Scope and Content of Collection
Title: C. Frank Glass papers
Collection Number: 2004C12
Creator: Glass, C. Frank (Cecil Frank), 1901-1988
3 manuscript boxes
(1.2 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, police reports, personal documents, printed matter, photographs, and postcards, relating to Trotskyism
in South Africa, China and the United States. Includes many letters by Rayna Prohme, American revolutionary journalist in
China and sister-in-law of Glass.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
Access to audiovisual materials requires at least two weeks advance notice. Audiovisual materials include sound recordings,
video recordings, and motion picture film. Hoover staff will determine whether use copies of the materials requested can be
made available. Some materials may not be accessible even with advance notice. Please contact the Hoover Institution Archives
for further information.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], C. Frank Glass papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2004.
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 Socrates at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
||Born, Birmingham, England
||Immigrated to South Africa
||Founding member, Communist Party of South Africa
||Relocated to China
||Tass News Agency writer, Shanghai
Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury reporter
Shanghai Times reporter
||Secretary, Communist League of China
China Weekly Review writer, Shanghai
||Relocated to the United States
||National Committee member, Socialist Workers Party
||Died, Los Angeles, California
Scope and Content of Collection
Cecil Frank Glass was a radical journalist and revolutionary political activist on three continents. He was a founding member
of the Communist Party of South Africa in 1921, and in 1928 became an early adherent of the International Left Opposition
led by Leon Trotsky. After relocating to Shanghai, China, in 1931, he spent most of the next decade there, working as a journalist.
Concurrently he was actively involved in rebuilding the Trotskyist movement in China, and was a member of the Central Committee
of the Communist League of China. Glass was closely associated with radical American journalists in Shanghai, including Wilbur
Burton and Harold Isaacs. There he also met the American Grace Simons (1901-1985). She was first married to Burton and afterwards
to Glass. Grace's older sister Rayna Simons Prohme (1894-1927) had been a prominent figure among Western revolutionaries involved
with the Left Guomindang, had edited the
Peking People's Tribune and other journals, and had been an associate of Mikhail Borodin and Song Qingling (Madame Sun Yat-sen). Rayna accompanied
Madame Sun to the Soviet Union following the failure of the 1927 revolution in China, and died suddenly in Moscow, evidently
of a brain tumor.
After two trips to the United States and Mexico (where he conferred with Trotsky) during the 1930s, Glass relocated permanently
to the United States during World War II. There, he was for years a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party, but eventually
developed a more sympathetic view of the Maoist government of China than could easily be reconciled with an orthodox Trotskyist
In political work Glass made use of the pseudonyms Frank Graves, Li Fu-ren and John Liang. He is the subject of a biography
by Baruch Hirson,
The Restless Revolutionary: Frank Glass (London: Porcupine Press, 2003).
The C. Frank Glass papers in the Hoover Institution Archives were acquired from Susan Weissman in 2003. The collection is
small. There are also Glass papers at Concordia College in Toronto, Ontario, but it seems likely that many other papers did
The collection is arranged in four series:
Speeches and Writings,
Subject File, and
Audiovisual File. Of particular interest are many lengthy letters by Rayna Prohme, some written to her sister Grace, and some written to her
second husband William Prohme and passed on to Grace when Prohme died in 1935. The collection also includes printed copies
of political articles by Glass, and photocopies of surveillance reports on Glass and associates made by British, French and
American police and consular authorities in Shanghai.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Prohme, Rayna Simons, 1894-1927.