Celebration and Fresh Inquiry
Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21349
Book review of Howard Brick's, Robbie Lieberman's, and Paula Rabinowitz's Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald.
I am somewhat more satisfied with Bill V. Mullen's "Wrestling with the Legacy of Stalinism: Recent Scholarship on W.E.B. DuBois and the Left." Mullen grounds anti-Stalinism (I prefer "independent Left," because otherwise "Stalinism" becomes an idee fixe) in the world of C.L.R. James, Feruccio Gambino and George Rawick, a world of non-Communist revolutionaries untouched by temptations of "joining the other side" in Cold War adventures.
For them and so many of us in the New Left, the fresh scholarship opening up on Marxist intellectuals or focusing attention upon Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Third World, was exciting because history would now be written from another side, the side with which we identified, knowing only a small portion of what we would learn in generations of reading and solidarity movement activism.
As the prestige of the Soviet Union continued to fall, the past activities of Communists became, to our eyes, much more sympathetic. They were part of our extended political family, a notion uncomfortable to many Trotskyists but not so much to Alan Wald, or to myself.