Retrospective Review: Boris Souvarine’s Stalin

Stalin by Boris Souvarine, translated by C.L.R. James Alliance Book Corporation, 1939 No biography in the conventional sense can be written about Stalin, due to the far-reaching falsification of the historic record of the “life” the man lived. Although Boris Souvarine’s Stalin is frequently referred to as a biography, it can be more accurately described […]

The Marginal Marx

Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies by Kevin B. Anderson The University of Chicago Press, 2010, 319 pp. Marx is journalistically rediscovered  at regular intervals, at least when business writers have to confront an economic crisis. He makes good copy. The academic intellectual consensus, however, is that Marx is no longer relevant. […]

Alan Wald on the literature of the Browder era

Trinity of Passion: the Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade University of North Carolina Press, 2007, (319 pages). Alan Wald, a cultural historian of the U.S. left and editorial board member of Against the Current, is now midway through a projected trilogy on leftist writers of the twentieth century. Trinity of Passion: the Literary Left […]

New Review by Paresh Chattopadhyay

Paresh Chattopadhyay has published a review of a collection of socialist writings edited by Irfan Habib, a prominent Marxist historian of Mughal India, in the most recent issue of Economic and Political Weekly (Vol. 45, Issue 41; Oct. 9-15, 2010). As usual, Chattopadhyay does not let his scholarly respect for an individual deter him from […]

No Politics Are Local: A Critique of Robin Kelley’s Hammer and Hoe

I have finally taken the time to read Robin D.G. Kelley’s Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression. The book was written twenty years ago, but it is still widely read and its subject matter is of such importance that it warrants a brief review here. Kelley is a professor of American Studies […]

Surrealism and the Non-White World

Black, Brown and Beige: Surrealist Writings From Africa and the Diaspora Edited by Franklin Rosemont and Robin D.G. Kelley University of Texas Press. 2009. 395 pages. A title in the Surrealist Revolution series. ••• African-American historian Robin Kelley and Surrealist Franklin Rosemont (who passed away in 2009) have produced a provocative compilation of Surrealist texts […]

Breton and Haiti, Once Again

I just had the opportunity to read André Breton: Magus of Surrealism by Anna Balakian, the first American scholar to seriously investigate Surrealism. Balakian, who passed away in 1997 (see obituary in The New York Times, August 15, 1997), published Literary Origins of Surrealism in 1947, after having interviewed Breton when he lived in New […]