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

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

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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.

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Paul Le Blanc and Tom Bias

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Paul S. Spalding

Abstract

Jonathan Israel appears not to credit sufficiently how ‘moderates’ could contribute in practice to the agenda of the Radical Enlightenment. General Lafayette struck compromises with the old order in France up to 1792, for instance, but only so as to promote radical values that he had pursued from youth and would continue to pursue for the rest of his long life. Liberal or centrist sympathizers, particularly those in London and Hamburg, provide another instance. During Lafayetteʼs incarceration and exile in 1792–1799, they supported him financially, maintained secret communications, plotted breakouts, and publicized his case. By defying the traditional order and helping enable his release and eventual return to public activity, they too promoted the radical agenda.

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Gabriela Stoicea

Abstract

This essay explores some of the ways in which Jonathan Israel’s concept of Radical Enlightenment can be made useful for literary studies. An in-depth analysis of Sophie von La Roche’s novel Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771) will show that although Israel offers little in the way of new insights into eighteenth-century gender relations, his pluralistic account of the Enlightenment does provide a fresh lens through which to reexamine the literary merits of female writers. It will also be argued that the benefits of pairing historiography with literary fiction run both ways – in other words, that La Roche, in turn, can help address what is missing from Israel’s thinking, namely an acknowledgment that some of the foremost intellectual debates of the time were also waged on literary ground, and also by women.