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New Left Review I/105, September-October 1977


Ben Fowkes

Presentation of Deutscher/Brandler

Isaac Deutscher and Heinrich Brandler had in common the fact that they were among the small number of communist oppositionists from the twenties and thirties who survived into the post-war era without modifying their fundamental political stance: without succumbing to cold-war, social-democratic or Stalinist pressures. In short, both remained revolutionaries and Marxists. However, they had a widely divergent political formation, and the correspondence below shows deep differences as well as significant areas of agreement. The material published here essentially covers two great complexes of events in Germany, commonly summed up in two dates, 1923 and 1953. 1923—the ‘German October’; 1953—the German Kronstadt (as Brandler might have put it) or the German Vendée (Deutscher’s implied evaluation). Even the sharp contrast of views on the latter, however, does not prevent the correspondence from being a notably fruitful and instructive exchange.

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