Throughout May, our Weekend Reads series will feature selections from books about or related to the Russian Revolution.
Delegates at the 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party, 1919.
Published in 1985, Marxism, Wars & Revolutions collects essays written by Isaac Deutscher over a period of more than thirty years. "From them," Perry Anderson writes in his preface to the book, "we can see Deutscher as he was, a much more complex and multi-dimensional figure than the terms by which he became best-known in his lifetime would suggest: not simply a scholar, but a thinker, of the Left; and not only a commentator on events, but a participant in them."
The text below, an assessment of the yet unfinished Russian revolutionary epoch, was written for Political Quarterly in 1944, five years before the publication of Stalin: A Political Biography, while Deutscher was working as a journalist for The Economist and The Observer.
Isaac Deutscher's Marxism, Wars & Revolutions and The Prophet are available for 50% off until May 28 as part of our Russian Revolution reading. See all the books on the reading list, here.
Ellen Meiksins Wood (1942-2016) was a leading political theorist and one of the world's most influential historians. Her wide-ranging and original work, covering topics which range from examinations of Athenian democracy to contemporary American imperialism, has, alongside Robert Brenner, inaugurated the 'Political Marxist' approach to history.
In this piece, originally delivered as an Issac Deutscher memorial lecture published in NLRI/167, Wood analyses the prospects for emancipation in contemporary capitalism.