This volume of the writings and speeches of veteran communist and socialist leader James P. Cannon traces the response of the Socialist Workers Party to the challenge of the postwar world. Cannon and the American Trotskyists rejected the idea that American imperialism would be unshakeable for a whole historic period, or that the struggle for socialism was outmoded. Included here are Cannon's writings on the 1945-46 strike wave; the rebuilding of Trotskyists parties in Europe; the beginning of the cold war; and the SWP's assessment of the Soviet Union and Stalinism - what remained progressive in the USSR and what must be opposed by champions of socialist democracy.
James P. Cannon (1890-1974) was a unique figure in American socialist and labor history. He was an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World from 1911 to 1918, and a member of the left wing of the Socialist Party. In 1919 he became a founding leader of the American Communist Party, was elected to its Political Committee, and served on the Presidium of the Communist International in Moscow in 1922-23, where he worked with Trotsky, Zinoviev, and other Communist leaders. Won to Trotsky's side in 1928 in the dispute with Stalin, Cannon was expelled from the CP and founded the American Trotskyist movement, represented since 1938 by the Socialist Workers Party. (from the back cover)
Through Cannon's speeches and writings you get a feel for the new world relationship of forces taking shape: the domination of the United States in the postwar period and the debate over perspectives for socialism that unfolded in the international revolutionary Marxist movement as a result.
Cannon and the Socialist Workers Party rejected the idea that U.S. imperialism would be unshakeable for the whole historic period to come, or that the struggle for socialism had become outmoded. They argued that the U.S imperialists would not subvert the laws of history, abolish the class struggle or dominate all peoples of the world.
This book of Cannon's writings and speeches traces the response of the Socialist Workers Party to these challenges of the postwar world. One of the greatest things about this book is that Cannon's answers to the questions that the debate centered on, serve as important lessons that are as valuable to those who want to participate in the fight for socialism today, as they were to the fighters who prepared the party for such a fight then.
Photos, cartoons by Laura Gray, notes, glossary, index.