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Wright (John G.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: John G. Wright papers
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1977
    Collection Number: 92033
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and 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.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1992.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John G. Wright papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    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 Library & Archives acquired them in 1992.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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