He attended Harvard University, earning a B.A. in 1926, and an M.A. in 1927. He was on a successful track in the publishing business, when the beginning of the Great Depression radicalized him. He joined the Trotskyist Communist League of America in 1933 and was a member of the National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) from 1940 to 1973.
In 1937-40 Novack served as the secretary of the American Committee for the Defence of Leon Trotsky. This body initiated the celebrated 1937 Dewey Commission that inquired into the charges made against Trotsky in the Moscow show trials, and found the Moscow trials to have been a complete frame-up.
Novack produced a number of books on various aspects of Marxism: An Introduction to the Logic of Marxism, America's Revolutionary Heritage, Democracy and Revolution, Empiricism and Its Evolution, Humanism and Socialism, The Origins of Materialism, Polemics in Marxist Philosophy, Revolutionary Dynamics of Women's Liberation, Existentialism vs. Marxism and Understanding History, Marxist Essays.
- Novack, George & Mandel, Ernest (1973), The Marxist Theory of Alienation, 2nd ed., New York: Pathfinder Press
- Novack, George (1975), Pragmatism versus Marxism: An appraisal of John Dewey's philosophy, New York: Pathfinder Press
- Novack, George (1979), The Origins of Materialism, New York: Pathfinder Press
- Novack, George (1981), Genocide against the Indians: its role in the rise of U.S. capitalism, Pathfinder Press
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- George Novack Internet Archive. On line archive at Marxists Internet Archive.
- Bio-bibliographical sketch of George Novack at the Lubitz TrotskyanaNet.
- Pathfinder Books, the bookstore of the Socialist Workers Party. Publisher of Novack's books.
- Novack, George. Radical Intellectuals in the 1930s. International Socialist Review Vol. 29, No. 2, March–April 1968, pp. 21–34. Text of speech to Socialist Scholars Conference, N. Y., Sept. 1967. Transcription/Editing: 2005 by Daniel Gaido. HTML Markup: 2005 by David Walters. Retrieved May 13, 2005.