The Margaret Sanger Papers


Eastman, Max (Forrester) (1883-1969)

Editor and author. Married Ida Rauh (1911- divorced 1921), one son; married Eliena Krylenko (1924), widowed (1956); married Yvette Szekely (1958). After studying with John Dewey at Harvard, Max Eastman wrote Enjoyment of Poetry (1913) and Child of the Amazons and Other Poems (1913). A lecturer in philosophy at Columbia, Eastman was also a radical political activist and a feminist. In 1910, he organized the first Men's League for woman's suffrage. In 1912 he sought to join his interest in philiosphy, literature and art with his activist Socialism by taking over the editorship of The Masses. In this periodical, Eastman published the leading writers and artists of the radical intellectual renaissance of pre-World War I Greenwich Village. Among those he published were John Reed, Floyd Dell and Margaret Sanger. Eastman also published several editorials in support of both Margaret Sanger's publication of The Woman Rebel and William Sanger's defense for distributing a copy of Family Limitation. Under Eastman's leadership The Masses remained the most influential voice of the Left until its suppression in 1917 for opposing the war. In 1918, Eastman and his sister founded and edited The Liberator , a more moderate magazine that advocated a Wilsonian negotiated peace plan. In 1922, after a visit to the Soviet Union, Eastman became a vocal supporter of Leon Trotsky. In 1928, he translated Trotsky's The Real Situation in Russia and other Trotsky works, and authored several books on the Russian Revolution. Increasingly disillusioned with the Soviet experiment, Eastman published Stalin's Russia and the Crisis in Socialism (1939) and other books which reflected his increasing skepticism with Marxist ideology. In the years following World War II, he was a contributor to Reader's Digest and the National Review. His autobiography, Love and Revolution: My Journey Through an Epoch was published in 1964.
    Copyright for documents written by Max Eastman must be secured from: Yvette Eastman, 8 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011
References: Alexander Bloom, "Max Eastman," in Encyclopedia of New York City, ed. Kenneth Jackson (1995); Leslie Fishbein, Rebels in Bohemia: The Radicals of The Masses, 1911-1917 (1972).