Moments of Decision: Political History and the Crises of Radicalism

Stephen Eric Bronner, Author Routledge $40.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-415-90465-0
In response to the dizzying changes in Eastern Europe, Bronner ( Socialism Unbound ) offers a study of political radicalism in the 20th century, hoping to learn from the past in order to understand the present and future. He also wants to ``set the historical record straight'' regarding the predominantly democratic aims of working-class movements, as distinct from the totalitarianism of the doctrine of a vanguard party. Moreover, he wants to rescue Marx and Engels from totalitarians (followers of Lenin, Stalin and Mao) and reclaim them for democratic socialists. To that end, Bronner has written a brief but spirited polemic, a history of radical movements as seen through the filter of several crises in this century. Beginning with the disastrous divisions in the Second International over WW I, he traces the political causes and consequences of the fall of the Weimar Republic and rise of Nazism; the failure of France's Popular Front; the beginning of the Cold War; the birth and demise of the New Left; and the apparent end of the Cold War. The book is closely argued and incisive; Bronner's writing is methodical and jargon-free, if a trifle humorless. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 164 pages - 978-0-415-90464-3
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