Press release for the book “October and our Age”

“October and our Age”, Prologue- introduction-editorship: Christos Kefalis, Topos editions, Athens 2010, 599 p., 25 €

The October Revolution was a landmark of the 20th Century. The discussions and debates it spurred were sharp and universal, influencing all social spheres. No less important were further developments, following Stalin’s rise to power until the dissolution of the USSR.
These facts, together with the obvious impasses and dangers of the barbarous neo-liberal age, present us with questions like: Which factors allowed the Bolsheviks to guide the revolution successfully? Was the subsequent disintegration unavoidable and is it a result of Bolshevism itself and of Marxist theory? What part of October’s positive possibilities was realized and were there any prospects to avoid the negative outcome?
The collection “October and our Age” aspires to contribute some initial answers to the above questions and offer clues to further research, making a number of unknown sources available to the public. Being grounded to the Marxist tradition, the work divides in three parts:

● Texts by Bolshevik leaders of the 1917-24 period, referring to Lenin and various problems of the revolution, by: N. Bukharin, L. Trotsky, L. Kamenev, G. Zinoviev, K. Radek, A. Lunacharsky.

● Later progressive analysis and testimonies: H. Laski, E.H. Carr, A. Einstein, A. Terzakis, B. Beatty, B. Reichenbach, R. Fischer, E. Fischer, N. Khrushchev, M. Neumann, E. Mandel, R. Monroe & J. Hansen, B. Brecht, F. Claudin, Y. Ioannidis, D. Sotiriou.

● Recent contributions by Marxist writers: T. Mastrogiannopoulos, A. Kloke, H. Sheehan, A. Blunden, A. Chen, E. Pappa, O. Paschalinas, C. Kefalis, Y. Tolios, S. Sayers.

The contributors generally agree in defending the work of October, on criticism of Stalinist degeneration and a fruitful search of the socialist perspective in the future. Their motive was the awareness of the need to fight the confusion prevailing in our days and especially expose attempts to infer form the closing facts of 20th century a justification of capitalism or Stalinism, so as to be able to realize the real dilemmas of our epoch.
On the eve of the new century, with capitalism in the midst of its most severe crisis and neo-liberal barbarity spreading to the whole world, interest in the history of revolutionary, communist movement is revived. October revolution is a major stand of that history. Its study can furnish knowledge and motivation to contemporary radical thought and action.