Toward the United Front

Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922

Edited by John Riddell

The proceedings of the last Comintern congress in which Lenin participated, now at last available in English, reveals a Communist world movement grappling to reconcile the goal of unifying workers and colonial people in struggle with that of pressing forward to socialist revolution. The principle of national parties’ autonomy strains against calls for more stringent centralisation. Debates range over the birth of Fascism, decay of the Versailles Treaty system, the rise of colonial revolution, and women’s emancipation. Newly translated and richly annotated, the stenographic transcript of the month-long congress discloses a rich spectrum of viewpoints among delegates. Indispensable source material on early Communism is supplemented by an analytic introduction, detailed footnotes, more than 500 short biographies, glossary, chronology, and index.

Part of the Historical Materialism Book Series

About the author

John Riddell has translated and edited seven volumes of documents of the Communist movement in the era of the Russian revolution.

Reviews

Riddell has here pulled off an immense and masterful editorial effort, comparing past publications of these proceedings in the four main languages of the Comintern – English, French, German and Russian … The work involved in clarifying the differences between texts, providing more accurate annotation, and correcting the misspelling of names and providing relevant biographical details is immense, and should earn the gratitude of generations of scholars for many years to come.
—Alexander Marshall, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

We should be very grateful to John Riddell and his team of collaborators for making available, for the first time in a full English version, the minutes of the Fourth Congress of the Comintern … [F]or anyone seeking to understand the history of the 20th century [Toward the United Front] will be an invaluable work of reference, and no library with pretensions to serious historical coverage should be without it …

—Ian Birchall, International Socialism

"John Riddell’s Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International is a tremendous work of scholarship in the tradition of David Riazanov. The book is a remarkable paperback of 1,300 pages, but it repays reading: it is a manual for revolutionary socialist strategy, in the words of many of its finest representatives."

—Paul Hampton, Worker's Liberty

"John Riddell is to be congratulated on assembling this fine volume ... Beg, borrow or do what you must to get a copy and read it. Its size might seem intimidating but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from cover to cover.”

—Chris Bambery, ISG