Marxist Writers: Max Shachtman

Marxists’ Internet Archive

Max Shachtman

Max Shachtman


A major figure in the American Trotskyist movement beginning in the 1930s. Leader of the minority section of the Socialist Workers Party that split with Trotsky over the analysis of Russia and formed, in 1940, the Workers Party (eventually the Independent Socialist League). Later, in the late 1950s, the ISL merged with the Socialist Party. Editor or contributor to The Young Worker (1923), Labor Defender (1925), The Militant (1929–34), The New International (1934–1958) and Labor Action. Send corrections, comments and additions to Einde O’Callaghan.

Introduction to Max Shachtman (Ernest Haberkern)


Books and Pamphlets


Sacco and Vanzetti, Labor’s Martyrs (4.1MB PDF)


Genesis of Trotskyism


The People’s Front – The New Panacea of Stalinism


Behind the Moscow Trial


The Struggle for the New Course


The Fight for Socialism: Principles and Program of the Workers Party



Aug. 1924:

For the Communist Ticket (The Young Worker)

Oct. 1928:

For The Russian Opposition! Against Opportunism and Bureaucracy in the Workers (Communist) Party (with James P. Cannon & Martin Abern) (The Militant)

Dec. 1928:

The Results of the Election (The Militant)

Jan. 1929:

The Crisis in the German Party (The Militant)

Feb. 1929:

Platform of the Communist Opposition (with Martin Abern, James P. Cannon & Arne Swabeck) (The Militant)

Feb. 1929:

Trotsky’s Deportation (The Militant)

Mar. 1929:

The Civil War in Mexico (The Militant)

Mar. 1929:

A Letter to International Labor Defense (with James P. Cannon & Rose Karsner) (The Militant)

Mar. 1929:

War, Kellogg Pact and the Soviet Union (The Militant)

Apr. 1929:

A New Dawes Plan for the Old (The Militant)

May 1929:

Uniting the Textile Struggles (The Militant)

June 1929:

What the T.U.E.L. Conference Should Do (The Militant)

July 1929:

Putschism and May Day in Berlin (The Militant)

Aug. 1929:

The End of the Cloakmakers Strike (The Militant)

Aug. 1929:

Lovestone’s Appeal to the Party (The Militant) [PDF Version]

Sept. 1929:

The T.U.E.L. Conference at Cleveland (The Militant)

Oct. 1929:

The Conflict in the Muste Group (The Militant)

Oct. 1929:

Palestine – Pogrom or Revolution? (The Militant)

Oct. 1929:

The T.U.U.L. Conference (The Militant)

Nov. 1929:

What MacDonald ‘Accomplished’ Here (The Militant)

Dec. 1929:

The Capitulation of Bucharin (The Militant)

Dec. 1929:

“Hoover Brings You Peace and Plenty” (The Militant)

Dec. 1929:

Lovestone and the Russian Revolution (The Militant)


Jan. 1930:

Rosa Luxemburg – 11 Years After (The Militant)

Jan. 1930:

Leninism Lives! The Opposition Carries It Forward (The Militant)

Feb. 1930:

The Indian Revolution at the Crossroads (The Militant)

Feb. 1930:

The Proletariat and Peasantry in the Indian Revolution (The Militant)

Apr. 1930:

The Autobiography of Leon Trotsky (book review from The Militant)

Apr. 1930:

Sellier is Right – Lovestone Wrong (The Militant)

May 1930:

A Big Step Forward – The International Conference of the Left Opposition (The Militant)

May 1930:

Co-operatives Confer at Superior (The Militant)

May 1930:

Left Wing Needle Trades Crisis (The Militant)

May 1930:

MacDonald’s Assault on India (The Militant)

May 1930:

A Visit to the Island of Prinkipo (The Militant)

June 1930:

Back to Lenin! Manifesto to the Rank and File and Seventh National Convention of the C.P.U.S.A. (with James P. Cannon & 5 others) (The Militant)

June 1930:

In India – Simon Report Declares War on Revolution (The Militant)

July 1930:

Capitalist Murder on the Streets! (The Militant)

Aug. 1930:

The Right Wing Moves Closer to Social Democracy (The Militant)

Sept. 1930:

Vote Communist! Against the Parties of Unemployment and Wage-Cuts, and the “Socialist” Reformers (The Militant)

Sept. 1930:

An Opportunist Campaign – The Communist Party in the Elections (The Militant)

Oct. 1930:

Hoover Advises Labor – Workers’ United Front vs. “Optimistic” Pledges! (The Militant)

Nov. 1930:

The A.F. of L. Convention and the November Election (The Militant)

Nov. 1930:

On the Proposal for a New Farmer-Labor Party Fraud (The Militant)

Nov. 1930:

The Plot Against the Soviets (The Militant)

Nov. 1930:

13 Years of Russian Revolution! (The Militant)

Dec. 1930:

Stalin Grants Two Interviews (The Militant)


Introduction to Leon Trotsky’s Problems of the Chinese Revolution

Jan. 1931:

Lovestone Prepares the Front with Musteism (The Militant)

Jan. 1931:

Lovestone Looks with Favor at the Socialist Party (The Militant)

Jan. 1931:

“Order Prevails Throughout Spain” (The Militant)

Feb. 1931:

The “Left”: Saviors of Reformism in the Socialist Party (The Militant)

Feb. 1931:

Mooney’s Betrayal by the Labor Bureaucrats (The Militant)

Mar. 1931:

On the “Sectarians” ... (The Militant)

Mar. 1931:

The Right Wing Liquidators and the S.P. “Militants” (The Militant)

Apr. 1931:

Illinois Miners’ Convention (The Militant)

Apr. 1931:

Republican Revolution in Spain (The Militant)

May 1931:

The Daily Worker Explains Some Differences (The Militant)

May 1931:

The Theory of Stalinism and the Revolution in Spain (The Militant)

May 1931:

Weisbord – Cult of Confusionism (The Militant)

June 1931:

America’s “Pacifism” in Europe and ... Litvinov’s (The Militant)

June 1931:

Stanley Disappoints Lovestone (The Militant)

July 1931:

Combine the Miners’ Struggles into a United Front! (The Militant)

July 1931:

Manuilsky Makes an Unintentional Admission (The Militant)

July 1931:

Paterson on Strike (The Militant)

July 1931:

The Revolver at the Head of France – The Hoover Reparations-Debts Scheme (The Militant)

July 1931:

Stalin’s “New Economic Policy” (The Militant)

Aug. 1931:

The End of the Labor Cabinet (The Militant)

Aug. 1931:

Mining and Textile Strikes in Danger (The Militant)

Aug. 1931:

Stalin in 1921 (The Militant)

Sept. 1931:

The Anonymous Factional Struggle in the Party (The Militant)

Sept. 1931:

Credits for Soviet Union (The Militant)

Sept. 1931:

The I.L.D. “Acts” on Mooney (The Militant)

Sept. 1931:

Stop Making a Faction Football Out of the Mooney Case! (The Militant)

Nov. 1931:

Political Banditry in the French Communist Party (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

In Spain – “The Democratic Republic of the Workers” (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

Is Stalin Preparing New 1923 in Germany? (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

Lovestone Splitters Call for Unity (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

Marine Defense Meet (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

Opposition in England – Party Members Form Nucleus to Fight for Leninism (The Militant)

Jan. 1932:

The Recent Outbreaks in Spain (The Militant)

Feb. 1932:

In Spain – The Socialists and State Power (The Militant)

Feb. 1932:

Pravda on the Second 5 Year Plan (The Militant)

Feb. 1932:

The Right Wing of Spanish Communism (The Militant)

Feb. 1932:

Spain’s Bourgeoisie on the Offensive (The Militant)

Mar. 1932:

The Spanish Communist Party in the Revolution (The Militant)

Apr. 1932:

Lovestone and the “Pseudo-Revolutionists” (The Militant)

Apr. 1932:

War and Social Chauvinism (The Militant)

Apr./July 1932:

Nine Years of the Struggle of the Left Opposition (series) (The Militant)

May 1932:

Trotsky and Brandler; or Lovestone and Principles (The Militant)

June 1932:

A New History Making Trotsky Book (book review) (The Militant)

July 1932:

Geneva ‘Peace’ Swindles (The Militant)

August 1932:

Fascism – U.S. & German (The Militant)

August 1932:

Left Opposition Alone Raises the Voice of Lenin at N.Y. Congress Against War (The Militant)

August 1932:

Who Is Leading the Barbusse Congress (The Militant)

July 1934:

Dictatorship of Party or Proletariat? – Remarks on a Conception of the AWP ... and Others (The New International)

July 1934:

Fatal Admissions (book review from The New International)

July 1934:

Two Congresses and One Opposition (The New International)

Aug. 1934:

The Second International in the War (The New International)

Sep. 1934:

A Stupendous Bureaucracy (The New International)

Nov. 1934:

The Russian Revolution 17 Years After (The New International)

Nov. 1934:

What Next in the Socialist Party (The New International)

Dec. 1934:

Right Face in the Socialist Party (The New International)

Jan. 1935:

Behind the Kirov Assassination (The New International)

Jan. 1935:

Letters (correspondence with Alice Hanson & Francis Henson) (The New International)

Mar. 1935:

Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg (The New International)

Mar. 1935:

The Problem of the Labor Party (The New International)

Oct. 1935:

A Bolshevik Fugitive (with John West) (The New International)


The People’s Front – The New Panacea of Stalinism

Mar. 1936:

In Opposite Directions – The Cleveland Convention of the Socialists and the Swing to the Right of the Stalinists (The New International)

Oct. 1936:

The Moscow Trial (Socialist Appeal)

Nov. 1936:

Nineteen Years of the Russian Revolution (Socialist Appeal)

Feb. 1937:

Prospects for a Labor Party (Socialist Appeal)

Mar. 1937:

Introduction to Leon Trotsky’s In Defense of the Soviet Union

Aug. 1937:

The Politics of Gus Tyler – A Genuine Case of Rotten Liberalism in the Party (Socialist Appeal)

Sept. 1937:

“Supporting LaGuardia Betrays Socialism” (Socialist Appeal)

Dec. 1937:

New G.P.U. Frame-Ups Exposed; Purge Continues (Socialist Appeal)


In Memory of a Stainless Revolutionist – Leon Sedoff (Labor Action)

Jan. 1938:

Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Russia (The New International)

May 1938:

Comrade Trotsky’s Life Is Menaced (Workers’ International News)

May 1938:

Lenin and Luxemburg (The New International)

June 1938:

The Socialist Party: A Head Without A Body (The New International)

July 1938:

The Case of Joseph Zack (Socialist Appeal)

July 1938:

The Stalinist Convention (The New International)

Aug. 1938:

The Question of a Labor Party: The Challenge and the Answer (with James Burnham) (The New International)

Nov. 1938:

Balabanoff’s Memoirs (book review) (The New International)

Nov. 1938:

The 4th International is Launched (The New International)

Dec. 1938:

China’s Tragedy (book review) (The New International)

Dec. 1938:

Footnote for Historians (The New International)

Jan. 1939:

Intellectuals in Retreat (with James Burnham) (The New International)

June 1939:

Old Garbage in New Pails (The New International)

Oct. 1939:

Let the Readers Decide – An Appeal (with Martin Abern & James Burnham) (The New International)


Mar. 1940:

The Crisis in the American Party – An Open Letter in Reply to Comrade Leon Trotsky (The New International)

Apr. 1940:

The Soviet Union and the World War (The New International)

May 1940:

Against Both War Camps – For The Camp Of World Labor! (Labor Action)

Sept. 1940:

Leon Trotsky – His Heritage (The New International)

Sept. 1940:

The Murder of Leon Trotsky (Labor Action)

Oct. 1940:

Fascism and the World War – Article One (Labor Action)

Nov. 1940:

Fascism and the World War – Article Two (Labor Action)

Nov. 1940:

Fascism and the Imperialist War – Article Three (Labor Action)

Dec. 1940:

Fascism and the World War – Article Four (Labor Action)

Dec. 1940:

Give a Gift for Christmas! ... (Labor Action)

Dec. 1940:

Is Russia a Workers’ State? (The New International)

Jan. 1941:

Fascism and the World War – Article Five (Labor Action)

Jan. 1941:

Fascism and the World War – Article Six (Labor Action)

Jan. 1941:

Working Class Policy in War and Peace (The New International)

Mar. 1941:

How Not to Make a United Front (Labor Action)

July 1941:

The War Today Is What It Was Yesterday – Imperialist! (Labor Action)

Aug. 1941:

“Mixed Wars” and the War Today (Labor Action)

Aug. 1941:

The Organizer of Victory and the Organizer of Defeat (Labor Action)

Aug. 1941:

The Revolutionary Optimist (The New International)

Sept. 1941:

The Cannonites and Iran – Silence Is Golden (Labor Action)

Sept. 1941:

On Some Aspects of the Russian Question (Labor Action)

Nov. 1941:

For a $5,000 Party Building Fund! (Labor Action)

Dec. 1941:

The Bill of Rights and the Minneapolis Convictions (Labor Action)

Jan. 1942:

Straddler Norman Thomas Jumps Into the War Camp (Labor Action)

Jan. 1942:

The Strange Silence of the Militant (Labor Action)

Feb. 1942:

Walter Reuther, UAW Official, Proves the Case for a Workers Government (Labor Action)

Mar. 1942:

Will a Frameup Whitewash a Lynching? (Labor Action)

May 1942:

The Hope of Humanity – SOCIALISM! (Labor Action)

May 1942:

Two Years of the Workers Party in Review (Labor Action)

June 1942:

The Stalinists Start a New Union-Busting Drive (Labor Action)

July 1942:

Two Proletarian Soldiers (The New International)

Aug. 1942:

Trotsky taught independent class action (Labor Action)
Trotsky taught us class action (Workers Liberty Website)

Sept. 1942:

What Are the Russian Workers Fighting for? (Labor Action)

Oct. 1942:

Why Did President Green Join with the Stalinists at Shipyard Convention? (Labor Action)

Oct./Nov. 1942:

Who is Behind the Conspiracy to Suppress Labor Action? (Labor Action)

Nov. 1942:

Leon Lesoil (Labor Action)

Nov. 1942:

Nine Lessons of the North African Invasion (Labor Action)

Nov. 1942:

Sharecroppers Attend Full-Time, Two-Week School on Socialist Principles Organized by Workers Party (Labor Action)

Nov. 1942:

Should Labor Have Supported Dean Alfange in the Elections? (Labor Action)

Nov. 1942:

W.P. Sends Letter of Solidarity to Militant (Labor Action)

April 1943:

Introduction to Trotsky on the Workers’ State (The New International)

July 1943:

Trotsky on Democracy and Fascism (The New International)

Apr. 1945:

What is the role of a revolutionary organisation? – Five years of the Workers Party (New International)

Aug. 1945:

Letter on Question of Unification of the Workers Party and the Socialist Workers Party (Fourth International)

Oct. 1945:

Letter on Unity (Fourth International)

Oct. 1945:

ON WP-SWP Unity Negotiations – Letter to Cannon (New International)

Nov. 1945:

ON WP-SWP Unity Negotiations – Letter to Morrow (The New International)

Dec. 1945:

Pre-war Perspectives and Post-war Realities: An Analysis of the Politics of the Fourth International (The New International)

Oct. 1946:

Setting the Record Straight (The New International)

Oct. 1946:

Trotsky’s Stalin (The New International)

Feb. 1947:

Reply to Grant (The New International)

Mar. 1947:

The Nature of the Stalinist Parties: Their Class Roots, Political Role and Basic Aim (The New International)

Aug. 1948:

Tito versus Stalin (The New International)

Oct. 1948:

An Analysis of the Bankruptcy of “Orthodox Trotskyism” (The New International)

Sept. 1949:

Left Wing of the Labor Movement? (The New International)

Dec. 1949:

Four Portraits of Stalinism (Part I) (The New International) (critique of Walter Duranty & David Shub)


Jan. 1950:

Four Portraits of Stalinism (Part II) (The New International) (critique of Bertram Wolfe I)

Mar. 1950:

Four Portraits of Stalinism (Part III) (The New International) (critique of Bertram Wolfe II)

Mar. 1950:

Is Russia a Socialist Community? (debate with Earl Browder from The New International)

Mar. 1950:

Fact or Fiction on Lenin’s Role – A Reply to David Shub (The New International)

May 1950:

Reflections on a Decade Past: On the Tenth Anniversary of Our Movement (The New International)

July 1950:

Four Portraits of Stalinism (Part IV) (The New International) (critique of Bertram Wolfe III)

Sept. 1950:

Leon Trotsky, 1879–1940 (The New International)

Sept. 1950:

Socialist policy in the war (Socialist Leader)

Sept. 1950:

Four Portraits of Stalinism (Part V) (The New International) (critique of Deutscher’s Stalin)

Feb. 1951:

Kerensky, head of the government that Lenin ousted, debates Max Shachtman (Labor Action)

Apr. 1951:

An open letter to “our friends in Asia” (Labor Action)


For a democratic foreign policy (Labor Action)

Nov. 1953:

Twenty Five Years of American Trotskyism (The New International)

Nov. 1953:

Why the working class is central

Mar./Aug. 1954:

The End of Socialism: A Review of Isaac Deutscher (New Internationaln)

May 1954:

The Stalinist Social System (Labor Action)

Sept. 1957:

October was a true working class revolution (ISL Internal Bulletin)

Nov. 1957:

The October Revolution was made for freedom in equality! (Labor Action)

Apr. 1962:

1939 – Whither Russia? Trotsky and his Critics (Survey)



SWP political meeting (with Felix Morrow, James Cannon, Max Shachtman, George Clarke, James Burnham, Nathan Gould and Martin Abern)


Max Shachtman (with James Cannon and Martin Abern)


Max Shachtman, a political-biographical essay by Albert Glotzer, et al.

Shachtman Papers (Tamiment Institute)


Yetta Barsh Shachtman

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line



Last updated on 2 November 2014