Shachtman, Max, 1904-1972.


Description: 21.5 linear ft. (51 boxes)

Arrangement: The papers are arranged in five series:
I. Groups with which Shachtman was affiliated;
II. Research notes for The History of the Communist International;
III. Correspondence;
IV Writings and Topical Files;
V. International Bulletins, Periodicals and other Documents.



Max Shachtman was an author, editor and communist leader. Shachtman, a Polish immigrant, became interested in socialist reform early in his life. In 1923, at the age of 19, he began working full time for the communist movement. In 1928 he was expelled from the party after adopting Trotsky’s views. In 1929 he became a leader of the Communist League of America, the new Trotskyist organization. In 1940 Shachtman again lead a splinter group away from the party over differences arising from the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 and formed the Workers Party which became the Independent Socialist League in 1948. During the 1950s the Shachtmanites came to reject the Leninist concept of the party, reaffirming that democracy is essential to socialism. He continued active participation in Socialist affairs and during the 1960s began a history of the Communist International which remained unfinished at his death in 1972.


The papers include international organizational bulletins, correspondence, notes, clippings, cartoons, lithographs and manuscripts. Shachman's activities as leader of the American Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Workers Party, the Independent Socialist League and the Socialist Party are documented. Also included are research notes for his history of the Communist International, personal correspondence, an unpublished manuscript of Alfred Rosmer’s memoirs of John Reed and a collection of German leaflets tracing the debate between the Nazis, the Communist Party, the Social Democrats and the German Trotskyists. Prominent correspondents include Norman Thomas, Natalia Sedova Trotsky, Erich Fromm, A.J. Muste and Max Eastman.


Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940.
Trotskaia, Nataliia Ivanovna, 1882-1962.
Rosmer, Alfred.
Reed, John, 1884-1968.
Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968.
Harrington, Michael.
Fromm, Erich, 1900-
Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967.
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969.
Communism--United States.
Socialism--United States.
Communist Party of the United States of America.
Socialist Workers Party.
Workers Party.
Independent Socialist League.
Socialist Party (U.S.)
Communist International.
Genre/Form Bulletins.
Manuscripts (for publication)


NYU Bobst Tamiment Institute

The above was obtained from an author search: Bobcatplus-New York University

Max Shachtman

Marxist Writers’

Last updated on 13.4.2005