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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Arne Swabeck papers
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1999
    Collection Number: 87019
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 21 manuscript boxes (8.4 linear feet)
    Abstract: Memoirs, other writings, correspondence, resolutions, bulletins, minutes, pamphlets, and serial issues, relating to socialist and communist movements in the United States, and especially to the Socialist Workers Party and other Trotskyist groups in the post-World War II period.
    Creator: Swabeck, Arne


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Arne Swabeck papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1987.


    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 https://searchworks.stanford.edu . 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.

    Biographical Note

    1890 Born, Denmark
    1916 Emigrates to the United States. Joins the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World
    1919 Participates in Seattle General Strike
    1922 Attends Fourth Congress of the Third International
    1925 Elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the United States of America
    1928 Expelled from the Communist Party, along with James Cannon and other Trotskyists
    1928-1967 Participates in the American Trotskyist movement, first in the Communist League of America and then in the Socialist Workers Party
    1933 Meets with Trotsky in Prinkipo, Turkey
    1967 Expelled from the Socialist Workers Party
    1967-1986 Continues political activity as a supporter of Maoism, participating briefly in the Progressive Labor Party
    1986 Died

    Scope and Content Note

    Received in the Hoover Institution Archives in 1987, the papers of Arne Swabeck provide an insight into the history of American radicalism in the 20th century. Over a lifetime of political activity, Swabeck participated in such events as the 1919 Seattle General Strike and the founding of the Communist Party of the United States of America, and was involved in the American Trotskyist movement from its very beginnings. Swabeck's unpublished autobiography, which includes a chapter on his meeting with the exiled Leon Trotsky in 1933, is part of the collection (see "From Debs to Mao," 1975, in the SPEECHES AND WRITINGS series).
    The Swabeck papers contain articles, theoretical writings, and speeches from the whole of his political career, tracing his evolution from trade union militant to Trotskyist activist. During his many years as a member of the Socialist Workers Party, Swabeck contributed to various Trotskyist publications, and by the late 1950s, both he and his wife identified themselves as supporters of a kind of Maoism, becoming part of a small "Pro-Chinese Tendency" within the S.W.P. Following his expulsion from the S.W.P., Swabeck continued to attempt to reconcile Trotskyism and Maoism, and was briefly a member of the Progressive Labor Party.
    Swabeck conducted an extensive political correspondence, and these letters detail many of the internal debates of the American Trotskyist movement. The collection contains letters mainly from the "Pro-Chinese" phase of Swabeck's activity. The PRINTED MATTER series includes an extensive selection of Trotskyist publications, as well as some material relating to China and the New Left.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fourth International.
    Socialist Workers Party.
    Communism--United States.
    Socialism--United States.
    United States--Politics and government.