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Register of the Eric Hass papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Eric Hass papers
    Dates: 1899-1980
    Collection Number: 81034
    Creator: Hass, Eric.
    Collection Size: 11 manuscript boxes (4.5 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, notes, clippings, serial issues, other printed matter, and photographs, relating to the Socialist Labor Party, and to social problems of aging.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    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], Eric Hass papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1981.


    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 online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    1905 Born, Lincoln, Nebraska
    1928 Joined Socialist Labor Party
    1932-1938 National organizer, Socialist Labor Party
    1938-1968 Editor, The Weekly People
    1949 Author, The Socialist Labor Party and the Internationals
    1952 Socialist Labor Party candidate for President (first campaign)
    1956 Socialist Labor Party candidate for President (second campaign)
    1960 Socialist Labor Party candidate for President (third campaign)
    1964 Socialist Labor Party candidate for President (fourth campaign)
    1969 Resigned from Socialist Labor Party
    1974-1978 Lived in Costa Rica
    1980 Died, Santa Rosa, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Eric Hass was a longtime leader of the Socialist Labor Party. This party, dating back to 1876, was the first Marxist political organization in the United States. A number of the early leaders of the subsequent Socialist and Communist Parties served their political apprenticeships while passing through SLP ranks. Even before the death in 1914 of its outstanding leader Daniel De Leon, the SLP had been eclipsed in size and influence by the younger Socialist Party. For decades thereafter it nevertheless maintained a low profile existence, regularly publishing its newspaper The Weekly People and securing a ballot position for its presidential candidate every four years. Hass figured significantly in these activities as editor of The Weekly People for thirty years and as a four-time presidential candidate. In 1969, however, he broke with the party. While remaining a committed socialist, Hass came to believe that the SLP had become intellectually stultified and internally undemocratic.
    The papers of Eric Hass are divided. Many are located in the Nebraska State Historical Society. Those in the Hoover Institution Archives were acquired from Tillie Hass in 1981, after the death of her husband. These papers largely date from Hass's later years, following his departure from the SLP. After this rupture he worked for a time as caretaker of Trinity Churchyard in New York City, then retired to Costa Rica where the cost of living was low, and after a few years returned to the United States. As an experienced journalist and an avid amateur naturalist, he was able to supplement his income by writing nature articles for the mainstream press, principally the New York Times.
    The Subject File contains a good deal of collected information on Daniel De Leon. The Speeches and Writings file includes some output by Hass from his SLP period, especially his editorial reports prefiguring his breach with the party, and his account of his resignation. The Correspondence file includes exchanges in the 1970s with Sam Brandon, Nick Simon and other former SLP members, analyzing their experiences and the prospects for reconstituting a De Leonist political organization.
    During the decade of the 1970s Hass became increasingly involved in study of the social problems of aging, and in advocacy for older persons in regard to age discrimination and related issues. Toward this end he joined the Gray Panthers after his return from Costa Rica. Shortly before his death he completed a book-length study, "Agism: The Shunning of the Elderly." This manuscript, for which he was unable to find a publisher before he died, is in the Speeches and Writings file. The Subject File contains a substantial quantity of collected material on aging.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Socialist Labor Party.
    Older people.
    Socialism--United States.