history

Leon Trotsky
By Paul Le Blanc
Reaktion Books, 2015
224 pp, $39.99
Trotsky & the Problem of Soviet Bureaucracy
By Thomas M. Twiss
Brill, 2014
502 pp., $205.00

Leon Trotsky was one of the central leaders of the Russian Revolution. As the organiser and Commissar of the Red Army that saved the Soviet power and as the leading light of the struggle against Stalinism, he is surely one of the great heroic — and tragic — figures of the 20th century.

John Bellamy Foster is the editor of US-based Marxist journal Monthly Review. His most recent book, written with Paul Burkett, is Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique (Brill, 2016). The French magazine La Revue du Projet asked him to reply to three questions on ecology and Marxism. A translated version below is reprinted, slightly abridged, from Climate & Capitalism.

Fighters in the Shadow: A New History of the French Resistance
By Robert Gildea
Faber & Faber Press, London
593 pages, 2015

Upon his inauguration on May 16, 2007, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and paid homage to 35 anti-fascist resistance fighters shot by the occupying Nazis in August 1944, just before Paris was liberated.

He also read the last letter of Guy Moquet, a 17-year-old Communist, to his parents on the eve of his execution by the occupiers in 1941 along with 26 other Communist resisters.


Elizabeth Jarrett.

Well here it is 2016
Yet we are still ruled under an illegal regime
It's time for a change in
Histories what's, when's and how's

What they say was once discovered is invaded now
We don't want recognition in the constitution
For being recognised is not the solution

What we need is this current government’s dissolution

Trumbo
Starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane & Helen Mirren
Directed by Jay Roach
In cinemas now

Communist Parties around the world, despite their Stalinist degenerations, won mass support in the period during and after World War II, even in the homeland of imperialism — the United States. Among the industries in which the Communist Party of USA had influence was Hollywood.

The movie industry was a dream machine, a factory churning out cultural product. Dalton Trumbo, a CPUSA member, achieved stellar status and great wealth in the 1940s writing hits for the studios.

The 100th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rising against British rule was commemorated over the Easter weekend in Ireland and across the world. Although the rebellion failed, it spurred the Irish liberation struggle amid widespread anger at savage British repression.

In 1918, Sinn Fein swept elections in Ireland to British parliament, with Sinn Fein MPs refusing to take their seats and instead declaring independence. A war for independence ended in 1921 with a treaty that partitioned the island — provoking an Irish civil war.

Eritrea, a small country in the horn of Africa, generally receives little attention in the international media. But in recent years there have been occasional reports of mass drownings of Eritrean refugees in the Mediterranean.

As of June 2015, there were 383,869 refugees from Eritrea registered with the UNHCR. There were also 60,157 asylum seekers who had applied for refugee status.


Flag of PKK with image of Abdullah Ocalan.

Millions of Kurds view Abdullah Öcalan as their political representative. His freedom is directly linked to a democratic and peaceful solution to the war in Turkey.


The rebels held out against British forces for a week.

This Easter marks 100 years since Ireland's Easter Rising, when republicans launched an armed insurrection against British rule. Seizing Dublin's General Post Office, the rebels proclaimed an Irish republic based on the principles of freedom and equality.


On February 27, 1989, the poorest Venezuelans took over the streets in protest against price rises.

Thousands of Venezuelans took the streets in February 1989 in a wave of protests that highlighted the right-wing misrule in the South American country. The protests came to be known as the Caracazo — an uprising that began in the capital Caracas — and ultimately shaped the country's future.

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