Loventhal, Milton (1923-2012)

Loventhal, Milton (1923-2012)

Date Updated




Academic Rank

Associate Librarian

Year Retired from SJSU


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Educational Background

San José State University, Sociology, 1969 MA

University of California at Berkeley, 1958 MLS

University of California at Los Angeles; University of California at Berkeley, 1950 B.A.

Teaching Experience

Introduction to the Library; Government Documents, San Jose State University, 1958-1992

Administrative and Professional Experience

Record producer, Abbie & Dolley Records, 2003-present

ERFA Foundation Award for research on SHE project, 2004

Music Publisher, Lipstick & Toy Balloons Publishing Co., 1978-

Editor and Publisher, Merlin Press, San José, 1973-

Librarian, bibliographer, San José State University, 1959-92

Taught writing workshops and poetry readings, 1969-73 Co-producer literature and culture, radio show station, KALX, Berkeley, 1971-72

Librarian, San Diego Public Library, 1957-59 Special Assistant to Slavic Curator at Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1955-58

Researcher at Hoover Institution, Red Army Project, Stanford University, 1952-53

Selected Publications

Black Politics, a History and Annotated Bibliography of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party(San José, CA: Bibliographic Center for the Study of Political Science, 1971.) Co-author with Jennifer McDowell. Collected by The Smithsonian in 1991 for Black History Month.

Contemporary Women Poets, an Anthology of Calidfornia Poets (San José, CA: Merlin Press, 1977). Co-editor with Jennifer McDowell. Supported by the California Arts Council and recipient of the Service to Poetry Award.

Ronnie Goose Rhymes for Grown-ups. (San José, CA: Merlin Press, 1984).Co-author with Jennifer McDowell

Three articles on the Stalin Resolutions,1934-36, published in San José Studies, vol. 7, 1980-81.

“Stalin’s Foreign Policy Documents which Shed Light on the Stalin-Hitler Pact,” published in Moscow, 2008. Translated into German for anthology in Soviet and Russian studies, published in Berlin.

“The Spy, the Dupe, and the Documents” Canadian American Slavic Studies. Forthcoming, 2012.

Women’s Basketball Songbook, Forthcoming.

Personal Commentary

Chernobyl and Fukushima, Japan -- radiation from -- are the biggest threat ever to our planet.

Date Completed:June 5, 2011

I was born in Atlantic City in 1923, the year of the failed Hitler putsch. Apropos of failure, I failed the WWII draft. This may have had something to do with my violinist father's fondness for playing the Wieniawski Violin Concerto #2 to stretch his fingers. While it stretched his fingers all right, Wieniawski's intense vibrations ruined my trigger finger. This may seem a bit odd to you folks out there, but so potent is the Wieniawski Concerto it can undermine anything. Even a mere chord can paralyze the entire U.S. Army, from buck private to the buck‑stops‑here‑ten‑star General Dwight Eisenhower. This tragic reason is why I am now living without a military pension.

So instead of strafing the Luftwaffe in Berlin, I baby‑sat in Santa Monica for Bertolt Brecht, co‑author of The Three Penny Opera who always had a 3‑days' growth of beard. Never 2 days, never 4 days. Don't know how he managed it. But then I don't know how the Unabomber managed his 300‑days' growth of beard either.

In 1955‑57 I was Special Assistant to the Slavic Curator at Hoover library in Stanford. In fall '57 I moved to San Diego Public library where I met my future wife, a composer, sociologist, gourmet cook, novelist, playwright, poet, editor, Orwell specialist and future collaborator. She was the only attractive unmarried woman studying in the library on Saturday night. We got married 15 years later, after a short engagement.

To cut to the chase, I was hired at SJSU by Joyce Backus in 1959 who apparently mistook me for a prominent librarian and hired me on the spot without even checking my record as a serial shredder. In those happy days‑‑no hiring committees or committees of any sort.

From '67 to '69 I took leave (of my senses) and went to Berkeley to do research for my second MA. From time to time at the Cal Library I would bump into the Unabomber who was teaching math there, but I didn't recognize him since he was clean shaven and wearing professorial clothes. At Berkeley, I became a founding editor of The Open Cell, an underground literary tabloid. (Everyone was underground in those days, including the ground‑nesting bees.)

In '81, thanks to articles on Comrade Stalin crafted in collaboration with my wife, I was promoted to Associate Librarian. After a bit of xeroxing, book fondling, and gossip, I retired in Oct. '92 with four extra years thanks to Gov. P. T. Wilson.

Since retirement, my wife and I have completed a massive two‑vol. work, ForeignPolicy Resolutions from Stalin's Politburo, 1934‑36 (begun at Hoover in '55) which is currently under a microscope at a university press. We also have written 3 musical comedies, 6 comic plays and are now transforming a musical Under the Moscow Moon into a comic novel.

After 3 years of retirement, I was promoted to Who's Who in America. I'm not quite sure why. My wife had been hanging around in WWA since '86, so perhaps Marquis wanted to make it a family volume.

Date completed: 10/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Loventhal, Milton (1923-2012)