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Henry Judd

Books in Review

Source Book on Imperialism

(April 1948)

From The New International, Vol. XIV No. 4, April 1948, p. 128.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

New Cycle in Asia
edited with an Introduction and Notes by Harold R. Isaacs
Macmillan Co., New York, 212 pp., $3.00

The end of the war precipitated a series of events in the Far East and colonial world whose end is far from attained and whose historic significance is yet undetermined. The end of the Japanese empire, destroyed in war, occurred simultaneously with and partly helped along the end of the British, French and Dutch empires, at least in their familiar form.

This book, ably edited by Harold R. Isaacs, contains the more important selected documents on major developments in the Far East from 1943 to 1947. As source material for future studies, these notes and documents are of great value, particularly since the trend of modern imperialist diplomacy – in view of the acuteness of presentday conflicts – has been toward clearer, more open expressions of opinions and interests.

These documents deal with the defeat of Japan, the entire evolution of American post-war policy toward China, the struggle between the two great rivals over Korea, the Philippines, the development of the final position on India’s partition, the framing of Burma’s new position with respect to Britain, and the important documents relating to the colonial wars in Indo-China and Indonesia.

The fact that these documents have been brought together, with explanatory notes, is an achievement in itself. The larger problem of an overall analysis of the new colonial systems, and the still more complex problem of interpreting the new situation through Marxist revolutionary colonial theory (above all, the adaptation of Trotsky’s theory of the permanent revolution as applied to the colonial world) – these problems must now be tackled.

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