Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Trotskii mss., 1900-1957, consist principally of the correspondence of Lev Trotskii, 1879-1940, Russian communist leader, and Max Eastman, 1883-1969, author, during the period when Eastman was preparing his book about Trotskii in 1922 and 1923 and later when he served unofficially as Trotskii's literary agent from 1929 to 1933. Some of Trotskii's letters are addressed to Eliena Vassilyenva Krylenko who became Eastman's wife; some of Eastman's letters are addressed to Leon Sedoff, the name Trotskii assumed (that of his son) during the period of his exile in Turkey.

The correspondents are Albert Boni, Max Eastman, Harcourt, Brace and Co., Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaia, Maxim Lieber, Maurice Paz, Roger William Riis, Alfred Rosmer, The Saturday Evening Post, Max Shachtman, Boris Souvarine, Lev Trotskii, Joseph Usick Vanzler, Sara Weber.

Other materials include Eastman's notes surviving from his first talks with Trotskii in 1922 and 1923, notes of a conversation with Mrs. Natalie Ivanova (Sedova) Trotskii after the attack on Lev Trotskii in Moscow, two impressions after living three days in Trotskii's home in 1932, Eastman's translation of The Revolution Betrayed by Trotskii, an interview with Trotskii about economic difficulties in the Soviet Union in 1932, and efforts by Eastman to secure permission for Trotskii to visit the United States in 1933. Works by Trotskii include A Weakening of Stalin or a Weakening of the Soviet and later in 1937 from Mexico New Moscow Amalgan: Three Trials.

Following the death of Trotskii in 1940 are letters by Eastman and Alfred Rosmer offering personal judgement of the man. A note by Eastman in September 1957 relates his explanation of the loss and recovering of his translation of the Trotskii life of Lenin.

Printed materials related to Trotskii's death, his wife, his writings, and reviews of Eastman's translations and book about Trotskii complete the collection.

Collection size: 201 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.