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November 2003 • Vol 3, No. 10 •

An Appeal to American Readers: Seeking Help for Trotsky Publishing Project

By Rob Sewell and Alan Woods

An exciting new project has just been launched. The editors of the popular Marxist website In Defense of Marxism (www.marxist.com) and Wellred Publications have linked up to raise funds to republish some of the key writings of Leon Trotsky.

The project has the backing of Esteban Volkov (Seva), Leon Trotsky’s grandson, and will be carried out with his close collaboration. It has also attracted support from, amongst others, the celebrated Marxist historian, Pierre Broue, the Marxist Internet Archive, as well as, in the USA, the Workers International League and Socialist Viewpoint.

The writings of Leon Trotsky, many of which have been out of print for some time, are of particular interest today. Just as Lenin was the continuator of Marxism after the death of Marx and Engels, so was Trotsky after Lenin’s death in 1924. His writings provide a rich treasure house for those who want to understand what is happening today both nationally and internationally. They are a vital contribution to the development of modern Marxist thought.

Today, the ravages of imperialism, led by the American ruling class, has resulted in growing instability worldwide, economically, politically and militarily. The war in Iraq and its consequences have created shockwaves not only in the Middle East, but also in Britain and the United States. Millions are waking up to this unfolding nightmare and are beginning to seek a way out of this impasse.

In the process, revolutionary Marxism is becoming more attractive, especially to the new generation. Above all, we believe that the task of making the writings of Leon Trotsky available to today’s youth and labor movement activists is becoming increasingly urgent given the disintegration of Stalinism which has led to a growing interest in Trotskyism.

Unfortunately, as with the writing of Marx, Engels and Lenin, Trotsky’s works have become increasingly unavailable. Many of his key works, such as My Life and Stalin, have been out of print for a very long time.

This new project intends to rectify this situation and satisfy this growing thirst for Marxist ideas. It will be officially launched in the spring of 2004 with the publication of Leon Trotsky’s My Life, with a new introduction, and a foreword by Esteban Volkov. We also hope to include a preface by Pierre Broue, who has also expressed a very keen interest in the initiative.

Other titles agreed so far for publication in English include: 1905 (the history of the first Russian Revolution in that year), Permanent Revolution, The History of the Russian Revolution (in three volumes), The Revolution Betrayed, The Case of Leon Trotsky (in two volumes), and other important works.

We also plan to enter into close collaboration with the Foundacion Frederick Engels in Madrid to oversee the publication of these works in the Spanish language.

A major task we have set ourselves is the publication, for the first time, of Trotsky’s last book Stalin in a complete and unabridged form. This important work was left unfinished when Trotsky was assassinated. The translator Charles Malamuth issued a version that was heavily edited and included his own comments that did not reflect Trotsky’s own opinions. We have obtained new material that was omitted from the book and the new edition will be thoroughly re-edited and will contain this material never previously published.

Other titles will be included as the project develops and expands. However, the success of the project depends upon finance. The frequency of publication will depend on the finances generated from sales and donations. The project will be non-profit making. Its sole objective is to ensure the maximum distribution of the writings of Leon Trotsky to workers and youth. All monies from sales will be used to print new titles. But in order to commence publication we urgently need donations from supporters and well-wishers.

We estimate that each title will cost between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds sterling. As we have no wealthy backers, the only way of raising funds for the printing of these important works is by appealing to our comrades, readers and friends for help. We appeal to all well-wishers who want to see this project succeed, to help us raise the necessary funds. For those who have the means, we would urge you to consider sponsoring the publication of a title. All other donations—big and small—will be very welcome, and all will be duly acknowledged.

Credit card payments can also be made online at www.marxist.com. You can also make a donation by post. Send checks (from Britain) or International Money Orders (from the rest of the world) to: Wellred Books, PO Box 2626, London N1 7SQ, England. Make the checks/money orders payable to Wellred Books and add a note explaining that it is a donation for the Trotsky publication project.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email us at: socappeal@easynet.co.uk. We look forward to your help in this historic project!





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