Good Leftist History Works

Hey comrades - we talk about literature a lot here, but I'd like to discuss works specifically about history rather than theory. Can be history of leftism, or other histories with a leftist perspective.

As I'm a burger, I've recently been reading "The Decline of Socialism in America" by James Weinstein and "The First Ten Years of American Communism." Unfortunately don't have pdfs or epubs of either, got 'em both checked out from my University library.

Within the past week we had a thread on Debs & American Socialist history, which is hugely glossed over by our shit education lemme say. But these books are really excellent, bringing to life a time when Socialism wasn't some obscure fringe ideology of intellectuals, but a mass dangerous movement with lots of appeal to average working Americans. As you can tell by the book's title it goes more over the peak & eventual fall of the Socialist Party of America, and how radical leftist politics in the US was more focused around one party before & during WW1, (that Socialist Party - a multi-tendency revolutionary part) and after that with the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution, the American Left became fractured into several different parties, notably the Communist Party of America. It's a damn good read.

The second title has more to do explicitly with the Communist Party established by the Comitern, and the era in which it was genuinely radical and not Cointelpro or neutered. It has a little bit of chronology overlap with the first book, but goes well into the 30s. It was written by an actual member too, & its pretty dope.

So yeah, plz share other good leftist history books comrades.

Other urls found in this thread: First Socialist Schism, Bakunin vs. Marx in the International Working Men_s Association - Wolfgang Eckhardt.pdf Hobsbawm - Age Of Revolution 1789 -1848.pdf Hobsbawm - Age Of Capital - 1848-1875.pdf Hobsbawm - Age Of Extremes - 1914-1991.pdf[Christopher_Hill]_The_World_Turned_Upside_Down_R( German Revolution, 1917-1923 (Historical Materialism Book Series).pdf

I have this

Debt The First 5000 Years is a historical/anthropological book rather than a theory book.

The Wiki Leaks files is another good book I guess its history or will be considered so in 10 years.

A personal favorite of mine is Villains of All Nations which is a History of Piracy which shows they had commie inclinations.

I recently read this Biography on Engels, which is really interesting but not really written from a Leftist perspective, so prepare from a few cases of shitty liberal "criticism". But it sheds a light on the first hundred years of socialism and the creation of the thought that still holds such an important position. You cant upload EPUB so heres the link:

Also I want to read this one day: First Socialist Schism, Bakunin vs. Marx in the International Working Men_s Association - Wolfgang Eckhardt.pdf (PDF is above 12mb so I cant upload it) I think looking for the common root of anarchism and marxism can be valuable to sketch a ideology for the current age.

OP Here - that's a huge read but looks really worth it. Thanks for the rec. Also that bit about "sketching an ideology for the current age" is a really interesting topic I don't see brought up much. Obviously we need to deeply study the past both historicaly & old theory to come to terms with the present - but I definitely think the modern left is lacking a really new ideology. I don't mean new for the sake of it - but something which suits the current situation and its needs. Lenin's work for instance - while very valuable still - was very much tailored for Tzarist Russia. In "Decline of Socialism in America" it discusses how Eugene Debs & the American socialist movement had its own character and development based on American needs. As great as all the theory discussion on here is - we could use some new movement or thought equipped for the present. It doesn't even have to be much or at all different from older leftist ideas just synthesized and given a purpose which makes sense with our times & current position.

Sorry if all that got too babbly lol.

Eric Hobsbawm was a Marxist professor who wrote a pretty fucking great series spanning from the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700's up until the 1990's. It's a lot of reading but very solid & informative material. Hobsbawm - Age Of Revolution 1789 -1848.pdf Hobsbawm - Age Of Capital - 1848-1875.pdf Hobsbawm - Age Of Extremes - 1914-1991.pdf

No its fine, I personally recently got the impression that I never read any theory or reflection on the rise of China and its impact, or any predictions of it. Which seems like a massive lack of analysis.

Some Leftcom here links a group of Socialist Chinese occasionally, read a bit of their stuff and its pretty interesting. It goes over the recent Chinese history from a socialist perspective.

Oh hell yeah - I would love to really get more in-depth with modern Chinese history. By now I know a fair amount about the Russian Revolution & the USSR, but China's a huge blind-ish spot. There's so much there - from the multiple Civil Wars, Mao, the Cultural Revolution, the Second Sino-Japanese War, (fucking nanking man) Taiwan, Hong-Kong, British & other Western Imperialism, the CCP, The Great Leap Forward, tons of shit that's happened just in the last century & I really would love a solid & critical leftist history of it.

trots and sectarianism are a mistake

Isaac Deutscher wrote some pretty great biographies of Trotsky & Stalin

thx for the pdfs comrade. just read the wiki page on this guy and the parts about his attachment to the USSR gave me all kinds of feels. poor fella.

what do you ni🅱🅱as think about Kotkin's biography of STALIN?
read the first few chapters and it seems pretty good and with lots of interesting data, but I would like to hear the tankie opinion on it

Holy fuck Trots really do split all the time

I was disappointed with how insufferably liberal he was in his interview with Zizek (general market shilling), but I've heard he's a lot less obnoxious in the book

Anyone got more

I second this recommendation. Probably the series of books that influenced my world view more than any other.

This is a book about radical grassroots movements during the English Civil War. As soon as the state church was gone, itinerant preachers started spreading radical ideas, congregations organised themselves democratically and even arrived at some sort of anarcho communism, really interesting stuff about the origins of the left in medieval messianic movements.[Christopher_Hill]_The_World_Turned_Upside_Down_R(

Has anyone ever come across a good leftist/socialist history of Haiti or the Haitian Revolution?

ok fellas, I need some good sources and books on the german socialist revolutions that fallowed WWI. hmu

Black Jacobins?

Thanks for the rec my dude - seems like a really interesting period.

That'd be really interesting & definitely is a gap in my knowledge.

I'd also highly recommend Albert Soboul's Marxist perspectives on the French Revolution. He wrote multiple volumes about the subject such as " The French Revolution, 1787-1799: From the Storming of the Bastille to Napoleon" " The Sans-culottes: the Popular Movement and Revolutionary Government, 1793-1794" & " The Revolution of 1848 in France."

Unfortunately I don't have pdfs of his works but it is really great. I should mention that academia on the whole seems to have moved away from a Marxist view of the French Revolution(s) but that's not really of concern to us lol.


I've heard this is basically *the* book on materialist/marxist history of pre-capitalist Europe.


ok I found a good book on the subject. German Revolution, 1917-1923 (Historical Materialism Book Series).pdf
Im about 150-200 pages in and so far its good.

Has anyone come across a good leftist history of the Cuban Revolution? It doesn't even have to be super pro-Castro or Che but just a history that views the events through a definitely leftist & critical view.

bumping because this is good shit

Bump dis folks


Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution" is pretty amazing & is essential Marxist reading imo.

What I'd really like is some history on the Cuban Revolution - as well as the first wave of Communism in Europe in the 1840s.

Anyone got Homage to Catalonia?

Its also totally biased. Fuck Trotsky, hes a fucking murder and played a key role in the death of a real revolution.

Of course - any history is inherently biased mate. You can't really be neutral. That said - no matter what you think of the man - his chronicle of the Revolution is both beautifully written and very accurate. He's more than capable of presenting a nuanced & critical view of himself & even if you disown his actions his written work is incredible.

Here you go


Here's a really cool & pretty short (63 pages) biography of Lenin by Robert Tucker. It's technically the first two chapters of his bio on Stalin, (Stalin As Revolutionary 1879-1929) which were themselves based upon - & mostly identical minus some additions - to his introduction for "The Lenin Anthology" which he edited.

Since it's a smaller part of a collection of Lenin's writings & a bio on Stalin, I feel like this tiny work might get ignored, but it's really terrific. It's self contained, can be read apart from both of those works, & is a fantastic primer on Lenin's life, his influences, his work, and his legacy. I can't recommend it enough & it should only take you an hour or so, at most.

Is this any good at all?

yes, absolutely. Graeber is a modern treasure.


good to know. Any other reccomendations before going into harder stuff like Hobsbawm?

Hobsbawm isn't hard.

I cannot believe nobody dropped this bombshell.

his books might be a bit thick but its still a pretty easy read

The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre. duh

Anyone have this by chance?

This is a good intro into both the ideas and history of anarchism. Good for new comrades who want to get the basics. Recommend even if you are not an anarchist as knowing more about other ideologies than your own is always a good thing I think.
I have the PDF but it wont let me upload it, sorry

Upload it to libgen


Personally I'm too much of a brainlet for books so I recommend The World At War and Cold War documentaries, like 26 hours each. Every leftist should understand the history of the 20th century at the very least. Plus Cold War has interviews with Castro which is pretty cool.

Which do you mean by "the documentaries?" lol I'd imagine such important topics have quite a lot of them lol

The cold war one is literally called 'cold war' but it's the first one on Google so that's probably good enough right. It's the BBC one.


For those interested, there's a documentary on Vietnam on YouTube called something like 'Vietnam, the 10,000 day war' that was pretty good.

I saw a good one that was specifically about the Mai Lai Massacre.

Also the book "Kill Everything That Moves" is a really horrific but in-depth look at US atrocities during Vietnam.

This is a must watch for vietnam docs. Manages to say more about atrocities (and I suppose the military mindset in general) than anything I've seen on the subject just through interview and occasional still images.

The full film is on youtube albeit poor quality. Make sure you find a time where your rage and horror can handle it.


Bump for quality thread

Yes its excellent though it gets a bit repititive at times it makes some quite profound points. That book is also probably the #1 best medicine to cure someone from being an an-cap or lolbertarian.