Introducing the Library
The Prometheus Research Library is a workingresearch facility for a wide range of Marxist studiesand also the central reference archives of the SpartacistLeague of the U.S., section of the InternationalCommunist League (Fourth Internationalist). Libraryholdings include substantial materials on the organizationsinspired and led by Marx, Engels, Lenin, andTrotsky, as well as works on related topics, sometimesremote.
The purpose of the PRL is to collect, preserve,and make available the historical record of the internationalworkers movement and to assist Marxistscholarship. It is both a strength and weakness of thelibrary that its documentary collection centers onthe early American Communist and later Trotskyistmovement. We seek to acquire documents from allsides of the internal debates so as to facilitate the studyof the development of party struggles with objectivity,consistent with the tradition of our forebears. CitingLenin, the masthead of the first issue of the AmericanTrotskyist Militant proclaimed in 1928: “He who takessomebody’s word for it is a hopeless idiot.”
The Library’s collection, which does not circulate,grew out of the accumulated and organized holdingsof James Robertson, both correspondence and printedmaterials. The collection now includes over 7,000books, pamphlets, and periodical volumes, 270 reelsof microfilmed documents and periodicals, and over200 linear feet of archival documents and bulletins.Particular emphasis is on minutes of leading committeesand internal discussion material. Approximatelythree-quartersof the holdings are in English. Thereare significant materials in Russian: over 300 titlescovering much of the record of the Bolshevik Partyin the form of stenographic records of Congressesand Conferences, public leaflets, internal party documents,early Cheka reports, memoirs, as well aspublications and exile correspondence of the LeftOpposition. Holdings in German, French, Spanish,Polish, Chinese, Greek, and other languages are alsosignificant. Books and pamphlets are catalogued in acard file and research is facilitated by an extensivelycross-referenced digital catalogue available on thiswebsite.
The Library also contains the published works ofmany non-Marxistauthors who strike our interest.Since 1979, the PRL has circulated lists of recentacquisitions to interested libraries and individuals.These circulars are available upon request.
The Prometheus Research Library has evolvedover 40 years and works under the auspices of theCentral Committee of the Spartacist League/U.S.The PRL is a member of the American LibraryAssociation and has staff and individual associatesin the United States and internationally. The PRLseeks to assist serious efforts to publish historiesof Trotskyist sections around the world, both byproviding documentation and where appropriatefinancial support, without regard for our particularagreement with the views of the authors. TheLibrary strongly supports and participates in effortsto make available and exchange historical materialwith individuals and libraries of kindred purposearound the world. The PRL has collaborated withBryan Palmer on his biography of James P. Cannonand history of the work of the American Trotskyistsin the Minneapolis Teamsters strikes. The PRL alsocollaborated with Louis Sinclair, the noted bibliographerof Leon Trotsky’s work. George Breitman,editor of Trotsky’s Writings, advised the PRL in theearly stages of the production of our first book, JamesP. Cannon and the Early Years of American Communism.The PRL deposits archives of the Spartacist League/U.S., Spartacus Youth League, and ICL in theHoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace atStanford University and the International Instituteof Social History in Amsterdam.
The Prometheus Research Library seeks to collect,preserve, and make available the documentaryrecord of the international communist movement.The PRL’s publishing program makes available rarematerials that are an indispensable part of the documentaryhistory of the Trotskyist movement. We arevery interested in obtaining originals, photocopies,or digital copies of relevant minutes, bulletins, orcorrespondence to ensure that such historicallyvaluable documents are not lost. Persons who havesuch archival papers are encouraged to contact thePRL. The PRL shares relevant portions of its holdingswith other archives and libraries to make thearchives of the workers movement more completeand accessible.
Dog Days: James P. Cannon vs. Max Shachtman in the Communist League of America, 1931-1933
Documents and letters about an intense factionalstruggle which rent the American Trotskyist organizationin the early 1930s. 118 documents including lettersby Trotsky on international issues, some published herefor the first time. 752 pages; smyth-sewnbinding. (2002)
James P. Cannon and the Early Years of American
Communism: Selected Writings and Speeches, 1920-1928
This volume of Cannon’s writings covers the periodwhen he was one of the principal leaders of theAmerican section of the Communist International.624 pages; smyth-sewnbinding. (1992)Both volumes include an extensive introduction, explanatory notes, photograph section, glossary, and index.
The Communist International After Lenin
First Russian-languageedition. By Leon Trotsky. IncludesTrotsky’s Critique of the 1928 draft program ofthe Communist International. 309 pages. Introductionby PRL. (1993)
No. 1: Guidelines on the Organizational Structure ofCommunist Parties, on the Methods and Content ofTheir Work
Complete and accurate English translation of the 1921Comintern Resolution from the final German text.(August 1988)
No. 2: Documents on the “Proletarian Military Policy” Includes materials from the Trotskyist movement in theU.S. and Europe during World War II. (February 1989)
No. 3: In Memoriam, Richard S. Fraser: An Appreciation and Selection of His Work
A selection of the writings of comrade Richard S. Fraser(1913-1988),who developed the Trotskyist understandingof black oppression in the U.S. (August 1990)
No. 4: Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International: The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism By Jan Norden. Covers the internal discussion of the FourthInternational over its flawed response to the YugoslavRevolution and 1948 Tito-Stalinsplit. (March 1993)
No. 5: Marxist Politics or Unprincipled Combinationism? Internal Problems of the Workers Party
Max Shachtman’s document from the 1936 internal bulletinof the Workers Party of the U.S. Includes introductionand glossary by PRL and appendices. (September 2000)
No. 6: Selected Speeches and Writings in Honor ofThree Women Leaders of the International CommunistLeague (Fourth Internationalist): Martha Phillips,Susan Adams, Elizabeth King Robertson (March 2007)
The PRL also distributes the bound volumes andmicrofilm editions of ICL periodicals. At present,these include: Workers Vanguard, newspaper of theSpartacist League/U.S.; the press of its youth organization,Young Spartacus; Women and Revolution; andthe ICL theoretical journal Spartacist in English,German, French, and Spanish. Each volume ormicrofilm roll contains a complete cross-referencedindex. For price information and to order, pleasewrite to: Spartacist Publishing Co., Box 1377 GPO,New York, NY 10116. For additional informationvisit the ICL at www.icl-fi.org.
The Prometheus Research Library is open toresearchers needing our specialized collections. Sincethe Library operates on a limited schedule, researchersare required to send written requests about specificprojects and for appointments. The PRL has adigital microfilm and microfiche scanner and printer.The Library is located in lower Manhattan.
Director (Consultative) . . . . . . James M. Robertson
Librarian/Archivist . . . . . . . . . Alison Dundy
Deputy Librarian . . . . . . . . . . . Helene Brosius
Western Station Librarian. . . . Martha Braun
Western Station Archivist . . . . Emily P. Turnbull
Founding Librarian . . . . . . . . . Diana B. Kartsen (1948-2007)
Principal Facility                    Western Station
Prometheus Research Library    Prometheus Research Library
Box 185, Canal Street Sta.            Box 32463, Civic Center Sta.
New York, NY 10013                    Oakland, CA 94604
Tel: (212) 966-1866                      Tel: (510) 839-0853
Digital versions available here. For price information and to order print editions write to:
Spartacist Publishing Co., Box 1377 GPO, New York, NY 10116.
For additional information visit the ICL at www.icl-fi.org.
James P. Cannon
and the Early Years of American Communism: Selected Writings and Speeches,
James P. Cannonvs. Max Shachtman in the Communist League of America, 1931-1933
The Communist International
by Leon Trotsky(First Russian-
Prometheus Research Series Bulletins
PRS No. 1: Guidelines on the Organizational Structure of Communist Parties, on the Methods and Content of Their Work
PRS No. 2: Documents on the
“Proletarian Military Policy”
PRS No. 3: In Memoriam, Richard S. Fraser:
An Appreciation and Selection of His Work
PRS No. 4: Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International: The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism
PRS No. 5: Marxist Politics or Unprincipled Combinationism? Internal Problems of the Workers Party
PRS No. 6: Selected Speeches and Writings
in Honor of Three Women Leaders of the International Communist League
(Fourth Internationalist): Martha Phillips, Susan Adams, Elizabeth King Robertson
Prometheus Research Library
Box 185, Canal St. Station
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 966-1866
Prometheus Research Library
Box 32463, Civic Center Station
Oakland, CA 94604
Tel: (510) 839-0853
Photo of Leon Trotsky in Prinkipo by Jean Weinberg
Prometheus graphic from a woodcut by Fritz Brosius