A new South Asian edition of Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today by Raya Dunayevskaya has been published in India.
South Asian readers can order it from Aakar Books, http://aakarbooks. com/, 28-E, Pocket-IV, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Delhi-110 091, India. Phone: 91-11-2279-5505. Telefax: 91-11-2279- 5641. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Mexico, there has come to light a trove of notebooks of Victor Serge, the Franco-Russian novelist and revolutionary (1890-1947). They have been published in France, beautifully edited, by Agone in Marseille. In the U.S., the first complete English translation of Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary: 1905-1941 was published last year by NY Review of Books Classics. In addition to Peter Sedgwick’s Introduction and a Foreword by Adam Hochschild, this edition includes a Glossary, which I prepared to help readers cope with all those Russian names. Unfortunately, my Postface, “Victor Serge’s Political Testament” was omitted by mistake. Finally, for those who live in the New York area, I will be hosting a class on Serge at the Brecht Forum this Spring and Fall, starting with public lectures on Feb. 2 and 9 co-sponsored by NYRB Classics and Haymarket Books.
The new book, Crossroads of History: Marxist-Humanist Writings on the Middle East, is very welcome news, especially since the situation there becomes more confusing and ominous daily.
The recent developments in Mali, with the hostage-taking in particular, indicate both the volatility in the region and the growing strength of the Islamic fundamentalists. The writings by Raya Dunayevskaya will provide a valuable background for the understanding of what is happening and disclose the importance of dialectics in making analyses.
Publishing Crossroads of History, a collection of Raya Dunayevskaya’s political essays, comes at an important moment. The Arab Spring is at a crossroads. These new beginnings are under severe threat. It is not alone a question of arms and power. A clarification of ideas, indeed a battle of ideas, is needed, if revolutionaries are to find a way forward.
Dunayevskaya’s vast Middle East writings over several decades can make an important contribution. She doesn’t provide an answer for today, but the Marxist-Humanist methodology and vision she forged in her writings on the Iranian Revolution, on Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Question, Israel’s occupation, anti-Semitism—the entire Middle East cauldron—can be of crucial assistance if revolutionaries are to find a way forward.