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Overview

Different political philosophies and disagreement on how to transform theory into practice are inherent in any nation that provides a free political environment. Even within ideologies such as socialism, factions tend to develop over time that can weaken the organization and dilute its power.

Socialist Collections in the Tamiment Library provides researchers in American socialism, labor, political science, and history the unique opportunity to access 19 significant manuscript collections at once that contain background information on socialist organizations, factional groups, and prominent socialist leaders. Included are the internal records of the Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Labor Party, and the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, as well as groups not often included in traditional studies on socialism.

Equally important in the collection is the significant amount of material included for researching 20th-century socialist thought, particularly through the writings of intellectual leaders of the socialist movement in the United States such as Rose Pastor Stokes, Algernon Lee, and Lena Morrow Lewis.

Numerous research opportunities are presented to students with this collection, including:

  • the similarities and differences in political philosophies and practices among various socialist organizations
  • the split between the socialists and the communists in the Furrier's Union disputes of 1933
  • socialist programs such as slum clearance and public housing

Also, the complete records of the Rand School from 1901 until its closing in 1956 are available for the first time. Founded as one of the first and perhaps the most important of workers' schools, the Rand School was organized to provide adult education courses for working-class people. It was the first institution of its kind to bridge the gap between the study of economics and the emerging revolutionary aspects of the American labor movement.

This collection represents an essential source for a thorough study for every aspect of American socialism--the leaders, the social and political implications, the economics--and it provides a solid background on the vital reform issues of this century. The materials within this important collection come from the Rand School's Tamiment Library--recognized as one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of radical literature ever assembled.

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