November 5, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Faherty, William Father
May 13, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Faucher, Ed
January 6, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Finn, Jim and Molly
September 27, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 22 FitzGibbon, Peggy
November 3, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Fitzsimmons, Richard
February 7, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Fleischman, Harry
April 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Franklin, Joan S.
March 19, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Galbraith, John K.
May 19, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Gallin, Liz
January 6, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Gans, Herb
March 16, 1995
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Geltman, Manny
March 19, 1985
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Gittin, Todd
June 16, 1994
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Glotzer, Al
October 10, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Hacker, David
August 19, 1988
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Harrington, Alec
September 27, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Harrington, Michael -- interviewed by John Cogley
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Harrington, Michael
November 19, 1982
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Harrington, Michael – interviewed by Kirkpatrick Sale
October 6, 1969
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Harrington, Michael -- interviewed by Todd Gitlin
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Harrington, Michael and Dave
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Harrington, Stephanie
September 27, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Harrington, Ted
February 15, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Haskell, Gordon
July 15, 1983
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Healey, Richard
March 11, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Henle, Father
December 13, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Howe, Irving -- interviewed by Todd Gitlin
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 44 Jacobson, Julius and Phyllis
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 45 Jordan, Ruth
March 10, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Kelman, Steve
November 24, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 47 Kristol, Irving
August 8, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 48 Kusnet, Dave
March 11, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 49 Kuttner, Bob
April 26, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 50 Lacefield, Patrick and Dinah Lewenthal
August 5, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 51 Levinson, Mark
July 24, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 52 Lipon, Arthur
November 9, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 53 Llewelyn, Frank
October 14, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 54 Loftus, Bill
September 27, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 55 Max, Steve
May 14, 1986; October 16, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 56 McGovern, Hamilton
April 14, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 57 McReynolds, Dave
July 9, 1984; September 16, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 58 Meier, Debbie
April 19, 1986; January 6, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 59 Meyerson, Harold
July 27, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 60 Mitchell, Peggy Brennan
October 22, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 61 Moore, Arthur J.
September 28, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 62 Mort, Jo-Ann
September 26, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 63 Murphy, Joe
October 16, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 64 Newfield, Jack
January 6, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 65 Nichols, Marcy Perot
March 16, 1995
Box: 1 Folder : 66 Novick, Peter
December 28, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 67 O'Brien, Dave
September 13, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 68 O'Gorman, Ned
May 23, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 69 O'Neill, Roger
April 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 70 Padburg, John S.J.
February 13, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 71 Rawick, George
August 17, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 72 Reinert, Paul C. S.J.
December 13, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 73 Reuther, Victor
August 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 74 Roberts, Skip
August 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 75 Rosenberg, Bernie
October 6, 1983
Box: 1 Folder : 76 Rostow, Eugene
August 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 77 Schori, Pierre
June 11, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 78 Schiffrin, Andre
June 19, 1983
Box: 1 Folder : 79 Schwartz, Joe
February 8, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 80 Shier, Carl
November 4, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 81 Shier, Nancy and Roberta Lynch
April 3, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 82 Sheinbaum, Stanley K.
July 29, 1990
Box: 1 Folder : 83 Schoch, Jim
October 23, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 84 Silbiger, Steve
March 10, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 85 Stanley, John
July 25, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 86 Steinfels, Peter
October 14, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 87 Stillman, Dan
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 88 Stuart, Jack
January 7, 1995
Box: 1 Folder : 89 Thomas, Bill -- notes on interview with
January 10, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 90 Thyessen, Freijof
December 8, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 91 Towey, Martin
May 14, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 92 Trilling, Diana
July 25, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 93 Tristman, Dorothy and Larry Wittner
July 4, 1984
Box: 1 Folder : 94 Wakefield, Dan
February 7, 1993
Box: 1 Folder : 95 Walzer, Michael
March 20, 1986
Box: 1 Folder : 96 Warwick, Jane
January 6, 1991
Box: 1 Folder : 97 Wilkerson, Jerome Msgr
May 13, 1992
Box: 1 Folder : 98 Zimmerman, Fred Father
December 13, 1990

Subseries IB: Topical Files

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Chicago
1992
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Civil Rights
1959-1992
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Conservatives
1980s
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Democratic Agenda
1986-1987
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Democratic Socialists of America
1983-1989
Box: 2 Folder : 6 DSOC
1991
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Fund for the Republic
circa 1956
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Harrington, Michael - Family
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Harrington, Michael - Family
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Harrington, Michael - Illness
1985-1989
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Harrington, Michael - Personal Correspondence
1948-1951
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Holy Cross
1945-1991
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Howe, Irving
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Ireland
1991
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Jews & Israel
1970-1992
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Labor Movement
1965-1994
Box: 2 Folder : 16 League for Industrial Democracy
1964-1995
Box: 2 Folder : 17 McReynolds, Dave
1950s
Box: 2 Folder : 18 New Left
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Queens College
1975-1989
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Releases
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Reviews of Michael Harrington
1965-1987
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Rustin, Baynard
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 23 St. Louis University High School
1940-1944
Box: 2 Folder : 24 SDUSA (Social Democrats, USA)
1986
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Shachtman / ISL
1984-1996
Box: 2 Folder : 26 Socialism, history & future
1970s
Box: 2 Folder : 27 Socialist International
1977-1996
Box: 2 Folder : 28 Socialist Party
1960s
Box: 2 Folder : 29 Socialist Party
1960s
Box: 2 Folder : 30 Vietnam War
1971-1993
Box: 2 Folder : 31 Village Voice
1950s-1991
Box: 2 Folder : 32 Workers Defense League
1984-1991
Box: 2 Folder : 33 Yale Law School
1984-1992
Box: 2 Folder : 34 YPSL (Young Peoples Socialist League)
1971-1991

Subseries IC: Newspaper Clippings by and about Michael Harrington

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1-33 Harrington clippings
1951-1983
Box: 4 Folder : 1-6 Harrington clippings
1984-1989

Subseries ID: FOIA FIles (by file number)

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 7 FOIPA HQ 100-411915 Vol. 1 - 1 out of 2
Box: 4 Folder : 8 FOIPA HQ 100-411915 Vol. 1 - 2 out of 2
Box: 4 Folder : 9 FOIPA HQ 100-411915 Vol. 2 - 1 out of 2
Box: 4 Folder : 10 FOIPA HQ 100-411915 Vol. 2 - 2 out of 2

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Series II: Early Research Files, 1977-1980

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Clark, Joe Correspondence
1979-1982
Box: 5 Folder : 2-3 Communist Party Meetings and Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
1977
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Communist Party Political Committee Meetings
1935-1940
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Correspondence Regarding Earl Browder
1977-1982
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Nelson, Steve Interview
1977

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