Max Shachtman

Labour's martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti

Author: 

James P Cannon and Max Shachtman

Workers' Liberty 3/53, published as a pull-out in Solidarity 397.

The story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, told by James P Cannon and Max Shachtman, who were leading activists in the defence campaign.

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The story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, told by James P Cannon and Max Shachtman, who were leading activists in the defence campaign.

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The two Trotskyisms during World War 2: Workers' Liberty 3/48

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman.

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" through from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman.

Click here to download as pdf or read online.

The pagination in the pdf is correct, but, by a mishap, the pages of the printed version of Workers' Liberty 3/48, as a pull-out in Solidarity 347, are in the wrong order. Our apologies to readers.

Check the printed version with the pdf, or follow this guide:

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Germany 1953: Workers rise against Stalinist rule. Workers' Liberty 3/40:

Sixty years ago, in June 1953, workers revolted against Stalinist rule in East Germany. We republish here analysis of the uprising by the “Third Camp” Trotskyists of the Independent Socialist League.

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Workers' Liberty 3/30: The 1939-40 split in the Fourth International

WL 3/30

Author: 

Two documents by Max Shachtman

In 1940 the Trotskyist movement split over attitudes to Stalinism. The participation and victory of Stalin's USSR in World War 2 as an imperialist power would make that split a fundamental political dividing-point.

In 1940 the Trotskyist movement split over attitudes to Stalinism. The participation and victory of Stalin's USSR in World War 2 as an imperialist power would make that split a fundamental political dividing-point.

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Labour’s martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The working-class victims of bourgeois repression and deliberate murder are legion. The murder of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were burned alive in the electric chair in Massachusetts, on August 23, 1927, was a cold-blooded crime committed by the American capitalist class in the full sharp glare of world wide attention and protest. Mass demonstrations were organised in every city in the world where Communist and Socialist movements existed. Protests and demands for clemency were made by many well known writers and politicians.

An arm of the Communist movement, International Labor Defense operated as a non-factional defender of all working class victims of class justice and bourgeois vengeance, whether they were Communists or its declared political opponents. The world wide campaign for the anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, was conducted in that fine spirit, and exemplified it.

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Standing against counter-revolution

Author: 

David Finkel

The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism. The fate of the Russian Revolution, Volume 2. Edited and with an introduction by Sean Matgamna. London, UK: Workers’ Liberty, 2015. 790 pages. $30 paperback. Order here.

This review first appeared in Against the Current #182

David Finkel, of the US socialist magazine Against The Current, reviews The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism.

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Ed Strauss on Shachtman's Young Socialist League and The Two Trotskyisms

Workers Liberty' member Ed Strauss discusses his experience of being part of Max Shachtman's Young Socialist League in America and Workers' Liberty's new book The Two Trotskyisms at Workers' Liberty conference 2015.

Workers Liberty' member Ed Strauss discusses his experience of being part of Max Shachtman's Young Socialist League in America and Workers' Liberty's new book The Two Trotskyisms.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Returning to the sources

Author: 

Andrew Coates

Andrew Coates reviews The Two Trotskyisms confront Stalinism, edited by Sean Matgamna. Part one of the review was printed in Solidarity 394.


The debates in this volume are about the armed foreign policy of the USSR. But behind this is the issue of the nature of that regime.

Some might consider that arguments about the character of the former Soviet Union — whether it was a workers’ state, a degenerated workers’ state, state capitalist, bureaucratic collectivist, a “new class society” — resemble discussion on the Trinity. If some Trotskyists have sunk into religious veneration for Trotsky a more common fault is scholasticism — “proof” of any view by appeal to the authority of quotations from the Old Man, Marx, Engels and Lenin. But when it comes to working out what was wrong with Stalinism, the economic and social framework of the former Soviet Bloc, the several decades of Trotskyist reflection and debate, orthodox and heterodox play an essential part in the effort to develop a socialist alternative today.

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Learning from both Shachtman and Cannon

Author: 

Duncan Morrison

Steve Bloom’s review of The Two Trotskyisms confront Stalinism is a serious and reasoned article. As such it deserves a response.

Duncan Morrison responds to Steve Bloom's review of The Two Trotskyisms.

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