History and Traditions

  • 1968: A revolt blooms behind the “Iron Curtain”

    The Prague Spring uprising in so-called “socialist” Czechoslovakia showed that the 1968 spirit of revolt had crossed the divide between East and West.

  • 1968: Revolution reaches the heart of Europe

    The uprising of workers in France during May 1968 produced the largest general strike in history, with 9 million workers occupying their workplaces.

  • What the Indian rebels taught Karl Marx

    Marx's writings on India were sometimes badly mistaken, but his focus on struggle eventually got him on the right track.

  • The fraud of Stalinism

    The reign of Stalin in Russia and the parties that followed his dictates have nothing to do with the vision of an emancipated society.

  • How Marx became a Marxist in five easy steps

    ...And you can to! Here's an introduction to the theoretical leaps Karl Marx made on his way to developing a theory and vision that changed the world.

  • Haymarket and the First May Day

    The eight-hour-day struggle of 1886 and the example of the radicals who were martyred for leading it pass on a message of defiance.

  • When Lucasville rose up

    A prisoner who took part in the Lucasville prison rebellion describes how inmates organized and the legacy of the revolt today.

  • Why workers have the power to change society

    When working people organize collectively, they have their best hope to win change, and they provide a glimpse of how society could be different.

  • 1968: When King's murder set off the uprisings

    If the year 1968 marked a turning point for struggles worldwide, April 4 and the murder of Martin Luther King was a turning point within the year.

  • When workers shut down Kansas City

    One hundred years ago this week, workers in Kansas City organized a general strike that showed the power of class solidarity.

  • What lessons to take from farmer-labor parties?

    The history of the farmer-labor parties shows the problems with a strategy of trying to implode the two-party system "from within."

  • Uncovering a C.L.R. James treasure trove

    A republished collection of masterful essays by C.L.R. James will introduce a new generation to a giant of history and Marxism.

  • The message of the Free Speech Movement

    A participant in the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964 discusses its lessons for today's struggle for free speech.

  • The heights of solidarity at Blair Mountain

    The West Virginia teachers gave us a lesson in class struggle, but their miner ancestors taught an equally defiant one a century ago.

  • Is Marxism only about exploitation?

    Because struggles against exploitation and oppression shape each other in many ways, one can't be won without waging the other.

  • An unflinching commitment to democracy

    The work of a long-time Chicago socialist reflected a commitment to illuminating our history and the fight for workers' democracy.

  • A strike for dignity and civil rights in Memphis

    Fifty years ago, African American sanitation workers in Memphis began a strike that is now remembered as Martin Luther King Jr.'s last struggle.

  • 1968: Tet and the watershed in Vietnam

    Fifty years ago, an offensive by the armed forces of Vietnamese people fighting for national liberation turned the tide decisively against the U.S. war.

  • Leon Trotsky, the historian

    Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution commands respect as both a work of history and a rigorous elaboration of Marxist theory.

  • The Man in Black goes to Folsom

    Fifty years ago, Johnny Cash played two concerts at Folsom Prison that changed music and cemented his place as an advocate for the oppressed.

  • The fable of localism

    A former ski coach and radio personality living in rural Vermont is the unlikely hero of climate activist Bill McKibben's novel.

  • 1968: The year that changed everything

    The struggles that came to a head or reached a turning point around the world 50 years ago were a profound challenge to a society of rulers and ruled.

  • Lessons from a road trip down Route 1917

    The editor of a new book on the Russian Revolution reflects on the meaning of 1917 as we confront the menace of capitalism in the time of Trump.

  • Why they still need their big lies about socialism

    In response to revived interest in socialism, right-wing ideologues are recycling old slanders about communism. What does today's left have to say?

  • The red convicts of Cherm

    An American journalist in Russia during the revolution describes a visit to a penal colony that was transformed by workers' power.