The Max Eastman collection, comprising more than 80 boxes and counting, is one of the most significant holdings in the Lilly Library. It is also one of the most frequently consulted ones. Max Eastman (1883-1969) was one of the most powerful and influential political activists and writers of the first half of the twentieth century. Since Eastman’s influence extended far beyond national boundaries—his brother-in-law was Nicolai Krylenko, Chief of the Red Army and Stalin’s prosecutor, as well as the creator of Soviet chess—the collection offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand radical networks and in the first half of the twentieth century and beyond. The exhibition will feature items from Eastman’s extensive correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, journals, iconic issues of The Masses and The Liberator, as well as artifacts related to his equally influential sister, Crystal Eastman (1821-1928), a lawyer and activist in her own right and the initiator of the first Workers’ Compensation Law in the United States.
This exhibit is one of many events hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences as part of the Themester for 2015.