Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Spartacist League of the U.S. Records
Collection number: 94062
Spartacist League of the U.S.
20 manuscript boxes
8.3 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Records of the American Trotskyist political organization include minutes, internal bulletins, pamphlets, position papers,
press releases, flyers, and leaflets, relating to Trotskyist political activities in the United States. Includes issuances
of youth groups and international affiliates of the Spartacist League.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open for research
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copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
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For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives
[Identification of item], Spartacist League of the U.S. Records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1994
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.
The Spartacist League of the U.S. is a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist organization in the Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist
tradition. Its antecedents date to the early 1960s and stem from the Revolutionary Tendency within the Socialist Workers
Party, American sympathizing section of the Fourth International (International Committee) at that time. The Revolutionary
Tendency espoused a number of criticisms of the majority leadership of the Socialist Workers Party, notably its decision to
participate in the reunified Fourth International (United Secretariat) and its uncritically favorable assessment of the Fidel
Castro regime in Cuba. These differences eventuated in expulsion of leaders of the Revolutionary Tendency at the end of 1963
and their formation of a group around the publication
Spartacist early in 1964. Following failure to achieve agreement with remaining elements of the Fourth International (International
Committee), the group formally founded the Spartacist League of the U.S. in 1966.
International activities of the Spartacist League resulted in formation of an international Spartacist tendency following
a European conference in 1974. This international tendency, including sections in Australia and New Zealand, Canada, and
several European countries, transformed itself into the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) in 1989.
Domestically, a youth affiliate of the Spartacist League appeared initially as the Revolutionary Marxist Caucus within Students
for a Democratic Society in 1969. This was succeeded in turn by Revolutionary Communist Youth (1971-1974), the Spartacus
Youth League (1974-1986), and, after a hiatus, reconstituted Spartacus Youth Clubs.
Two other domestic affiliates are the Partisan Defense Committee, established to provide aid to leftist and labor prisoners,
and the Prometheus Research Library, a facility for documentation of the history of the Trotskyist movement.
In addition to its theoretical journal
Spartacist, the principal publications of the Spartacist League press have been its newspaper
Workers Vanguard, its youth newspaper
Young Spartacus, and its Women's Commission journal
Women and Revolution.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Spartacist League records in the Hoover Institution Archives include internally circulated materials from the inception
of the organization up through 1997, and ephemeral publications and other public issuances up through 2003. Serial runs and
other substantial publications of the Spartacist press will be found in the Hoover Institution Library. All materials held
are open for use.
The records are arranged in six series. The Spartacist League Internal Issuances series is limited to internal issuances
of the League itself. In addition to minutes of meetings of its leading bodies, and internal bulletins, it includes a chronologically
arranged file of internally circulated letters and other documents.
The Spartacist League Public Issuances series includes pamphlets, election campaign literature, and a few short-lived serial
runs. It also includes a number of public bulletins of a documentary historical nature, amicus curiae briefs filed by the
League in cases which it considered to involve significant legal issues, and a chronologically arranged file of leaflets and
Two other series contain public issuances of two affiliates of the League, the Partisan Defense Committee and the Prometheus
A series of Youth Affiliate Issuances contains both internal and public issuances of the League's successive youth affiliates
up through liquidation of the Spartacus Youth League in 1986. These include minutes, internal bulletins, public bulletins,
and some other ephemeral public issuances. Pamphlets published under youth affiliate imprints, however, are interfiled with
adult group pamphlets in the Spartacist League Public Issuances series.
The International Issuances file includes internal issuances of the international Spartacist tendency--minutes, internal bulletins,
and a chronologically arranged file of internally circulated material. It also includes non-English language pamphlets and
short serial runs published by the Spartacist League, and a few pamphlets issued by European sections of the international
Spartacist tendency and International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist).
The collection is organized into six series: Spartacist League Internal Issuances, Spartacist League Public Issuances, Partisan
Defence Committee Issuances, Prometheus Research Library Issuances, Youth Affiliate Issuances, and International Affiliate
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in Stanford University's online catalog.