Background on Trachtenberg

The Emma Goldman Papers
Last updated
May 5, 2011, 8:56 p.m. (view history)

Trachtenberg was born on November 23, 1885, from ethnic Jewish parents in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. He had participated in the revolution of 1905 at age twenty. He emigrated to the United States the following year and was a part of the Socialist student movement, first at Trinity College and then at Yale University. He headed the Research Department of the Rand School of Social Science in 1915. Trachtenberg applauded the usurpation of the Romanov regime and the enthronement of Prince Lvov in March 1917. Trachtenberg saw two people as key in this revolution--the Social-Revolutionary Alexander Kerensky and the Menshevik Nicholas S. Cheidaze. He embraced botht he first bourgeois-democratic revolution and the second Bolshevik revolution. However, the American Bolsheviks thought he had embraced the Bolsheviks too hesitantly. "In the hectic months of 1919, Trachtenberg found himself uncomfortably in the middle of both sides of the New York barricades."