Sound Recordings in the Bertram Wolfe Papers Digitized by Hoover

Thursday, June 3, 2010
Frida Kahlo with Leon Trotsky
Frida Kahlo with Leon Trotsky

Speeches by Bertram Wolfe, and a lengthy oral history by his wife, Ella, have been digitized and are available for immediate access at the Hoover Archives. The recordings, which are part of the Bertram Wolfe papers, provide substantial discussions of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jay Lovestone, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, and the American Communist Party.

Wolfe was a member of the Communist Party USA in the 1920s. After his expulsion from that party he joined the Communist Party Opposition, a group founded by Jay Lovestone, in the 1930s. During that period the Wolfes traveled extensively, including spending time in Mexico with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Eventually having become an anticommunist, Wolfe completed his career as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Ella Wolfe’s oral history, recorded in conversation with Hoover’s Ramon Myers in 1982–83, spans ten audiotapes. She shares stories and insights about the many prominent people the couple encountered through their political activities. Among the speeches by Bertram Wolfe are “The Extraordinary Adventures of a Yankee in Mexico,” recorded in 1969, and “What Was Wrong with the American Revolution? A Study in Comparative Revolution,” recorded in 1976.

To set up an appointment to listen to these recordings at the archives or purchase copies if you cannot visit, please see Audiovisual Services.