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Publishers Weekly on the "unfailing passion" of Rosa Luxemburg's letters

Clara Heyworth26 January 2011

In a early review from Publishers Weekly, The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg is praised for the rare "personal insight" it gives into the life of this "remarkable woman." The new collection, which inaugurates The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, "adds meaningful context to any study of early Western Socialism." 

In spite of her identity as a Polish Jew, Communist activist Luxemburg (1871-1919) used her singular personality to immerse herself in party organization even as she shaped the movement's message through her editing, orating, and tireless campaigning. A cofounder of the German Communist Party, Luxemburg expressed unfailing passion in her letters (supplemented here by substantial footnotes), revealing her personal sacrifices even while chastising colleagues who failed her. Among these were lovers addressed in early naïve, love-torn letters. Later, lengthy missives expressed well-considered economic and political stances, referring to her published works, and her censored letters, sent while imprisoned for agitation against WWI and insulting the Prussian king, exhibit delicacy when discussing the safe subjects of botany, wild birds, and her beloved cat, Mimi. Using her extensive information network two decades before WWII, Luxemburg accurately predicted the "pogroms against Jews in Germany." This volume gives personal insight into a remarkable (and controversial) woman, who was assassinated at age 47, and adds meaningful context to any study of early Western socialism.

Visit Publishers Weekly to access the review in situ.

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