From her prominent role as Leon Trotsky’s secretary, to the agitational and educational work conducted by her organization News and Letters, the impact of Raya Dunayevskaya’s thinking on the Left in the United States was both lasting and deep. This expertly edited new collection of her writings, with selections from every period of her career, will help a new generation of activists discover the key pillars of the Marxist-Humanist philosophy she helped pioneer.
Russia From Proletarian Revolution to State-Capitalist Counter-Revolution begins with Dunayevskaya’s careful reading of Lenin’s notebooks on Hegel, which she saw as his ‘philosophic preparation for proletarian revolution,’ and moves from there to her attempts to grapple with the class nature of the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin. This question, prompted by the march of the Red Army toward conquest of sections of Europe in the lead up to World War II, prompted a fractious debate in the international Trotskyist movement. In response, Dunayevskaya and her collaborator C.L.R. James developed a theory of State-capitalism that became the cornerstone of their intellectual and political work through the rest of the twentieth century.