Toward the United Front

Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922

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The proceedings of the last Comintern congress in which Lenin participated, now at last available in English, reveals a Communist world movement grappling to reconcile the goal of unifying workers and colonial people in struggle with that of pressing forward to socialist revolution. The principle of national parties’ autonomy strains against calls for more stringent centralisation. Debates range over the birth of Fascism, decay of the Versailles Treaty system, the rise of colonial revolution, and women’s emancipation. Newly translated and richly annotated, the stenographic transcript of the month-long congress discloses a rich spectrum of viewpoints among delegates. Indispensable source material on early Communism is supplemented by an analytic introduction, detailed footnotes, more than 500 short biographies, glossary, chronology, and index.
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Biographical Note

John Riddell has translated and edited seven volumes of documents of the Communist movement in the era of the Russian revolution. Two further Brill volumes now in preparation will complete this ambitious project.

Review Quotes

Auch diese Ausgabe basiert auf einem sorgfältigen Textvergleich der seinerzeitigen Ausgaben in mehreren Sprachen. Eine ausführliche Einleitung führt in die den Kongressdiskussionen zugrunde liegenden Probleme ein und skizziert deren historische Kontexte. Weitere Erläuterungen finden sich in den Anmerkungen zum Protokoll bzw. in einem Anhang mit Kurzbiographien. Auch hier gibt es einen Anhang mit erläuternden Dokumenten, auf die im Verlaufe der Diskussionen Bezug genommen wurde. [...] Beide Bände bestätigen die ausgezeichnete Qualität der Edition. Sie ist damit den verschiedenen zeitgenössischen (zumeist deutschen) Ausgaben überlegen, die ja in vielen wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken – wenn auch oft nur als Reprint – vorhanden sind.
- Reiner Tosstorff, H-Soz-Kult, 13.01.2017 "Refreshingly, for a variety of reasons, this 1200-page compendium of 90-year-old proceedings makes for revitalising and pertinent reading. Also pleasant is how skilfully this huge tome has been assembled to make it easy for a contemporary activist to use as a toolkit. If you have an interest in, say, the anti-colonial question there is a five-page summary in the introduction with all the relevant page references noted. Also, there are 38 pages of biographies of the main players, a first-rate index and a chronology that situates the congress in its historical setting." – Barry Healy, in: Green Left Weekly, September 23, 2012
"Riddell has here pulled off an immense and masterful editorial effort, comparing past publications of these proceedings in the four main languages of the Comintern [...] and should earn the gratitude of generations of scholars for many years to come. [...] This magnificent volume offers one very fruitful route to consider again the correct strategy for the left to take in today’s own era of crisis and potential transition." – Alexander Marshall, in: Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, 1 June 2012

Table of contents

Editorial Introduction
About This Edition
Acknowledgements
Proceedings
Session 1. Opening Session (5 November)
Session 2. Report of the Executive Committee (9 November)
Session 3. Report of the Executive Committee (Concluded), Discussion (10 November)
Session 4. Discussion of Executive Committee Report (Continued) (11 November)
Session 5. Discussion of Executive Committee Report (Continued) (11 November)
Session 6. Discussion of Executive Committee Report (Continued) (12 November)
Session 7. Discussion of Executive Committee Report (Conclusion) (12 November)
Session 8. Five Years of the Russian Revolution and Perspectives for the World-Revolution (13 November)
Session 9. Five Years of the Russian Revolution and Perspectives for the World-Revolution (Continued) (14 November)
Session 10. Five Years of the Russian Revolution and Perspectives for the World-Revolution (Concluded) (14 November)
Session 11. The Capitalist Offensive (15 November)
Session 12. Fascism; the Capitalist Offensive – Continued (16 November)
Session 13. Credentials Report; the Capitalist Offensive – Concluded (17 November)
Session 14. Programme (18 November)
Session 15. Programme – Continued (18 November)
Session 16. Trade Unions (20 November)
Session 17. Trade Unions – Continued (20 November)
Session 18. Trade Unions (Summary); Programme; Workers’ Aid (21 November)
Session 19. The Eastern Question (22 November)
Session 20. The Eastern Question (Concluded) (23 November)
Session 21. The Agrarian Question (24 November)
Session 22. The Agrarian Question; Youth; Blacks (25 November)
Session 23. The Cooperative Movement (25 November)
Session 24. Communist Work among Women (27 November)
Session 25. Educational Work; Versailles Treaty (28 November)
Session 26. Versailles Treaty; Austria; Executive Reorganisation (29 November)
Session 27. Executive Reorganisation; Yugoslavia; Egypt; Black and Agrarian Questions (30 November)
Session 28. France (1 December)
Session 29. France, Spain, Denmark, Executive, Youth (2 December)
Session 30. Italy; Czechoslovakia (4 December)
Session 31. Workers’ Aid; Yugoslavia; Norway (5 December) 0000
Session 32. Various Resolutions; Election of ECCI; Close of Congress (5 December)
Appendixes: Congress Resolutions and Appeals

Readership

All those interested in Communist and labour history, the political theory of radical movements, global efforts at social change, and movements for colonial and women’s emancipation.

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