Scope and Content of Collection
Title: John Somerville papers
Collection Number: 95058
Creator: Somerville, John, 1905-
15 manuscript boxes
(6.3 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, and notes, relating to Marxist philosophy, philosophy and education in the Soviet Union, peace and
nuclear disarmament movements, and the loyalty-security program in the United States.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Most materials are in English , with some documents in Russian and German.
Collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], John Somerville papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1995.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
American philosopher; president, Society for the Philosophical Study of Marxism; president, International Philosophers for
the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide.
| 1905 March 13
||Born, New York City, New York
||Somerville and his wife, Rose Maurer Somerville, work in the U.S.S.R. studying Soviet philosophy
||Receives Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University
||At Hunter College (the City University of New York) Somerville advances from Instructor to Professor Emeritus
||Author, Soviet Philosophy: A Study of Theory and Practice
||Author, The Philosophy of Peace
||Testifies in three trials as an expert witness on the doctrines of Marxism-Leninism
||Author, The Communist Trials and the American Tradition
||Founding editor and Editor in Chief of the translation quarterly, Soviet Studies in Philosophy (now Russian Studies in Philosophy)
||Co-founder of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Dialectical Materialism (later, the Society for the Philosophical
Study of Marxism)
||Helps organize first bi-national conference of American and Soviet philosophers at the XIIIth World Congress of Philosophy
in Mexico City
|1963 December 27
||Organizes first full dialogue on U.S. soil between American and Soviet philosophers at the American Philosophical Association
(APA) conference, in Washington D.C.
||Author, The Philosophy of Marxism
||Taught at the United States International University
||Author, The Peace Revolution: Ethos and Social Process
||Author, The Crisis: The True Story of How the World Almost Ended (play)
||Co-founder of The Union of American and Japanese Professionals Against Nuclear Omnicide
||Initiates California Campaign for No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons
||Awarded the degree Doctor of Humane Letters from Denison University; Author, Soviet Marxism and Nuclear War and The Last Inquest
||Co-founder and first president of the International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide (IPPNO) at the XVIIth
World Congress of Philosophy in Montreal
||Initiates National Campaign for a Policy of No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons
||Organizes first conference of the IPPNO in St. Louis
||Receives Gandhi Peace Award from the board of directors of Promoting Enduring Peace
||Receives Bertrand Russell Peace Award
|1994 January 8
||Died, El Cajon, California
The collection is organized into 5 series: Biographical File, Diaries, Correspondence, Speeches and Writings, Subject File
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection includes materials related to Marxist philosophy, philosophy and education in the Soviet Union, peace and nuclear
disarmament movements, and the loyalty-security program in the United States, in the form of correspondence, writings, and
notes. The collection encompasses the years 1930-1995, with the bulk of the materials covering 1960-1989.
The bulk of the material relates generally to John Somerville's academic career, which encompassed the study of Marxism, Soviet
philosophy, and education, as well as his political activism against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear war, and
omnicide, a term coined by Somerville to describe the extinction of the human species as a result of human action. Most of these materials
relate to his work as co-founder and president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Marxism (SPSM), the International
Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide (IPPNO), and his support of and membership in related organizations such
as the American Philosophical Association (APA) and The Union of American and Japanese Professionals Against Nuclear Omnicide
The original order of the materials was retained within each folder in the collection, as received by the Hoover Archives.
The folders in the collection were organized into five series:
Biographical File, Diaries, Correspondence, Speeches and Writings and Subject File. Researchers should be aware that the materials under a particular subject heading do not necessarily represent the entirety
of that subject and more materials may be available in another series. Even though most of the materials in the collection
are found in the correspondence series, because a substantial amount of printed matter other than correspondence is interfiled
within the correspondence folders, a reasonable effort has been made to identify important materials within these folders
that are not categorized as correspondence. Researchers looking for a specific writing, assuming it isn't in the speeches
and writings series, should strongly consider browsing through the correspondence folders.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Society for the Philosophical Study of Marxism.
International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide.
Internal security--United States. .
World without War Council records, 1948-2008, Hoover Institution Archives
Robert H. Kupperman papers, 1965-1995, Hoover Institution Archives
Fred Charles Iklé papers, 1972-1988, Hoover Institution Archives
Lorelei Kelly collection, 1983-1993, Hoover Institution Archives
Edward Teller papers, 1930-2003, Hoover Institution Archives