Jack Alan Robbins Papers, 1965-1977


Historian and socialist Jack Alan Robbins was born June 22, 1944 to Phillip and Marian Robbins of Mt. Vernon, New York. He attended local schools prior to studying government and international relations and Soviet and Eastern European area studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he received a B.A. in 1966. Robbins then pursued graduate work in political science at Fordham University, from which he received both an M.A. and a Ph.D. (1972). At Fordham Robbins researched and wrote a dissertation on American Trotskyism, 1928-1941, a topic which was ultimately rejected in 1969 as too controversial by the department of political science. The following year Robbins began a second dissertation on French Marxist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, which was eventually accepted for the degree in 1972.

During the school years, 1967-1969, Robbins was a teaching assistant at Fordham, and later worked with the Urban Renewal Department of Mt. Vernon and in the public information office of Fordham for summer vacations and other short breaks. In January 1970 he became the executive director of the Mt. Vernon Human Rights Commission, a position that he held for several years. Since receiving his doctorate, Robbins has turned his attention to writing and reviewing the works of others. He has written drafts and prospectuses of several articles, books, and anthologies, as well as numerous book reviews for different journals. Robbins has also been active in the Middle Atlantic Radical Historians Organization, and presented a paper at the 1976 convention. He served as editor and publisher of the Democratic Left Book Review and its successor, Ripples in the Stream, and in 1974 had a weekly show, The Literary Scene, on WARY Radio, Westchester College, Valhalla, New York.