Soviet Union

Red Dawn: On China Miéville’s Urgent Retelling of the Russian Revolution

Alci Rengifo
Los Angeles Review of Books
China Miéville looks at the Revolution as a hopeful flashpoint that briefly showed the promise of socialist transformation, before descending first into an authoritarian nightmare and then today's corrupt capitalism. Written with an urgency designed for our era of struggle absent clear political ideologies or unified mass socialist organizations, Mieville focuses on the revolutionary moment, using his skill as a story teller to see the participants in real time.

Antonio Gramsci Jr: On Remembering His Grandfather

Antonio Gramsci, Jr.
New Left Review
Through the use of family archives and other new sources, the grandson of Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci seeks to reconstruct the cultural and political saliance of his grandfather's contributions to building and defending the Italian working class movement and international socialism in the face of Stalinist distortions, capitalist enmity and today's reactionary Russian regime.

Radical Internationalism: What Europe & the Left Need

Yanis Varoufakis
The New Statesman
The left has been in disarray since 1991 - it never fully recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite widespread opposition to Stalinism and -authoritarianism. In the past two decades, we have witnessed a major spasm of global capitalism that has triggered a long deflationary period across the United States and Europe. Just as the Great Depression did in the 1930s, this has created a breeding ground for xenophobia, racism and scapegoating.

Lost Illusions:The Americans Who Fought in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Caleb Crain
The New Yorker
Based on personal stories of Abraham Lincoln Battalion survivors, Hochschild writes of their courage in an unequal contest where the Fascists had the unstinting support of German and Italian governments while the Democracies embargoed all arms to the Spanish government, an alliance of centrist and leftist parties-this while the Soviets worked to tamp down popular land and factory seizures for fear of inciting those capitalist Democracies to outrightly side with the Right

Leningrad, Shostakovich and the Music of Transcendence

Ron Jacobs
CounterPunch
The story of the 872 day Nazi siege of Leningrad, the humans who survived it, and the more than one million who died, the story told in Shostakovich’s Seventh symphony, is one of humanity’s greatest and most heroic tales ever. Always Russia’s city of the arts and music, Leningrad is also a city of revolution. Daunted and desperate, the spirit of Leningrad’s residents is really the ultimate determinant of its survival. Shostakovich’s symphony rallied his fellow citizens.

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