In the coming weeks, we will publish two new books; a political memoir of a central leader of the Fourth International, Livio Maitan, and a new, considerably enlarged edition of ''Marxism after Auschwitz'' by Enzo Traverso.
MEMOIRS OF A COMMUNIST AGAINST THE CURRENT
Towards a history of the Fourth International
by Livio Maitan,
Preface by Daniel Bensaid.
Translated by Gregor Benton
Gregor Benton writes:
Livio Maitan helped inspire the growth of Italian Trotskyism. There was also a wave of Maoism in the 1960s and a debate ensued, to which Livio contributed his book on China, Party, Army, and Masses. I was deeply influenced by it, and I translated it for New Left Books. The book combined criticism of the Chinese Revolution with support. From it, I learned how to write engaged scholarship.
Livio could have shone at a leading university had he wanted, but instead he spent most of his life working on a shoestring. In 2002, he wrote this history of the Fourth International to go alongside his autobiography.
Translating this new book was a bittersweet experience. Through it, I was able to relive chapter by chapter my wild political youth and my middle age. Livio Maitan’s spirit lifts this story from a catalogue of false starts into a chronicle of heroism and optimism. He died before Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Corbynism, Gilets Jaunes, Extinction Rebellion and other new struggles, but he paved the way for them.
This book shows the road to socialism remains open.
CRITIQUE OF MODERN BARBARISM
Essays on fascism, anti-Semitism and the use of history
by Enzo Traverso
In this collection of essays, Enzo Traverso examines the relationships between anti-Semitism, modernity and the Holocaust. The different parts of the book analyse multiple dimensions of the destruction of the European Jews, debates over historical memory and left-wing debates on the nature of anti-Semitism.
Inspired by the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and the heterodox Marxism of a thinker like Walter Benjamin, Traverso argues that after Auschwitz, critical thought needs to reconsider the notion of progress as such.
Enzo Traverso is the Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in the Humanities at Cornell University. His publications include: The New Faces of Fascism, Populism and the Far Right, Verso, 2019; Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory, Columbia University Press, 2017, The End of Jewish Modernity, Pluto Press, 2016; Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914–1945, Verso, 2016; The Origins of Nazi Violence, New Press, 2003.