Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Annette T. Rubinstein Papers

Call Number



1937-2007, inclusive
; 1946-1975, bulk


Rubinstein, Annette Teta, 1910-2007. (Role: Donor)


6 Linear Feet in six record cartons.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Annette T. (Teta) Rubinstein was a Marxist educator, editor, writer, literary critic, and political activist born in New York in 1910. Among her numerous endeavors, she briefly taught philosophy at New York University, was Vice-Chairman for New York in the American Labor Party, was a teacher, owner and principal of the Robert Lewis Stevenson School, served as the Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Care of Young Children in Wartime, and was professor of English and American Literature at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence and documentation of her educational and political activities.

Historical/Biographical Note

Annette T. (Teta) Rubinstein (1910-2007), Marxist educator, editor, writer, literary critic and political activist, was born to socialist parents in New York on April 12, 1910 in an apartment on the top floor of the Manhattan School, a private school founded by her father to educate underprivileged immigrants. She taught philosophy at New York University while she completed her graduate studies in philosophy at Columbia with her 1934 dissertation, Realistic Ethics.

Although often critical of the its positions, Rubinstein was a member of the Communist Party from the 1930s into the 1950s. She was active in the American Labor Party and later became its Vice-Chairman for New York. In 1934 she began a long relationship with the Robert Louis Stevenson School, first as a teacher and later as owner and principal until her forced resignation in 1952. From 1941-1946 Rubinstein served as the Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Care of Young Children in Wartime. In the late 1940s she also served as the President of the West Side Child Care Council.

In the Spring of 1949, following the sudden death of the congressman for New York's 20th Congressional District, the ALP selected Rubinstein as its candidate in the subsequent special election. Also in 1949, the Robert Louis Stevenson School opened a Veterans Division to take advantage of the educational provisions of the GI Bill of Rights. The Veteran's Administration and New York Board of Education apparently responded to her political affiliations by invoking a series of technicalities to stop reimbursing the school. In 1952 Rubinstein severed her connection to Stevenson School and testified before the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives' Un-American Activities Committee.

Following her unsuccessful pursuit of publishing employment Rubinstein focused on writing. The Great Tradition in English Literature: From Shakespeare to Shaw(1953) concentrated on the relationship of political and social movements to major literary works. To commemorate the late Congressman Vito Marcantonio, for whom Rubinstein had served as an aide, she edited I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, 1935-1950(1956). Rubinstein also generated a continuous stream of book reviews, literary criticism and articles, and worked as an editor on the Marxist periodicals Mainstreamand Science and Society.

In 1958 Rubinstein ran for Lt. Governor of New York on the the Independent Socialist Party line (a coalition of socialists, Communists and Trotskyists). In 1960 ATR was instrumental in the creation of the Charter Group for a Pledge of Conscience which focused on the issues of class discrimination and racism in the schools and in the courts and published several ATR pamphlets, including Attica 1971-1975(1975), The Black Panther Party and the Case of the New York 21(n.d.), and Suicides in Prision: A Cry for Help on Rikers Island(n.d.). She also edited Schools against Children: The Case for Community Control(Monthly Review Press, 1970).

In the late 1950s and 1960's Rubinstein lectured across the United States, Canada and Eastern Europe, and held visiting appointments at several Eastern European universities, including Karl Marx University in Leipzig. She visited the People's Republic of China in 1972, and returned in 1982-83 and 1987-88 as a professor of English and American Literature at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. While in China she created the textbook American Literature, Root and Flower: Significant Poets, Novelists and Dramatists, 1775-1955(Beijing, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1988).


Organized into eight series:

Series I: Biographical
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Freedom of Information Act Files
Series IV: Lecture Tours
Series V: Political Activities
Series VI: Writings
Series VII: Addendum
Series VIII: Photographs

All series are arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content Note

This collections contains the papers of Annette Rubinstein, the bulk of which are from 1937-2007. The majority of the collection is made up of correspondence, from domestic and foreign correspondents, and her writings on Marxism and literary subjects. Other materials in the collection relate to her lecture tours and political activities in the 1940s and 1950s. The collection contains correspondence, Freedom of Information Act Files, newsletters, flyers, lecture notes, articles, and other ephemera. The collection is rich in activities related to Marxist scholarship, and Communist Political activities from the 1950s-1990s.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by Annette T. Rubinstein was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Annette T. Rubinstein Papers; TAM 167; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Annette T. Rubinstein, 1994; additonal materials were donated in 2001, 2002, and 2007. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 1994.008, 1994.013, and NPA.2002.058.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

The Tamiment Library's Oral History of the American Left Collection (Series I) contains three interviews with Annette Rubinstein (OH 002). Cedric Belfrage Papers (TAM 143)

Collection processed by

Robert Battaly, December 2001; Edited by Nicole Greenhouse for compliance with DACS and Tamiment Required Elements for Archival Description and to reflect the incorporation of nonprint materials and the addendum, 2013.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:55:06 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed in 2001. Additional material was donated to the collection in 2001 and was arranged alphabetically into Series VII. About a linear foot of unprocessed material was described in 2013 and added to Series VII. In 2013, the collection was also rehoused for preservation purposes. Photographs were separated from this collection in 2002 and were established as a separate collection, the Annette T. Rubinstein Photographs (PHOTOS 116). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Annette T. Rubinstein Papers as Series VIII.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Rubenstein Guide.wpd


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012