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David Gordon Papers

Call Number

TAM.101

Dates

circa 1924-1973, inclusive
; 1924-1945, bulk

Creator

Gordon, David, 1909-1973
Gordon, Lottie (Role: Donor)

Extent

10 Linear Feet in 10 boxes and 2 oversize folders in a shared box

Language of Materials

English .

Abstract

David Gordon (1909-1973) was a Communist trade unionist, author, editor, journalist, and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The collection contains letters, poem, short stories, plays, reports, books and memorabilia. The collection is extensive for the years 1924-1945. There is a diary, letters and writings done during his service in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and many books and pamphlets on Spain and the Spanish Civil War. The material from World War II consists of information about soldiers that he talked to for army news releases, personal correspondence and writings.

Historical/Biographical Note

David Gordon (1909-1973), a Communist trade unionist, author, editor and journalist, was born in the Ukraine, and immigrated to the U.S. when he was three. In 1924, he was convicted of obscenity for writing the poem "America" (published in the Daily Worker, the Communist Party USA's newspaper) which compared America to a whorehouse. Gordon was paroled to the University of Wisconsin Experimental College where he had a Zona Gale literary scholarship and studied for two years. He became active in the trade union movement and was appointed an organizer for the Paper, Pulp and Sulphite Workers Union, then became a Communist Party organizer in Toledo where he was involved in the Autolite strike of 1934. From 1936-1938, Gordon served with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War and thereafter was temporarily held in a concentration camp on the French border. In September 1942, he entered the United States Army where he wrote press releases about soldiers' families and feelings which were published in the subjects' hometown newspapers. He also wrote recommendations for medals. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he wrote feature articles for medical journals and was active in teaching communist ideology and history. He was an editor of American Dialog a Communist-initiated cultural periodical, and served on the Cultural Commission of the Communist Party USA. In 1970, Gordon became the cultural editor of the Communist Party's newspaper, then titled the People's Daily World. He made several trips to Cuba and wrote extensively on his experiences. Shortly before his death on June 21, 1973, he toured the Soviet Union.

Arrangement

This collection has not been arranged by an archivist. The materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters, poem, short stories, plays, reports, books and memorabilia. His writings in the reformatory are extensively represented. There is a diary, letters and writings done during his service in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and many books and pamphlets on Spain and the Spanish Civil War. The material from World War II consists of information about soldiers that he talked to for army news releases, personal correspondence and writings. Also included are a lengthy poem in tribute to Paul Robeson from the 1950s; a few story ideas; copies of his columns in the People's Daily World and a collection of obituaries about Gordon.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1924-1945, are expected to enter the public domain in 2044.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lottie Gordon, wife of David Gordon, 1981. The accession number associated with this gift is 2001.015.

Collection processed by

Tamiment staff

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:50:26 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Processing Information

A 1938 calendar was found in the repository and incorporated into the collection in May 2014.

Repository

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

View Inventory

Assorted writings, publications, and other materials

Box: 10 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 1 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 2 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 3 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 4 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 5 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 6 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 7 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Box: 8 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scrapbook

Box: 9 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Partit Socialista Unificat Calendar

Box: Shared Tamiment MSOS005, Folder: 1 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Edicions forja 1938 (Spanish Civil War Calendar), 1938, inclusive

Box: Shared Tamiment MSOS005, Folder: 2 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012