Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line: Revolutionary History, Vol. 8 No. 2

Work in Progress

New Historical Material

THE bulk and quality of revolutionary historical writing appearing in France still excites our envy. As far as full-length books are concerned, Daniel Bensaid has almost finished his introduction to Trotskyism for the Que Sais-Je? series of the Presses Universitaires de France. We are looking forward to providing our readers with a full-length review of Jean-Jacques Marie’s mammoth biography of Stalin in a future issue. Jospin’s attempt to deny his youthful involvement with the French Trotskyists of the OCI has led to a whole spate of writing, much of it unfortunately of the journalistic exposé type. If we ignore the rather superficial magazine coverage, the latest book to come out is Philippe Campinchi’s Les Lambertistes: un courant trotskiste français, available for 140 francs from Éditions Balland, 33 rue Saint-André-des-Arts, 75006 Paris. Portraits are provided of most of the organisation’s leading militants of the time in chapters eight and nine, even if you have to sieve through much dross to gather any useful historical residue.

It is among the historical magazines that the real gold is to be found. Two more numbers of the Cahiers Léon Trotsky have come out since we last went to press. No. 73 (March 2001) continues the French translation of Gary Tennant’s history of Cuban Trotskyism from Revolutionary History, Volume 7, no. 3, and prints along with it the story of the murder by the Stalinists of Leon Lipski, a leader of the Polish Communist Party who had opposed its dissolution by the Comintern in 1938, accused of being an ‘agent of the Gestapo’. No. 74, which came out in June 2001, concludes Gary Tennant’s account, and also includes an analysis of the relationship between Trotsky and his daughter Zina, and Anatoli Sokolov’s description of the training of the Vietnamese Stalinists in the Soviet universities. Each copy costs 90 francs plus postage, and a subscription can be had for 350 francs from Luc Aujame, 477 chemin du Puits, 69210 Fleurieux sur l’Arbresle, France.

The Cahiers du Mouvement Ouvrier is, as always, packed with fascinating material. No. 13 (April 2001) has an article by Martov on the Constituent Assembly and the texts of the interventions in it by Sverdlov and Bukharin, an account written by Rogovin before his death concerning the letters written by Thälmann to Stalin from prison during the period of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the first part of the documentation of the East Berlin uprising of 1953. No. 14 continues this, adding to it Ilia Boudraitskis’ research into left-wing dissidence in Russia after 1956, and a fascinating criticism of Stalin made by Mao Zedong to the Soviet ambassador in that year. No. 15, appearing in October 2001, has Grigoriev’s article on the struggle in the Comintern over the Chinese question in 1926–27, an account of Kolyma in 1930, and a discussion of Leninism, Trotskyism and Stalinism by Stoian Mikhailov, along with much more.

The Cahiers du CERMTRI has brought out two splendid thematic issues, no. 100 (March 2001) documenting the early years of Vietnamese Trotskyism, some of which we would like to include in a book we have long planned, and no. 102, which came out in September, dealing with Bordiga’s struggle at the Sixth Plenum of the ECCI in February–March 1926, with excerpts translated from Sando Saggioro and Arturo Peregalli’s biography of him. No. 101 is a special issue celebrating CERMTRI’s twenty-fifth anniversary, with sketches of its archive holdings, past activities and future plans. Single copies of these Cahiers cost 30 francs, and of the Cahiers du Mouvement Ouvrier 50 francs, both obtainable from 28 rue des Petites-Ecuries, 75010, Paris, or by e-mail, at cermtri @wanadoo.fr.

True to their careful and serious traditions of Marxist scholarship, Austrian socialist historians continue to turn out work of the highest quality and interest. Our own co-editor, Fritz Keller, has recently produced Die Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte in Österreich, 1918–23, under the auspices of the Sozialistische Linkspartei, which can be obtained from Kaiserstrasse 14/11, A-1070, Vienna, Austria, or by e-mail at SLP @SLP.AT for Ös 40. The Marxismus Workers Group, which puts out the excellent magazine of that name, has collected together for the eighth of its pamphlet series documentation entitled Trotzkische Opfer des NS-Terrors in Österreich, available for Ös 28 from AGM, Postfach 562, 1151, Vienna, Austria, or by e-mail from http://www.agmarxismus.net.

Back here in Britain, our own output is more modest in comparison, but there are signs that it will improve. The first instalment of Tony Cliff’s Selected Works has been out for some months, and is reviewed for us by John Sullivan in this issue. Last autumn brought Socialist Platform’s collection of Boris Souvarine’s works of varying worth, What Became of the Revolution. Sometime this year will come Brian Pearce’s translation of Riazanov’s articles on Marx and Engels’ diplomatic and historical writings, on Russo-British relations, the Polish Question, and on the Balkans, among others. Boutle and King has recently published Rosmer’s Trotsky and the Origins of Trotskyism. And we are now fortunate enough to have in Britain a distributor for the historical material put out by the American SLP (De Leonists), including The SLP and the USSR and The Nature of Soviet Society, which can be had from Redline Publications, PO Box 56700, Sawbridgeworth CM21 0WA, at a price well below their value.

Al Richardson

Major Updating of Trotsky Website

AFTER publishing a CD-ROM containing Leon Trotsky’s Writings of 1929–40, we are now glad to inform readers that we have loaded them onto our website so that militants around the world have easy and free access to this comprehensive work by the Russian revolutionary. You can now log on to the digitalised Spanish-language Escritos in our site www.ceip.org.ar/escritos /prepresentacion.htm.

We have also completed the digitalisation of the articles contained in all the compilations we have published so far: Escritos Latinoamericanos (Writings on Latin America), Naturaleza y Dinámica del Capitalismo y la Economía de Transición (On the Nature and Dynamics of Capitalism and the Transitional Economy) coming soon, Teoría de la Revolución Permanente (Theory of the Permanent Revolution). You can log on to these works in the Publicaciones section of our website. At the same time, we are intent upon enlarging the list of works available in our library, the archive and the newspaper archive, with the aim of putting them at the disposal of the general public. In doing so, we think we are contributing to spreading Trotsky’s vast works, which contain valuable lessons in respect of revolutionary theory and politics. Spanish-speaking readers in particular will be able to have easy access to these works. Although the publication of such materials on the Net turns our site into the biggest-ever Spanish language site on Trotsky’s works, future digitalisation of the pieces now in our archive will contribute to make it an even more valuable tool for Marxist militants, academics and social activists alike. Hence, we will be very pleased to obtain cooperation from all those interested in furthering this endeavour. You can cooperate by writing to ceiplt@sinectis.com.ar or ceiplt@usa.net. Finally, we would like to thank the centres of Trotskyist research based in Europe, as well as the organisations and the people who have actively cooperated in building the library, the archive and the newspaper archive of the CEIP León Trotsky. Any comments, queries or suggestions should be sent to us via the e-mail addresses above.

Andrea Polaco

Updated by ETOL: 17.10.2011