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Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Content Description
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Custodial History
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Contributing Institution: Holt Labor Library at CSU Dominguez Hills
    Title: Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee collection
    Identifier/Call Number: HLL.2019.013
    Physical Description: .83 Linear Feet
    Physical Description: 2 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1977-1994, undated
    Abstract: This collection reflects the activities and political sentiments of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, which began in 1973 and merged with the New American Movement in 1982 to form the Democratic Socialists of America. It comprises periodicals, pamphlets, and one Convention Journal from the Committee's Fifth National Convention, in addition to pamphlets published by the Democratic Socialists of America.
    Language of Material: Collection material is in English and Spanish.

    Content Description

    The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee Collection, 1977-1994, undated consists of newsletters, bulletins, and pamphlets that reflect the Committee's actiities and political sentiments. Also included is one Convention Journal from the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee's Fifth National Convention, as well as pamphlets published by the Democratic Socialists of America.

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) was a socialist organization active from 1973 until 1982, when it merged with the New American Movement to form the Democratic Socialists of America. The committee was founded by writer and socialist Michael Harrington, who led a caucus within the Social Democrats, USA (SD, USA) at the 1972 Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) National Convention that dissented against the organization's shift towards a mainstream Democratic paradigm and away from Socialist ideology. The SD, USA was originally named the Socialist Party Democratic Socialist Federation (SPDSF) and was a product of the merging of the Socialist Party, USA and the Democratic Socialist Federation. The SPDSF endorsed George McGovern, the Democratic nominee for the 1972 presidential election who campaigned on a platform advocating for American withdrawal from the Vietnam War. During the 1972 The Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) National Convention, Michael Harrington dissented against the SD, USA's support of McGovern, claiming that although McGovern supported their goals of ending the Vietnam War, endorsing a Democratic candidate did not uphold the organization's Socialist ideology. This schism between the Democratic-leaning members of the SD, USA and those more aligned with socialist ideology led Harrington to form the DSOC. The DSOC advocated for a Socialist presence in American politics and comprised a network trade unionists, civil rights and feminist activists, and left-leaning Democrats, in addition to a Youth Section that was primarily based on college campuses.
    Schwartz, Joseph M. A History of Democratic Socialists of America 1971-2017 : bringing Socialism from the Margins to the Mainstream. DSA National Political Committee, July 2017. https://www.dsausa.org/about-us/history/
    Young Socialists Open Parley ; to weigh "new politics" split. The New York Times, December 27 1972, p. 26. https://www.nytimes.com/1972/12/27/archives/young-socialists-open-parley-to-weigh-new-politics-split.html?sq=Young+socialists&scp=7&st=p
    O'Rourke, William. Signs of the Literary Times: Essays, Reviews, Profiles, 1970-1992. SUNY Series, the Margins of Literature. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.

    Custodial History

    The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee Collection was donated to the Holt Labor Library in San Francisco, California between 1992 and 2019, and was acquired by the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in 2019.

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


    The collection is alphabetically arranged in one series.

    Processing Information

    Allison Ransom processed the collection and wrote the finding aid in March 2020.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Socialism -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    Students -- Political activity
    Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee