Race and Revolution

Race and Revolution

  • Hardback

A riveting inquiry into black history and American racism published here for the first time, Race and Revolution is a work of radiant insight and bold logic.
Astonishingly advanced for its time, the document was originally drafted in 1933 as Communism and the Negro and was by far the most comprehensive statement on race produced by the Left Opposition, the dissenting Communist tendency led by Leon Trotsky.
Race and Revolution places the black struggle for freedom and equality at the heart of American history. Racial oppression, Shachtman argues, can be comprehended only within the totality of social and class relations. The document culminates in a devastating polemic against the Communist Party’s call for a Black Belt state in the American South.
A clarifying introduction by Christopher Phelps explains the document’s historical genesis, compares it to the views of Trotsky and C. L. R. James, and evaluates it in light of subsequent theoretical and historical developments.


  • This seminal text on revolutionary socialism and race is, as Christopher Phelps’s excellent introduction shows, equally fascinating for its great strengths and its revealing rigidities. It shows, in history and theory, the devastating impact of white racism in weakening the whole working class. It is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the context of the celebrated 1939 exchanges on race, class and revolution between Leon Trotsky and C.L.R. James, and anyone seeking to understand the evolution of race and class in the twentieth-century United States.

    David Roediger