History

From the archives of the Revolution

Speech at a Session of the Petrograd Soviet on reports by the socialist ministers

By Leon Trotsky, 27 May 2017

This is a new translation of a speech delivered by Trotsky before the Petrograd Soviet on May 26, 1917 (May 13 O.S.).

From the archives of the Russian Revolution

Seventh All-Russian Bolshevik Conference: Resolution on the war

15 May 2017

This resolution on the war, drafted by Lenin, was passed at the Seventh All-Russian Bolshevik Conference, which took place in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) from May 7 to 12 (April 24-29, O.S.).

Lecture on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Lenin’s Return to Russia and the April Theses

By James Cogan, 8 May 2017

We are publishing here the text of a lecture delivered on Saturday, May 6, by James Cogan, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The audio for the lecture is embedded in the text.

San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4

Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera: One of the films you must see!

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 6 May 2017

A highlight of the recent San Francisco film festival was the screening of Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov’s masterpiece, The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), at the historic Castro Theatre.

Series on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Online lecture Saturday: Lenin’s Return to Russia and the April Theses

By James Cogan, 5 May 2017

James Cogan, National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Australia, will be delivering the lecture on Saturday, May 6 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Register for the series at wsws.org/1917.

Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI

By Richard Phillips, 4 May 2017

Contrary to government claims, Australia in 1917 was sharply divided along class lines and its involvement in World War I deeply unpopular.

This week in the Russian Revolution

May 1-7: April Crisis breaks out in Petrograd

1 May 2017

Newspapers in Petrograd publish a telegram by the Provisional Government’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, promising to abide by the tsar’s secret treaties and “fight the world war out to a decisive victory.” Workers and soldiers in Petrograd respond with massive anti-government demonstrations.

Lecture on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Spontaneity and Consciousness in The February Revolution

By Joseph Kishore, 26 April 2017

This is an edited version of a lecture delivered live on April 22, 2017 by Joseph Kishore, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (US). The audio and slides for the lecture are embedded in the text. To register for the lecture series, visit wsws.org/1917.

This week in the Russian Revolution

April 24-30: Trotsky released from British prison camp in Canada

24 April 2017

As Trotsky is released from the camp in Canada, the Bolshevik Party in Petrograd is embroiled in turmoil following the publication of Lenin’s April Theses. The party holds a city conference, in which Lenin’s positions win substantial support.

Sri Lankan government sponsors a sham celebration of the Russian Revolution

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 April 2017

The event was a congregation of right-wing politicians, pseudo-lefts and anti-Marxist representatives of academia who are deeply hostile to the heritage of the Russian Revolution.

This week in the Russian Revolution

April 10-16: Lenin arrives at Finland Station

10 April 2017

Lenin’s arrival at Finland Station in Petrograd in April 1917, 100 years ago this week, is one of the most dramatic moments in world history. Against the backdrop of hitherto unprecedented carnage and suffering, Lenin arrives in Petrograd with an unshakeable determination to orient the Bolshevik party to the perspective of international socialist revolution.

War and Revolution: 1914–1917

By Nick Beams, 10 April 2017

We are publishing here the text of a lecture delivered Saturday, April 8 by Nick Beams, a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. This is the third in a series of five international online lectures being presented by the International Committee of the Fourth International to mark the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Writings of Trotsky from 1917

Who Are the Traitors?

By Leon Trotsky, 25 March 2017

In this article, translated for the first time into English, Trotsky responds to claims that his denunciations of the war plans of the bourgeois provisional government make him a “Germanophile and traitor.”

ANZAC Heroes: Promoting war to children

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 24 March 2017

A New Zealand government-funded children’s book glorifies Australian and New Zealand involvement in World War I and II.

Germany: Great interest in upcoming screening of Tsar to Lenin at Leipzig Book Fair

By our correspondents, 22 March 2017

The IYSSE and Mehring Verlag will be screening the documentary on the Russian Revolution at the upcoming Leipzig Book Fair.

Trump turns to American history

The strange political afterlife of Andrew Jackson

By Tom Mackaman, 21 March 2017

The political art of Jackson, which so inspires the Trump administration, consisted of his ability to obscure powerful contradictions behind a veil of nationalism and populist demagogy.

Revisiting John Steinbeck’s A Russian Journal from 1948

By Clara Weiss, 21 March 2017

American novelist John Steinbeck, together with famed Hungarian-born war photographer Robert Capa, visited the Soviet Union in 1947 on the very eve of the Cold War.

Writings of Trotsky from 1917

War or Peace? (Internal Forces of the Revolution)

By Leon Trotsky, 20 March 2017

In this article, Trotsky writes, “The international struggle against world-wide slaughter and imperialism is now our task more than ever before.”

Writings of Trotsky from 1917

Under the Banner of the Commune

By Leon Trotsky, 17 March 2017

In this article, Trotsky writes, “In the trenches overflowing with blood and mud, in the starving cities and villages, millions of hearts are filled with indignation, despair and rage. And these feelings, when combined with socialist thought, are turning into revolutionary enthusiasm.”

The Revolution in Russia

By Leon Trotsky, 16 March 2017

In this article, translated for the first time, Trotsky writes, “Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will speak of these days as the beginning of a new epoch in the history of mankind.”

Unease in Europe

By Leon Trotsky, 15 March 2017

In this article, translated for the first time, Trotsky writes, “Every decisive action taken by the Russian proletariat against the most worthless of the worthless European governments will serve as a mighty stimulus for the workers in all other countries.”

Why Study the Russian Revolution? New pamphlet now available

15 March 2017

In his lecture on March 11, David North answers the question with 10 reasons, followed by a summary of the main events from the February revolution to the October seizure of power by the Bolshevik Party. North’s presentation was the first of five lectures in the ICFI series commemorating the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx

By Peter Schwarz, 15 March 2017

The Haitian-born director Raoul Peck has set himself the task of presenting the formative years of Marxism in a film, covering the period from the prohibition of the Rheinische Zeitung in March 1843, to the writing of the Communist Manifesto at the end of 1847.

Large global turnout for online lecture, “Why Study the Russian Revolution?”

13 March 2017

A large audience from more than 60 countries listened live to the lecture delivered by WSWS chairman David North, the first in a series marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

From the archives of the Revolution

The Petrograd Soviet’s “Order No. 1”

By the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, 13 March 2017

At the demand of soldiers, the Petrograd Soviet on March 14 (March 1, O.S.) issued “Order No. 1,” which Trotsky described as “the single worthy document of the February revolution.”

On the Threshold of Revolution

By Leon Trotsky, 12 March 2017

This article was written by Leon Trotsky on March 13, 1917. An English translation appeared as “On the Eve of a Revolution” in the 1918 edition of Trotsky’s Our Revolution, edited and translated by M. J. Olgin.

This week in the Russian Revolution

March 6-12: February Revolution erupts in Petrograd

6 March 2017

The eruption of the February Revolution in Petrograd finds the two greatest figures of Russian Marxism—Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky—in exile, following events in Russia closely and anxiously awaiting their chance to return.

More than 75,000 view interview with David North

Growing international interest in Russian Revolution Centenary online lecture series

1 March 2017

The series will begin with a lecture by WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North, “Why Study the Russian Revolution?” streamed live on YouTube on Saturday, March 11 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

This week in the Russian Revolution

February 27-March 5: American imperialism prepares for world war

27 February 2017

From the eruption of war in 1914, the US maintained a position of formal neutrality—partly owing to mass anti-war sentiment among American workers and farmers. The neutrality became increasingly fictitious as the war dragged on.

This week in the Russian Revolution

February 20-26: War deepens crisis of the Tsarist regime

20 February 2017

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was the greatest event in modern history. Between February and October, Russia passed from the overthrow of the Tsar through a short episode of bourgeois rule to the establishment of the first workers state. To mark the centenary, the WSWS is publishing a weekly feature that will provide a kaleidoscopic view of the revolution and the global events of 1917, an epochal year in world history.

Eighty years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike—Part two

By Jerry White, 16 February 2017

This is the conclusion of a two-part series on the 44-day battle by US autoworkers in 1936-37 that forced General Motors, the world’s largest industrial enterprise, to recognize the recently founded United Auto Workers union.

Eighty years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike—Part one

By Jerry White, 15 February 2017

The 44-day battle by autoworkers lasted from December 29, 1936 to February 11, 1937. It forced General Motors, then the largest industrial enterprise on the planet, to recognize the recently founded United Auto Workers.

This week in history: February 13-19

13 February 2017

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Alberto Cavalcanti and postwar British cinema

By Joanne Laurier, 10 February 2017

In the course of a lengthy filmmaking career, Brazilian-born Alberto Cavalcanti created several of the most poetically realistic and socially poignant films of the twentieth century.

This week in history: February 6-12

6 February 2017

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: January 30-February 5

30 January 2017

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Seventy-five years since the Wannsee Conference

By Clara Weiss, 25 January 2017

Last Friday, January 20, marked the 75th anniversary of the notorious Wannsee Conference, in which 15 influential representatives of the Nazi regime discussed the so-called “final solution of the Jewish question.”

Book review

Lessons from the 1937 Little Steel strike in the US

The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America, by Ahmed White

By Tom Mackaman, 23 January 2017

If the Little Steel Strike has been ignored by historians, it is perhaps because it does not fit the standard narrative of American labor history.

This week in history: January 23-29

23 January 2017

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Hitler’s Professors: A documentation of war crimes by German academics against the Jewish people

By Clara Weiss, 16 January 2017

Max Weinreich’s classic study, Hitler’s Professors, first published in 1946, documents the role of leading German academics in the murder of Europe’s Jewish population.

This week in history: January 16-22

16 January 2017

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw—Part 1

Jewish life in Poland before World War II

By Clara Weiss, 9 January 2017

The core exhibition at the recently opened POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw has now marked its second anniversary.

Exile as an Intellectual Way of Life: The collaboration of Lion Feuchtwanger and Bertolt Brecht

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 December 2016

In his new book, journalist and non-fiction writer Andreas Rumler examines the intellectual relationship between two major German literary figures, Lion Feuchtwanger and Bertolt Brecht.

Four hundred years since William Shakespeare’s death–Part 2

And a conversation with James Shapiro of Columbia University

By David Walsh, 20 December 2016

It is four centuries since the death of dramatist William Shakespeare. Arts editor David Walsh spoke to James Shapiro, the author of numerous remarkable books on the playwright and his times. The second of two articles.

This week in history: December 19-25

19 December 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: December 12-18

12 December 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (1856–1918): His Place in the History of Marxism

By David North and Vladimir Volkov, 5 December 2016

On December 11, the international socialist movement marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of the “father of Russian Marxism,” Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov.

Jörg Baberowski’s falsification of history

By Christoph Vandreier, 5 December 2016

Historians like Humboldt University's Jörg Baberowski are labouring to rewrite and falsify history in order to justify new wars and discredit opposition to them.

Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today—the 1948 documentary restored

By Clara Weiss, 5 December 2016

The film, written and directed by Stuart Schulberg, was intended to advertise the principles underlying the indictment of the Nazi criminals at the Nuremberg Trials.

This week in history: December 5-11

5 December 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Fifty years since the Aboriginal stockmen’s strike

By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2016

While Australia’s political elite hails the 1966 Wave Hill walkout strike, tens of thousands of Aboriginal people continue to live in dire poverty.

This week in history: November 28-December 4

28 November 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: November 21-27

21 November 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: November 14-20

14 November 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: November 7-13

7 November 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: October 31-November 6

31 October 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Berlin exhibition—“Mass Shootings: The Holocaust from the Baltic to the Black Sea 1941-1944”

By Verena Nees, 28 October 2016

A small, but nonetheless very significant exhibition is currently on display at the Berlin Documentation Centre.

Hundreds attend lecture by David North in Frankfurt, Germany

By our correspondents, 25 October 2016

In a lecture titled “Philosophy and Politics in Times of War and Revolution,” David North presented his book The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left.

This week in history: October 24-30

24 October 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

The autocratic record of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2016

King Bhumibol, who is being glorified by the media and politicians around the world, supported one military dictatorship after another to suppress the working class and the poor.

1937: When Canadian and US autoworkers fought together

By Roger Jordan, 20 October 2016

Coming just weeks after the Flint sit-down strike, the 1937 strike at GM’s Oshawa facilities contains pivotal lessons for autoworkers fighting to defend their jobs and rights against the Detroit Three and the Unifor bureaucracy.

This week in history: October 17-23

17 October 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: October 10-16

10 October 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution, by Kenneth D. Ackerman

By Linda Tenenbaum, 8 October 2016

Trotsky in New York, 1917 focuses on a remarkable period in the life of one of the greatest political figures in modern history.

The development of public water systems and the crisis in Flint

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2016

The events in Flint are a sharp expression of a historical retrogression in the United States, where gains made by the working class in an earlier period are being stripped away.

Adam Hochschild’s Spain in Our Hearts: A deeply felt work on the Spanish Civil War marred by its perspective

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 3 October 2016

Hochschild is the well-known author of several books on wide-ranging and important topics, including the brutality of Belgian colonialism in the Congo (King Leopold’s Ghost).

This week in history: October 3-9

3 October 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

New Zealand Labour Party marks its centenary

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2016

Contrary to the myths advanced by Labour’s apologists, the party was never socialist. It has always defended capitalism at home and supported imperialist war abroad.

This week in history: September 12-18

12 September 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: September 5-11

5 September 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Eighty years since the first Moscow Trial

By Fred Williams, 1 September 2016

In carrying out these trials, Joseph Stalin was launching an assault on the legacy and the leaders of the first successful socialist revolution.

The class essence of the Confederacy in the American Civil War

A further comment on Free State of Jones

By Douglas Lyons, 30 August 2016

In their attacks on the film, figures like Charles Blow of the New York Times are denigrating some of the noblest individuals in American history.

This week in history: August 29-September 4

29 August 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

New Zealand: WWI Home Front exhibition buries mass opposition to war

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 22 August 2016

The exhibition about life “at home” during World War I hails New Zealand’s contribution to the war and covers up the opposition that emerged in the working class.

This week in history: August 22-28

22 August 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

On the death of German historian Ernst Nolte

By Christoph Vandreier and Peter Schwarz, 20 August 2016

Nolte is infamous for initiating the Historikerstreit (Historians’ Dispute) in 1986 with his downplaying of National Socialism and the worst crimes in human history.

This week in history: August 15-21

15 August 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: August 8-14

8 August 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

All Quiet on the Western Front: A generation haunted by war

By Isaac Finn, 5 August 2016

Erich Maria Remarque’s seminal work, All Quiet on the Western Front, deals with a generation thrown into World War I and the confusion and depression of those who survived.

Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

By Eric London, 26 July 2016

A 2008 book by Professor David Williams provides a mountain of evidence refuting the claim that the recent film Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross, presented “a quasi-historical” approach to the American Civil War and social conflict in the Confederacy.

This week in history: July 25-31

25 July 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

What is behind the imperialist campaign over the Crimean Tatars?

Part 2: The imperialist exploitation of ethnic tensions on the Crimea—then and now

By Clara Weiss, 19 July 2016

Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, leading media outlets of the imperialist powers, in particular the New York Times, have been waging a campaign ostensibly directed at defending the Crimean Tatars from oppression by Russia.

What is behind the imperialist campaign over the Crimean Tatars?

Part 1: The Russian Revolution and the fate of the Crimean Tatars

By Clara Weiss, 16 July 2016

Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, leading media outlets of the imperialist powers, in particular the New York Times, have been waging a campaign ostensibly directed at defending the Crimean Tatars from oppression by Russia.

A reply to our critics

In Defense of the American Revolution

By Tom Mackaman, 14 July 2016

The American Revolution, the most progressive event in world history in its time, continues to inspire the struggle for equality.

“The records were full of evidence of dissent and insurrections by common people”

An interview with Victoria Bynum, historian and author of The Free State of Jones—Part 1

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 12 July 2016

We are posting a conversation with Victoria Bynum, whose research helped inspire the film Free State of Jones, about an insurrection by Southern Unionists against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

This week in history: July 11-17

11 July 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Toward a socialist future: Children’s picture books after the Bolshevik Revolution

By Thomas Scripps, 9 July 2016

A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia, an exhibition at the House of Illustration gallery in London, brings to light the artistic impetus provided by the October Revolution to children’s book illustrations.

This week in history: July 4-10

4 July 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Warmongering and historical falsification on 75th anniversary of German invasion of Soviet Union

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 July 2016

On German television, presenter Guido Knopp and historians Jörg Baberowski and Sönke Neitzel questioned whether Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa was a deliberately planned war of annihilation.

This week in history: June 27-July 3

27 June 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

25 April: Animated documentary on New Zealand’s role in the Gallipoli invasion

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 25 June 2016

The film shows the horrors of war but fails to challenge the nationalist mythology surrounding the Anzacs.

German court sentences former SS Auschwitz guard to five years imprisonment

By Sybille Fuchs, 24 June 2016

A court in Detmold found 94-year-old Reinhold Hanning guilty of complicity in the murders of 170,000 people.

Seventy-five years since the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union

By Barry Grey, 22 June 2016

The war against the Soviet Union expressed the essence of the Nazi regime, which had been brought to power by the German bourgeoisie to destroy the workers movement and end the threat of socialist revolution.

This week in history: June 20-26

20 June 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: June 13-19

13 June 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: June 6-12

6 June 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 4

NATO’s preparations for war with Russia

By Clara Weiss, 3 June 2016

This is the final part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Ninety Years Since the Coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 3

The Intermarium and Poland’s integration into the US war alliance against Russia

By Clara Weiss, 2 June 2016

This is the third part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

The return of the “grand narrative”

By Andre Damon, 1 June 2016

The resurgence of the class struggle is undermining the intellectual charlatanry that underpinned the ideological dominance of various forms of anti-Marxism over the past half-century.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 2

The Intermarium from 1921 to 1989

By Clara Weiss, 1 June 2016

This is the second part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, the main basis of which emerged in the period leading up to World War I, as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.