Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Albert Glotzer papers
Collection Number: 91006
Creator: Glotzer, Albert, 1908-1999
67 manuscript boxes, 6 envelopes
(27.7 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, minutes, internal bulletins and other internal party documents, legal documents, and printed matter,
relating to Leon Trotsky, the development of American Trotskyism from 1928 until the split in the Socialist Workers Party
in 1940, the development of the Workers Party and its successor, the Independent Socialist League, from that time until its
merger with the Socialist Party in 1958, Trotskyism abroad, the Dewey Commission hearings of 1937, legal efforts of the Independent
Socialist League to secure its removal from the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations, and the political development
of the Socialist Party and its successor, Social Democrats, U.S.A., after 1958.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Albert Glotzer papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1991.
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.
||Born, Ivanik, Russia (now Belarus)
||Immigrated to United States
||Joined Young Workers (Communist) League and subsequently Workers (Communist) Party
||Expelled from Communist Party. Founding member, Communist League of America (subsequently Workers Party of the United States
and then Socialist Workers Party)
||European trip. Stayed with Leon Trotsky in Turkey
||European trip as delegate to International Socialist Youth Conference. Stayed with Trotsky in France
||Official reporter of Dewey Commission hearings in Mexico at which Trotsky testified regarding Moscow Trial charges
||Founding member, Workers Party (subsequently Independent Socialist League) following split in Socialist Workers Party
||Joined Socialist Party (subsequently Social Democrats, U.S.A.) upon dissolution of Independent Socialist League
Trotsky: Memoir and Critique
||Died, New York City
Scope and Content of Collection
Albert Glotzer had a career as an American socialist leader that was notable both for its long duration and for the number
of bases touched in the course of his evolution from communism to social democracy. It included a significant role in the
beginning of American Trotskyism. By profession Glotzer was a court reporter, a skill he put to use in transcribing the proceedings
of the commission chaired by John Dewey to investigate the Moscow Trial charges, which heard lengthy testimony from Leon Trotsky
in hearings in Mexico City in 1937. For several years Glotzer was president of the Federation of Shorthand Reporters. In
his earlier years he used the pseudonym Albert Gates in party work.
The collection is arranged in four series corresponding to four distinct phases of Glotzer's political life. The
Communist Period Papers consist of his papers as a member of the Workers (Communist) Party and of its youth group, the Young Workers (Communist)
League. Glotzer joined the youth league in 1923 and the adult party two years later, both at precocious ages, and became
a member of the national committee of the youth league. He was expelled from both youth league and party in 1928 as a Trotskyist.
Trotskyist Period Papers consist of Glotzer's papers as a member of the Communist League of America (1928-1934), of the Workers Party of the United
States (1934-1936), of the Socialist Appeal Caucus of the Socialist Party (1936-1937), and of the Socialist Workers Party
(1938-1940). These were successively the first organizational expressions in the United States of the international communist
opposition movement led by Leon Trotsky. The papers document Glotzer's meetings with Trotsky in Europe and his participation
in the Dewey Commission hearings, the formation of the Communist League of America, its merger with the American Workers Party
to form the Workers Party of the United States, Trotskyist entry into and exit from the Socialist Party, establishment of
the Socialist Workers Party, and the full-scale faction fight that rent the party when the onset of World War II acutely posed
the question of Soviet defense. Glotzer was a member of the national committees of all the American Trotskyist organizations
of this period.
Shachtmanite Period Papers consist of Glotzer's papers as a member of the Workers Party (1940-1949) and of the Independent Socialist League (1949-1958).
These were the successive organizations of the group led by Max Shachtman which split from the Socialist Workers Party in
1940. Their departure with a substantial proportion of the membership capped the intraparty dispute over the "Russian question"
in which Trotsky defined the Stalinized Soviet Union as a "degenerated workers' state," while Shachtman maintained that it
had ceased to be a workers' state of any description and eventually settled upon "bureaucratic collectivist" as a label to
categorize it. The possibility of reunifying the rival parties resulting from the split remained open and a subject of discussion
for several years. Instead, the Shachtmanites, as they came to be called, ultimately evolved in a social democratic direction
and disbanded in 1958. Glotzer was a member of the national committees of the Shachtmanite groups as well as editor of the
newspaper Labor Action and of the theoretical journal The New International.
The papers document the Workers Party's relationship with the Socialist Workers Party, its transition to Independent Socialist
League, and its campaign for removal from the Attorney General's subversive organizations list.
Social Democratic Period Papers consist of Glotzer's papers as a member of the Socialist Party (1958-1972) and of its successor, Social Democrats, U.S.A.
(1972-1999). Glotzer was a member of the national committees of these organizations, in which he, along with Shachtman and
other former members of their group, came to play a leading role. The papers document their activities and influence, controversies
within the Socialist Party at the time of the Vietnam War and the 1972 presidential election, and the transition to Social
Democrats, U.S.A., while an opposing faction led by Michael Harrington split away. The series is also pertinent to Glotzer's
earlier political history. In his later years he was conscious of being one of the last surviving personal associates of
Leon Trotsky and one of the last surviving veterans of the formative period of the Trotskyist movement. He sought to record
and evaluate his experiences in his book Trotsky: Memoir and Critique (published in 1989), in shorter writings, and in an
extensive and patient correspondence with a younger generation of historians of the American left.
Each of these series is subdivided in a similar manner, with a typical succession being: correspondence; speeches and writings
by Glotzer; minutes, internal bulletins, other internal documents, and public issuances of the organizations to which he belonged
during the period; contemporaneous issuances of other organizations; and miscellaneous or subject file material.
There is a fifth series of
The Hoover Institution Archives acquired the main body of the collection from Albert Glotzer in 1991, with subsequent increments
Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940
Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made Against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials
Socialist Workers Party
Independent Socialist League
Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation
Social Democrats, U.S.A.
Subversive activities--United States
Internal security--United States
United States--Politics and government