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Guide to the Simon W. and Sophie Gerson Papers TAM.330

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Peter Meyer Filardo and Jennifer Jana

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on February 29, 2016
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Electronic finding aid revised according to local applications by Evan Friss (2007); edited by Maggie Schreiner for compliance with DACS and Tamiment Required Elements for Archival Description and to reflect the incorporation of nonprint materials in Feb 2014. Collection name changed and administrative information updated by Heather Mulliner  , Nov 2014

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Gerson, Simon W.
Title: Simon W. and Sophie Gerson Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1925-2001
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1945-1991
Abstract: Simon W. (Si) Gerson, 1909-2004, was the longtime New York State, and later national legislative/political action director for the Communist Party, and was an advocate of proportional representation and ballot access for minor political parties, including in the 1980s-90s as a leader of the Coalition for Free and Open Elections (COFOE). He served as Confidential Examiner to Manhattan Borough President Stanley M. Isaacs, 1938-40, managed Communist election campaigns (later writing a biography Pete: The Story of Peter V. Cacchione, New York's First Communist Councilman), and organized activities in support of the Communist Party leaders indicted under the Smith Act, as was Gerson. In the 1950s he was executive editor of the Party's newspaper, the  Daily Worker, and of its later successor, the  Daily World. Along with his wife, Sophie Melvin Gerson, an organizer of the Gastonia Textile Strike of 1929, he was a longtime resident of and community activist in the Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. The papers contain clippings, correspondence with leading communists and political figures, published and unpublished writings including manuscripts, memorandums, newspaper columns, reviews and reports, a scrapbook and speeches, including materials relating to Cacchione's career and death, and to Gerson's several campaigns for public office, research notes and typescript drafts for several chapters of a never-completed book, "Do We Really Have Free Elections (ca. 1990)," a related manuscript by Adam Lapin, "Tweedledum and Tweedledee: The American Two Party System," Communist Party internal documents, including reports by leading figures, many relating to the communist political crises of 1956-58 and 1989-91, and minutes of and correspondence relating to COFOE and the publication  Ballot Access News.
Quantity: 15.0 linear feet in 30 manuscript boxes, 1 record carton, 1 flat box and 1 oversize folder in a shared flat box.
Language of Materials note: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM.330