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Joseph R. Starobin and Robert S. Starobin papers, 1945-1976.



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  • Manuscript/Archive
  • 31.5 linear feet
An addition of 7.5 linear feet (5 record containers) was added in 2002(2002-160). It is unavailable for use until it has been processed.
Papers and research materials. For Joseph Starobin, materials include press clippings from his years as foreign editor for the Daily Worker (1945-1954), among them scrapbooks about Earl Browder and Arnold Beichman, as well as other materials about Communism in America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. For Robert Starobin, materials include his research notes on African American slavery. The collection also contains 1960s-era leftist publications and ephemera, especially on the subjects of student protest and university reform (primarily at UC Berkeley, Cornell, and UW Madison), the Civil Rights movement, Black Power movement, and the Vietnam War.
Original collection purchased in 1994 with a further addition in 2002 a gift of Rachael Starobin MacKay.
Joseph Starobin (1913-1976), born in New York City, grew up among Socialists. He was the foreign editor of the Daily Worker from 1945-1954. In 1951, on the Communist Party's suggestion, he went into voluntary exile to escape McCarthyism. During this time, Joseph travelled widely in Latin America, France, Indochina, and China. Two books emerged out of these experiences: Paris to Peking and Eyewitness in Indo-China. Joseph was also in charge of the CPUSA's peace activities. He entered the PhD program at Columbia University and received his degree in political science. He then taught at York University in Toronto. His dissertation was published as American Communism in Crisis: 1943-1957. Robert Starobin (1939-1971) was exposed to socialist politics early in life. Robert attended Cornell for undergraduate studies, where he was editor of the student newspaper. Following college, he hitchhiked to California, where he met and married Elsa within 3 weeks. He attended graduate school in history at UC Berkeley and participated in the Free Speech movement, the SDS, and the Black Power movement. His 1968 dissertation from Berkeley became his 1970 book, Industrial Slavery in the Old South. In 1966, Robert joined the history faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pioneering the first black studies course there in 1968. He spoke and published on black history, but by the end of the 1960s felt unaccepted by black academics because he was white. He committed suicide in 1971.
Finding Aid:
Finding aid available in Special Collections Reading Room and online.
MacKay, Rachael Starobin.
Included Work:
The Daily Worker.

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