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Max Eastman

Max EastmanAKA Max Forrester Eastman

Born: 12-Jan-1883
Birthplace: Canandaigua, NY
Died: 25-Mar-1969
Location of death: Bridgetown, Barbados
Cause of death: Stroke

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Socialist writer, later embraced McCarthyism

Max Eastman was an early editor of the socialist periodical The Masses which featured regular contributions from such writers as Upton Sinclair, Amy Lowell and John Reed. During his tenure the publication was temporarily shut down under the Espionage Act of 1917 for its outspoken criticism of US involvement in World War I. At this time he and several other writers founded a similar magazine, The Liberator, which Eastman quit soon after it went bankrupt and was bought by the Communist Party USA.

On a extended trip to Russia in the early 1920s Eastman met and befriended Leon Trotsky. Later he translated two of Trotsky's works, The History of the Russian Revolution and Revolution Betrayed, into English.

"Socialism is no mean religion. But it is not a religion that binds or blesses the rich and powerful, and so it could hardly become established in a country like ours. For an established religion we needed something a little more like God... a little vaguer and more elegant and better adapted to bind in among other motives the economic self-interest of those who rule. We needed something that would give us the same emotional crystallization without greatly disturbing the profits on capital." -- Max Eastman, 1917

"Nothing could be more calamitous than for patriotism to become the established religion of this country." -- Max Eastman, The Religion of Patriotism, 1917

"The words socialist and communist are changing their meaning just as the word Christian did. Just as heretics were burned by thousands in the name of the love of the neighbour, so peasants have been starved by millions in the name of the workers' and peasants' republic. The crude animal egoisms of men and classes of men thus grab ideas and use them, not as heroic lights to action, but as blinds to hide inaction or actions that are too base." -- Max Eastman, 1938

"What is the "secret ballot" when only one party can run candidates for office, and that the party in power? What is "free press and assemblage" when no man can form, advocate, or support the platform of any but the gang in power, and when ten to twenty thousand of those who have done so are in jail or exile while you talk about it? What is the whole talk under these conditions about how "we" are going to "give the Russian people" the most democratic constitution on earth? Is there any term in the language to describe it except apple-sauce?" -- Max Eastman, The End of Socialism in Russia, 1938

Father: Samuel Elijah Eastman (clergy)
Mother: Annis Bertha Ford (clergy, b. 1852, d. 1910)
Brother: Morgan Eastman
Sister: Crystal Eastman (b. 1881, d. 1928 nephritis)
Wife: Ida Rauh (m. 4-May-1911, div. 1922, one son)
Son: Daniel (b. 1912, d. heart attack)
Mistress: Rosalind Fuller (sister-in-law)
Wife: Eliena Vassilyenva Krylenko (sister of Nikolai Krylenko, m. 1924, d. Oct-1956 cancer)
Wife: Yvette Szekely (m. 22-Mar-1958)
Girlfriend: Florence Deshon (dated 1922)

    High School: Mercersburg Academy (1904)
    University: BA, Williams College (1905)
    University: PhD, Columbia University (1911)
    Teacher: Logic, Columbia University

    National Review Contributing Editor (1955)
    Reader's Digest Editor (1941-69)
    The Masses
    American Union Against Militarism CoFounder
    Communist Party USA
    Dutch Treat Club (1937-44)
    Men's League for Women's Suffrage Founder (1909)
    Sedition indicted (19-Nov-1917)
    Sedition 1918
    Traveled to Bolshevik Russia 1922
    Stroke fatal

Is the subject of books:
The Last Romantic: A Life of Max Eastman, 1991, BY: William O'Neill

Author of books:
Enjoyment of Poetry (1913, essays)
Understanding Germany (1916)
Journalism Versus Art (1916, essays)
Leon Trotsky: The Portrait of a Youth (1925, biography)
Since Lenin Died (1925, essays)
Artists in Uniform (1934)
Enjoyment of Laughter (1936)
Stalin's Russia and the Crisis in Socialism (1939, essays)
Heroes I Have Known (1942)
Enjoyment of Living (1948, autobiography)
Love and Revolution: My Journey Through an Epoch (1965, autobiography)
Seven Kinds of Goodness (1967)


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