Paul Le BlancJun 6, 2022
Comrades, Critics, and Dynamics in the Struggle for Socialism
Haymarket Books 2021
Revolutionary politics are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and a quick look at today’s headlines make it easy to see why. For those dipping their toes in the massive history and theory under the revolutionary umbrella, however, it can be quite intimidating, with shelves upon shelves of massive tomes confronting readers, filled to the brim with dense jargon and obscure theories. Knowing which author and book to start with can throw new readers off.
Fortunately Paul Le Blanc, a lifelong activist and historian of radical politics and movements, has stepped in with a short and accessibly written book that will serve as a refreshing primer to the revolutionary tradition. Revolutionary Collective: Comrades, Critics, and Dynamics in the Struggle for Socialism (Haymarket, 2022) looks at the resurgence of interest in radical politics and offers a series of essays on a number of key figures that will be of immense use to those looking for an onramp to Marxist theory. A number of well-known figures make an appearance, such as Lenin, Trotsky and Gramsci, but a number of lesser-known figures also receive attention, such as Karl Korsch, Daniel Bensaid and Dennis Brutus. What unites all of them for Le Blanc is their participation in a massive conversation, a revolutionary collective dialogue, in which everyone has tried to think critically about our present and in a way that opens up possibilities for a brighter future.
Paul Le Blanc is a lifelong activist and recently retired professor of history at La Roche University in Pittsburgh. He is the author and editor of numerous books on radical politics and labor history, including The Living Flame: The Revolutionary Passion of Rosa Luxemburg, A Short History of the U.S. Working Class: From Colonial Times to the 21st Century and Lenin and the Revolutionary Party, all from Haymarket Books.