Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Celeste Strack Kaplan Papers, 1931-1996
MSS 035  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (112.99 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Table of contents What's This?

Collection Contents


Series 1. Student Period, 1933-1945

Physical Description: 16 folders, 1 oversize folder

*Box 5 is an oversize newspaper box

Scope and Content Note

This series covers the period that Kaplan was a student at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Materials deal primarily with her political activities while at UCLA, though one folder refers to political activities at USC and several folders concern her work with American Student Union (ASU) and the YWCA, concerning the Federal Youth Act. For more information on her debating career and other academic honors see the Clippings and Periodicals series. Of special interest are materials relating to her 1935 trip to Cuba, her correspondence with Mary Beard, and several student papers including her 1945 Masters Thesis in Economics.


Series is arranged chronologically.
Box-folder 1/1

USC - Student's Cooperative League Petition, c. 1933

Box-folder 1/2

NSL, YCL (inc. UCLA Suspension), 1934

Box-folder 1/3

San Francisco General Strike, 1934

Box-folder 1/4

Miscellaneous Flyers and Other Information, c. 1934-1935

Box-folder 1/5

Strike for Peace, 1935

Box-folder *5/10

Strike Against War Poster, April 12, [1935?]

Box-folder 1/6

Delegation to Cuba, 1935

Box-folder 1/7-1/8

American Youth Congress (AYC)

Box-folder 1/7

Flyers, Proceedings, 1935-1939

Box-folder 1/8

Congressional Record, 1937

Box-folder 1/9

American Student Union (ASU), 1935-1938, 1996

Box-folder 1/10

YWCA and The Woman's Press - Federal Youth Act, 1937, n.d.

Box-folder 1/11

Letter from Mary Beard (wife of Charles Beard), 1939

Box-folder 1/12

Paper on American Agriculture for a Business Cycles Class, 1939

Box-folder 1/13

Paper on American Capitalism versus American Democracy, 1940

Box-folder 1/14

American Youth for Democracy, 1944

Box-folder 1/15-1/16

Master's Thesis - The Industrial Development of the West from 1929 to 1944, 1945


Series 2. Communist Party Period, 1948-1960, n.d.

Physical Description: 19 folders, 2 volumes

Scope and Content Note

This series covers Kaplan's period as an active member of the Communist Party of California, including her teaching and writing activities, as well as her resignation from the party in 1958. A significant percentage of the series concerns her appearance as a witness at the John and Aiko Reinecke Trial in Hawaii. These materials (which documents an early blacklisted teacher case, the political and social climate in Hawaii before statehood, and Kaplan's political beliefs and responses to her environment), include background material on Hawaii, correspondence, and a draft copy of her Hawaii Journal that was published in the People's Daily World (see Clippings and Periodicals series for published version).
Of special interest are the class notes from the class she taught at the California Labor School, and correspondence concerning articles written for New Masses, Political Affairs, and Mainstream (for the actual articles see the Clippings and Periodicals series), the partial draft of a book-length manuscript State Monopoly Capitalism in the United States. This series also contains a small set of subject files (containing quotes from and summaries of written materials ranging from Lincoln to Marx), which may relate either to her teaching or writing activities.


This series is arranged chronologically, except for the undated Subject files at the end of the series which are arranged alphabetically.
Box-folder 1/17

New Masses - Correspondence re: Central Valley Project Articles (unpublished), 1945

Box-folder 2/1

History of Socialism in the United States, California Labor School, taught by Celeste Strack Kaplan, 1948

Box-folder 2/2-2/6


Box-folder 2/2-2/3

Reinecke Case

Box-folder 2/2

Speaking tour and Hawaii Diary (Draft Manuscript), 1948, n.d.

Box-folder 2/3

Background and Follow-up (also Statehood), 1946-1976, n.d.

Box-folder 2/4

Charles Fujimoto - Correspondence, Speeches, Professional Papers, 1948

Box-folder 2/5

Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee (HCLC), 1948

Box-folder 2/6

Background: Statehood and Smith Act, c. 1952

Box-folder 2/7

Political Affairs - Response to Letters to the Editor re: an Article by "Catherine Welland," 1954

Box-folder 2/8

Resignation from the Communist Party - Correspondence, etc., 1952-1958

Box-folder 2/9-2/11

State Monopoly Capitalism in the United States - Draft Manuscript

Box-folder 2/9

Chapters 1-2, c. 1958

Box-folder 2/10

Chapters 3-4, c. 1958

Box-folder 2/11

Chapter 5 (two versions), c. 1958

Box-folder 3/1-3/9

Subject Files

Box-folder 3/1

Confiscation of Property, n.d.

Box-folder 3/2

Constitutional Change, n.d.

Box-folder 3/3

Dialectical & Historical Materialism, n.d.

Box-folder 3/4

Dictatorship of Proletariat and Restraints on Loyalists (Tories), n.d.

Box-folder 3/5

Force and Violence, n.d.

Box-folder 3/6

Lincoln and Schurz on Unjust War, n.d.

Box-folder 3/7

Marxism - Not Dogma, n.d.

Box-folder 3/8

Monopolies Violate National Interests, n.d.

Box-folder 3/9

Right of Revolution, n.d.

Box-folder 4/1-4/2

Bound Volumes

Box-folder 4/1

Book with Extensive Annotation and Notes ( The Political Economy of Growth by Paul A. Baran), c. 1957-1958

Box-folder 4/2

Thesis: The New Deal and Youth by George Phillip Rawick, 1960


Series 3. Clippings and Periodicals, 1932-1958

Physical Description: 8 folders and 8 oversize folders

*Box 5 is an oversize newspaper box

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of a large number of clippings collected by Kaplan and/or her mother documenting her academic career focusing primarily on her debating successes and her suspension from UCLA. Other clippings include the printed version of her Hawaiian Diary (see the Communist Party series for manuscript version), and a 6-part series of articles by John Gates on Why I Quit the Communist Party, published in the New York Post around the time of Kaplan's own resignation from the Party. The periodicals include student publications (put out by the National Student League, local chapters and similar organizations) and Marxist periodicals that Kaplan wrote for under a variety of names. There are also single periodicals or articles within some of the clippings and other files.
Also of interest is an exchange of articles between J.G. Shaw, in Liberty Magazine entitled Will the Communists Get Our Girls in College? One Father's Story (Sept. 7, 1935), and his daughter, Nancy Bedford-Jones, whose response, My Father is a Liar, in the September 3, 1935 New Masses, identifies the actual author as H. Bedford-Jones and cites various distortions and lies in his article. The Liberty article can be found in the "Miscellaneous Articles" folder under Clippings and the New Masses article under Periodicals.
Box-folder *5/1-3/11


Box-folder *5/1-*5/2


Box-folder *5/1

Debate Club and Honors, 1931-1934

Box-folder *5/2

Development of Student Movement (including Anti-War Activities), 1932-1934

Box-folder *5/3

UCLA Expulsion and Aftermath, 1934

Box-folder *5/4

Cuba Trip, 1935

Box-folder *5/5

Other Publicity, 1935-1936, 1939, n.d.

Box-folder *5/6-*5/7, 3/10


Box-folder *5/6

Hawaiian Diary, People's Daily World, Oct. 8, 1948

Box-folder *5/7

Kaplan Trip, Reinecke Case and Fujimoto, 1948, n.d.

Box-folder 3/10

Background, 1952-1953

Box-folder 3/11

John Gates - 6 part Series: Why I Quit the Communist Party, New York Post, 1958

Box-folder 3/12-3/17, *5/8-*5/9


Box-folder 3/12

Student Review -National Student League, 1934

Box-folder 3/13

Other National Student League Publications and The Student Outlook: The Intercollegiate Socialist Review - League for Industrial Democracy, 1934

Box-folder 3/14

National Student Mirror - National Student Federation of America, 1934-1935

Box-folder *5/8

Student Outpost and College News, 1933-1935

Box-folder *5/9

New Masses and Time, 1934-1936, 1945

Box-folder 3/15-3/16

Political Affairs - Articles by Strack, "Welland," & "Norris"

Box-folder 3/15


Box-folder 3/16


Box-folder 3/17

Mainstream - Article by Strack, February 1957