Now available online! Guide to the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, the Marxist-Humanist Archives

July 29, 2017

Explore the new online Guide here!


“The whole question of the relationship of any ongoing event with the past, with the very concept of Archives, depends on the two opposite words—continuity and discontinuity. Whereas only great divides in epochs, in cognition, in personality, are crucial, and may relate to turning points in history, no discontinuity can really achieve that type of new epochal ‘moment’ unless it has established continuity with the historic course of human development.”
Raya Dunayevskaya


Raya Dunayevskaya founded Marxist-Humanism in the United States. During a lifetime in the Marxist movement, she developed a revolutionary body of ideas: the theory of state-capitalism; the philosophy of Marxist-Humanism as rooted in the U.S. in labor, the Black dimension, youth, and women’s liberation; the global concept of the inseparability of philosophy and revolution as the dialectics of liberation.

Yoshimasa Yukiyama, translator of the Japanese edition of Marxism and Freedom; Raya Dunayevskaya; and Charles Denby (1969)

Yoshimasa Yukiyama, translator of the Japanese edition of Marxism
and Freedom; Raya Dunayevskaya; and Charles Denby (1969)

With her donation of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection to the Wayne State University Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Dunayevskaya sought to share and record the development of the Marxist-Humanist body of ideas, its method, its test in world events, its battles with other revolutionary ideas, while she lived. She approved the documents to be included, organized the categories of their presentation, and wrote the introductory texts. The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, Vols. I-XII, thus represents not only a vast assemblage of Marxist-Humanism’s documents, but her concept of the organization of Marxist-Humanist thought, its categories.

Harry McShane

Harry McShane

The over 17,000 pages of the Collection and its Supplement are a resource for students, researchers and activists in fields as diverse as philosophy, women’s studies, social theory, intellectual history and Black studies. Her writings spanned the world: her contributions to Soviet and East European studies, as well as to African and Middle Eastern regional studies, have been widely praised.

Just a few of the correspondents included are Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Leon Trotsky, Natalia Sedova Trotsky, Adrienne Rich, Grace Lee Boggs, C.L.R. James, Cornelius Castoriadis, Meridel LeSueur, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tadayuki Tsushima, Louis Dupré, Sékou Touré, Hanna Batatu, and Maria Barreno.

Raya Dunayevskaya and Natalia Sedova Trotsky in Mexico, 1938

Raya Dunayevskaya and Natalia Sedova Trotsky in Mexico, 1938

Herbert Marcuse called Dunayevskaya’s writings on the Marxian dialectic “an oasis in the desert of Marxism,” and stressed her argument that “Marxian economics and politics are throughout philosophy,” while “the latter is from the beginning economics and politics.”

The website of the Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund presents the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection as she organized it, together with the Supplement organized after her death. The online Guide contains clickable links to all the documents in the Archives. This finding tool helps the reader or researcher locate items and grasp the structure of the Archives. When Dunayevskaya donated her Archives, she stipulated that they should be open to anyone who wanted to study them. They are now available to anyone who can access the website. This is in addition to the entire 60+ years of News & Letters newspaper available on the News and Letters Committees website. The first 55 years are also hosted on the Marxists Internet Archive. The Raya Dunayevskaya subarchive of the Marxists Internet Archive also hosts a copy of the Guide and all the documents in the Collection and Supplement, along with a selection of documents transcribed in html (web format).

Raya Dunayevskaya; Charles Denby, editor of News & Letters and author of Indignant Heart; and Ethel Dunbar, “Way of the World” columnist and contributor to Indignant Heart

Raya Dunayevskaya; Charles Denby, editor of News & Letters and author of Indignant Heart;
and Ethel Dunbar, “Way of the World” columnist and contributor to Indignant Heart

This is an incredible resource for revolutionaries and scholars, seeking not only to understand the history of freedom struggles but to advance them today so as to transform the world. The Collection, together with Dunayevskaya’s books, encompasses the body of ideas of Marxist-Humanism she developed during a lifetime in the revolutionary movement.

Marxist-Humanism: A Half-Century of Its World Development

Contents of the online Guide:


Introductory Note by Raya Dunayevskaya

Guide to Collection

Part One: Birth and Development of State-Capitalist Theory

Volume I: 1941-1947 — Beginnings of State-Capitalist Theory (in the Workers Party)

Volume II: 1947-1951 — From the “Interim Period” to the Final Split from the Socialist Workers Party

Volume III: 1949-1955 — From the Miners’ General Strike to the East German Revolt; From the Appearance of Differences in the Johnson-Forest Tendency to the Historic Reemergence of Marx’s Humanism

Appendix 1: Leon Trotsky: Letters, Conversations, Unpublished Documents

Part Two: Creation of Marxist-Humanism as Organization — News and Letters Committees — and as Theory for Our Age

Volume IV: 1955-1958 — Laying New Theoretical and Practical Foundations, Culminating in Marxism and Freedom, From 1776 Until Today

Volume V: 1959-1964 — The Emergence of a Third Afro-Asian, Latin American World and a New Generation of Revolutionaries Also in the U.S.

Volume VI: 1964-1968 — As Against Decadent Capitalism on the Rampage, New Stages of Mass Revolt

Volume VII: 1968-1973 — Objective Crises Compelling Theoretic Clarification of Revolution, Culminating in the Work Around Philosophy and Revolution

Volume VIII: 1973-1975 — Philosophy and Revolution as Book, as Characteristic of the Age

Volume IX: 1976-1978 — Forces of Revolution as Reason; Philosophy of Revolution as Force

Volume X: 1979-1981 — What Is Philosophy? What Is Revolution? How the Revolutions of Our Age Relate to Those Since Marx’s Age: Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution

Appendix 2: “Two Worlds” Columns by Raya Dunayevskaya, 1955-1981

Volume XI: 1981-1985 — Dialectics of Revolution: American Roots and World Humanist Concepts

Volume XII: Retrospective and Perspective — The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, 1924-1986

Supplement to the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection

Volume XIII: Raya Dunayevskaya’s Last Writings, 1986-1987 — Toward the Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy

Volume XIV: The Writing of Raya Dunayevskaya’s “Trilogy of Revolution,” 1953-83: The “Long, Hard Trek and Process of Development” of the Marxist-Humanist Idea

Volume XV: From the Marx Centenary Year to Women’s Liberation and the Dialectics of Revolution, and from Reagan’s Invasion of Grenada to Raya Dunayevskaya’s Work on “Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy”

The Raya Dunayevskaya Audio-Video Tape Collection



Marginalia in Books from Raya Dunayevskaya’s Personal Library


Presenting the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection online has been made possible by News and Letters Committees and the Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund.

Donations to keep making additions to the RDMF website can be sent to:
The Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund, 228 S. Wabash, Room 230, Chicago, IL 60604,
or online to News & Letters:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *