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Friday, April 14, 2006 

New Communist Movement archive grows

Revolutionary organizer, writer and leftist historian Max Elbaum has recently donated his vast archive of NCM documents, interviews used in researching and writing "Revolution in the Air" to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. These materials will be combined with the already established Mike Conan (¡presente!) collection. Although I don't really see eye-to-eye with Max on much of his summation concerning the failures of the NCM, especially his whole-sale rejection of any contribution made by committed Maoist organizations, the importance of this now expanded archive in self-evident. Below is Max's announcement of the donation.

I have donated the extensive archives used in researching and writing "Revolution in the Air" to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. The donated material consists of 40 boxes of books, journals, newspapers, pamphlets and internal documents from the late-1960s revolutionary upsurge and then the 1970s-80s "new communist movement."

This archive will be added to the Library's existing "Mike Conan Collection" of new communist movement materials. Mike was a dear comrade and friend - you can read an appreciation of his life and activism at http://freedomroad.org/content/view/22/64/ Before Mike died of cancer in 1994 he arranged for his large archive to be made available to researchers and activists in this way. Now, with these new documents added, the Library has perhaps the country's most comprehensive collection of materials on this section of the U.S. left.

The Library, located in Los Angeles, offers unique and accessible collections and community programs, and is devoted to engaging people across generations in using history to advance social justice. For full information go to http://www.socallib.org/ So, if you are engaged in a research project, or are just interested in looking at primary source materials from the late '60s radical movements and one strand of the left that grew out of them, check out the Mike Conan Collection. I also urge your support for the Southern California Library and similar institutions, which are so important for preserving records of radical movements and providing continuity from one generation of activists and scholars to the next.

Last, if you haven't checked out http://www.revolutionintheair.com in awhile, consider taking a look. There's at least one new review of the book posted in 2006, plus an extensive bibliography, a chronology of events 1954-1992 and other items.

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