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U.S. Trotskyism 1928-1965. Part II: Endurance

The Coming American Revolution. Dissident Marxism in the United States: Volume 3


Edited by Paul Le Blanc, Thomas Bias and Bryan D. Palmer

U.S. Trotskyism 1928-1965. Part II: Endurance: The Coming American Revolution is the second of a documentary trilogy on a revolutionary socialist split-off from the U.S. Communist Party, reflecting Leon Trotsky’s confrontation with Stalinism in the global Communist movement. Spanning 1941 to 1956, this volume surveys the Second World War (internationally and on the 'homefront'), the momentous post-war strike wave, ongoing efforts to comprehend and struggle against racism, as well as the early years of the Cold War and anti-Communist repression in the United States. Also covered are internal debates and splits among Trotskyists themselves, including a far-reaching split in the international Trotskyist movement (the Fourth International) in the face of a persistent and expanding Stalinism. Scholars and activists will find much of interest in these primary sources.

Welcoming Ruin

The Civil Rights Act of 1875


Alan Friedlander and Richard Allan Gerber

The Civil Rights Act of 1875, enacted March 1, 1875, banned racial discrimination in public accommodations – hotels, public conveyances and places of public amusement. In 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional, ushering in generations of segregation until 1964. This first full-length study of the Act covers the years of debates in Congress and some forty state studies of the midterm elections of 1874 in which many supporting Republicans lost their seats. They returned to pass the Act in the short session of Congress. This book utilizes an army of primary sources from unpublished manuscripts, rare newspaper accounts, memoir materials and official documents to demonstrate that Republicans were motivated primarily by an ideology that civil equality would produce social order in the defeated southern states.

Josef van Ess

Edited by Gwendolin Goldbloom

Theology and Society is the most comprehensive study of Islamic intellectual and religious history, focusing on Muslim theology. With its emphasis on the eighth and ninth centuries CE, it remains the most detailed prosopographical study of the early phase of the formation of Islam. Originally published in German between 1991 and 1995, Theology and Society is a monument of scholarship and a unique scholarly enterprise which has stood the test of time as an unparalleled reference work.

Against Scarecrows and Half-Baked Christians

Thomas Hobbes on Spiritual Possession and (Civil) Exorcism

Ismael del Olmo

The aim of this paper is to trace Thomas Hobbes’s arguments for the rejection of spiritual possession in Leviathan (1651). Several layers of Hobbes’s thought converge in this subject: his suggestion regarding the sovereign’s right to control religious doctrine; his mechanistic critique of incorporeal substances; his tirade against demonology and Pagan philosophy; his ideas about fear and the natural seeds of religion; his Biblical criticism. Hobbes’s reflections over the matter of spiritual possession allowed him to simultaneously attack institutionalized and charismatic supernatural experiences, rejecting on Biblical as well as philosophical grounds the possibility of demonic and divine possession. This assault on traditional pneumatology led him to new interpretations of the notions of spirit and immateriality, a core element in Leviathan’s resignification of the interaction between nature and supernature. The paper will address Hobbes’s call for a civil exorcism―political, exegetical, and philosophical―against the spiritual powers that possess the Commonwealth.

Laurens van Apeldoorn and Robin Douglass

Evan Oxman

Despite advocating for the necessity of absolutism, Hobbes is adamant that authority can only properly be derived from an act of human artifice and consent. But if the institution of sovereignty is subject to genuine choice, how can it be necessarily absolutist? I argue that one way of resolving this apparent dilemma is to focus on how Hobbes constructs and defends his own claim to authority in the Introduction to Leviathan. By encouraging his readers to read themselves and others, rather than rely on books, Hobbes ironically calls into question his own authority at the outset of his own book. But rather than subverting his claim to authority, it only strengthens it. After examining how this seemingly paradoxical tactic works, I demonstrate how an analogous claim applies to Hobbes’s account of politics.