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Register of the John G. Wright Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: John G. Wright papers
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1977
    Collection Number: 92033
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 9 manuscript boxes (3.6 linear feet)
    Abstract: Speeches and writings, correspondence, resolutions, theses, and notes, relating to Marxian theory, the translation of works of Leon Trotsky, Trotskyist activities in the United States and abroad, and analysis of the post-World War II Chinese and Eastern European states.
    Creator: Wright, John G., 1902-1956.


    The collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John G. Wright papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1992.


    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 at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1902 Born as Joseph Vanzler in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in the Russian Empire
    circa 1914 Emigrated to the United States
    circa 1920 Graduated from Harvard University. Became a professional chemist
    1933 Joined the Communist League of America (subsequently Socialist Workers Party)
    1933-1940 Literary collaborator and translator of Leon Trotsky
    1939-1956 Member, National Committee, Socialist Workers Party
    1956 Died in New York City

    Scope and Content Note

    John G. Wright (the political and pen name of Joseph Vanzler) was a leader of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States from the 1930s to the 1950s. Wright was heavily involved with theoretical, journalistic and publishing-house work of the party. A polyglot, he translated texts from various languages into English for publication. His collaborative work with Leon Trotsky was of particular significance. Wright translated many of Trotsky's writings into English for the first time. During Trotsky's period of residence in Mexico at the end of his life (1937-1940), Wright, in New York City, corresponded with him regularly and, having access to major American academic libraries, provided him with Russian-language research materials to support his writing projects, especially his biography of Joseph Stalin. The papers thus shed light on Trotsky's literary activities and on the publishing history of Stalin. Post-World War II materials in the collection also document debates within the Trotskyist movement on analysis of the Chinese and Eastern European states, and the internal struggle within the Socialist Workers Party involving the faction led by Bert Cochran and George Clarke.
    The John G. Wright Papers were formerly housed at the Library of Social History in New York City. The Hoover Institution Archives acquired them in 1992.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fourth International.
    Socialist Workers Party.
    Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940.
    Communism--United States.
    Europe, Eastern.
    United States--Politics and government.