- Pathfinder Press GA
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- 6.26(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.88(d)
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The History of American Trotskyism: 1928 - 1938: Report of a Participant based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
For those who wonder whether the American working class is capable of revolution -- read this book and be convinced by an engaging scrapper and committed working- class hero who was there at the very beginning. Millions placed their hopes for a new dawn on the young Russian revolution, only to be betrayed by Stalin. Cannon tells the story of how he found his way out of the impasse, stumbling on a document by Leon Trotsky at a Moscow convention in 1928. He smuggled it out (in the days before photocopies and computer discs, no mean feat) and spent the next ten years involved in political faction fights, world-changing strikes, mobilizations against fascism...all leading up to the founding of the Socialist Workers Party in the US in 1938. Descriptions of building a fledgeling revolutionary party without funds for a telephone or office rent, are woven in with discourse on the implications of international debate on whether to defend the USSR in the looming world war. He explains the tactical manoevres, gives acerbic thumbnail sketches of various characters -- and makes hard work and fighting for what's right look like a very realistic option.
I read and discussed this book with a handful of Young Socialists in Washington, DC in 1967 when I wasn't sure about what to do about my life. After I read this I was sure and I am still sure. . . This book tells the story and mines the experience of a small band of revolutionary workers who wouldn't succumb to Stalin, to Roosevelt, to anyone, but continued the fight for principled communist politics and built the Socialist Workers Party. I am not surprised that of the four of five of us who studied this book then, most are still fighting to change the world, and several became nationally known figures in the antiwar, Black rights, and women's movements. . . . There are so many lessons of practical life, of political organization, and of how to wage struggles in the labor movement, against persecution, against fascism, and about internationalism and true solidarity here. Someday, when the struggles of working people will be more pronounced and the fight to build a movement against capitalism more massive, this will be a handbook that millions of fighters will cherish. Know it now. . . . I realize that I forgot to mention that this book relates an important chapter of American history. However, this book is so actively about real problems real people face every day, that despite the title, I don't think of it as history, but as a guide.