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Guide to the Carl Lichtenstein Papers TAM 677

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 Colin Torre

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 10, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical/Biographical Note

Carl Lichtenstein (1942-2011) was a leftist activist, a member of the International Communist League (the Fourth Internationalist Spartacist League), and a founder and principal archivist of the Spartacist League's Prometheus Research Library (PRL). Educated as a nuclear physicist, Lichtenstein received a PhD from Cornell University in 1970. In 1971, he left academia and joined the Communist Party, serving as a member of successive Spartacist League branches in Boston, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor and New York, and as a longtime member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2070. In his role as archivist for the PRL, Lichtenstein developed the library's collections by expanding and refining the scope of its holdings, by collaborating with the libraries of similarly radical organizations, such as the Socialist Workers Party, and by developing methodology for the collection of primary source material related to labor and radical history. In 1975, Lichtenstein traveled to Mexico City in order to preserve and describe the contents of Leon Trotsky's personal library. In addition to his editorial work with the Prometheus Research Series bulletins, Lichtenstein was co-author, with Diana Kartsen, of the books Dog Days: James P. Cannon vs. Max Shachtman in the Communist League of America, 1931-1933 (2002) and  James P. Cannon and the Early Years of American Communism (1992).