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Colin Barker

In Brief

(February 1973)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.55, February 1973, p.26.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Readers should note several useful reprints that have recently appeared. Karl Kautsky’s Foundations of Christianity (Orbach & Chambers, paper covers, £1.75) is still a mine of delights, even if there aren’t so many customers at the godshop these days. Georg Lukac’s Lenin is now out in paperback (New Left Books, £0.60) – our original review will stand; it’s an excellent book, marred only by the author’s own ‘postscript’. From Dover Books (via Oxford at £1.00) comes Karl Liebknecht’s Militarism and Anti-Militarism. Richard Wright’s Native Son (Penguin, £0.50) reveals how much better a writer and fighter he was than James, Baldwin. And Pluto have launched a new series, Reprints in Labour History with three titles – Murphy’s Preparing For Power (reviewed in this issue), Tom Mann’s What a Compulsory 8 Hour Working Day Means To the Workers and Gallacher and Campbell’s Direct Action (both £0.20), all with useful introductions by socialist historians. Raymond Challinor, a contributor to this journal, has published The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners (Frank Graham, £3.75), which we shall be reviewing in a later issue.

The IRA may be bad for most business, but publishers are making hay. Fontana have Tim Pat Coogan’s The IRA (£0.60) and Sphere Books have brought out J. Bowyer Bell’s The Secret Army (£0.60) and Margery Forester’s Michael Collins – The Lost Leader (£0.50). All are useful, none provides the analysis that’s needed.

On the Marxology front, there are rumours of a complete edition of Marx and Engels in 40 volumes emanating from East Berlin in English one of these days. In the meantime, Allen Lane: the Penguin Press are promising a complete edition of the much-mentioned and little-read Grundrisse late this year. In the meantime, the industry rolls on: Gill and Macmillan have published John Maguire’s Marx’s Paris Writings: an Analysis (£3.25), which will prove, with the rest of its tribe, more useful for academic courses on ‘Marxism’ than it will for the science of proletarian revolution. Meanwhile Tony Cliff’s long-awaited Lenin is still awaited.

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Last updated: 27.1.2008