Leipzig Book Fair: Mehring Verlag presents new German edition of The Heritage We Defend

By our correspondents
23 March 2019

Just in time for the Leipzig Book Fair, Mehring Verlag has published a new German edition of The Heritage We Defend by David North. It is available for purchase online here (English-language version here).

The first edition, published in 1988, has been expanded with a new preface as well as an extensive glossary and photo section. The new edition is now available as a bound hardcover. North will introduce the book today at the Leipzig Book Fair at 3:00 p.m. in Hall 5, Forum Sachbuch F401/G410.

The German edition of The Heritage We Defend

North is the chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in the US and chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. He has played a leading role in the world Trotskyist movement for over 45 years and has authored numerous books on politics, history and Marxist theory.

The Heritage We Defend provides a comprehensive account of the history of the Fourth International. It is not only of historical interest, but also of immense contemporary political relevance. It deals with problems of the theory, programme and the strategy of Marxism, which are of vital importance for the construction of the world party of socialist revolution today.

At a time when global capitalism confronts a deepening crisis, the imperialist powers are preparing for a new world war, fascist groups are raising their heads, and class struggle is developing throughout the world, a thorough knowledge of the historical experiences of the workers movement is urgent. These experiences find their most conscious expression in the history of the Fourth International.

The Heritage We Defend originated in response to the betrayal of Trotskyism by the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), which had long played a leading role in the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) as its British section, and with which the ICFI broke in 1985-86. In the struggle against the WRP, the ICFI reaffirmed its continuity with the entire history of the Fourth International and the struggles it had waged against Stalinism, bourgeois nationalism and petty-bourgeois opportunism.

The split with the WRP prepared the ICFI for capitalist restoration in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and in China, which began only a year after the publication of The Heritage We Defend. It is remarkable with what clarity and precision North uncovered the political factors and objective contradictions that would later lead to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

As an introduction to the history of the Fourth International, The Heritage We Defend is unsurpassed. The present crisis of capitalism and the intensification of the class struggle make the book a must-read for anyone looking to understand the theory and practice of Marxism.

Mehring Verlag will also feature the book Why are They Back? Historical Falsification, Political Conspiracy and the Return of Fascism in Germany, by Christoph Vandreier at this year’s Leipzig Book Fair. In it, Vandreier, the deputy chairman of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party), analyses the sharp changes in politics, the state apparatus and intellectual life that made possible the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and a revival of fascism seven decades after the fall of the Third Reich.

On Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. there will be a major event hosted by Mehring Verlag entitled “The Lessons of the 1930s and the Fight Against the Extreme Right,” at which both Vandreier and North will speak. The meeting will be held in the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Hall 18, Spinnereistrasse 7, 04179 Leipzig.

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The Heritage We Defend and Why are They Back? are available in English from mehring.com and mehringbooks.co.uk.