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Infinite Tropics: An Alfred Russell Wallace Anthology: Written by Alfred Russel Wallace, 2002 Edition, (First Edition) Publisher: Verso Books [Hardcover]
Infinite Tropics: An Alfred Russell Wallace Anthology: Written by Alfred Russel Wallace, 2002 Edition, (First Edition) Publisher: Verso Books [Hardcover]
by Alfred Russel Wallace
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Wallace's Writings, 18 Mar. 2015
Andrew Berry has brought together an excellent collection of the writings of Alfred Russel Wallace. The selection covers Wallace's career as a widely-travelling professional collector of plants and animals, as a naturalist, and as a scientific theorist. It also covers his political views and his later belief in spiritualism.

Wallace is best known for coming up with the theory of evolution by natural selection independently from Darwin. He certainly deserves credit for this, but nobody should take seriously the ridiculous conspiracy theory which claims that Darwin stole the theory of natural selection from Wallace.

Wallace himself was always happy to play second fiddle to Darwin. For example, in 1908 Wallace made a speech to the Linnaean Society in which he explicitly defended Darwin's priority, pointing out that "...the idea occurred to Darwin in October 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence..."

Darwin's notebooks from the 1830s and his essays of 1842 and 1844 show that Darwin had developed his theory long before he published "On the Origin of Species" and long before Wallace had his brainwave.

Wallace was an admirable character. He did not have the advantages of wealth that Darwin had; he was a socialist (of sorts) who had progressive views on many issues; and his attitude towards native peoples was unusually enlightened for an era when racism was rife.

Wallace also disagreed (later in his life, at least) with Darwin's mistaken decision to allow into his evolutionary theory a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In this, Wallace has been said to be more Darwinian than Darwin himself.

Unfortunately, on the negative side, Wallace also ended up believing in spiritualism and arguing that the human brain/mind could not have evolved. Darwin and Wallace had become good friends, but Darwin was disappointed with Wallace over this issue. Darwin and Wallace also differed over the relative importance of natural selection and sexual selection. But these differences of opinion did not stop Darwin successfully campaigning to get a state pension for Wallace.

Phil Webster.


Infinite Tropics: An Alfred Russel Wallace Collection
Infinite Tropics: An Alfred Russel Wallace Collection
by Stephen Jay Gould
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Wallace's Writings, 18 Mar. 2015
Andrew Berry has brought together an excellent collection of the writings of Alfred Russel Wallace. The selection covers Wallace's career as a widely-travelling professional collector of plants and animals, as a naturalist, and as a scientific theorist. It also covers his political views and his later belief in spiritualism.

Wallace is best known for coming up with the theory of evolution by natural selection independently from Darwin. He certainly deserves credit for this, but nobody should take seriously the ridiculous conspiracy theory which claims that Darwin stole the theory of natural selection from Wallace.

Wallace himself was always happy to play second fiddle to Darwin. For example, in 1908 Wallace made a speech to the Linnaean Society in which he explicitly defended Darwin's priority, pointing out that "...the idea occurred to Darwin in October 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence..."

Darwin's notebooks from the 1830s and his essays of 1842 and 1844 show that Darwin had developed his theory long before he published "On the Origin of Species" and long before Wallace had his brainwave.

Wallace was an admirable character. He did not have the advantages of wealth that Darwin had; he was a socialist (of sorts) who had progressive views on many issues; and his attitude towards native peoples was unusually enlightened for an era when racism was rife.

Wallace also disagreed (later in his life, at least) with Darwin's mistaken decision to allow into his evolutionary theory a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In this, Wallace has been said to be more Darwinian than Darwin himself.

Unfortunately, on the negative side, Wallace also ended up believing in spiritualism and arguing that the human brain/mind could not have evolved. Darwin and Wallace had become good friends, but Darwin was disappointed with Wallace over this issue. Darwin and Wallace also differed over the relative importance of natural selection and sexual selection. But these differences of opinion did not stop Darwin successfully campaigning to get a state pension for Wallace.

Phil Webster.


Alfred Russell Wallace
Alfred Russell Wallace
by Peter Raby
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Wallace's Contribution, 18 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Alfred Russell Wallace (Hardcover)
Peter Raby has produced an excellent biography of Alfred Russel Wallace. It outlines Wallace's career as a widely-travelling professional collector of plants and animals, as a naturalist, and as a theorist. It also covers his political views and his later belief in spiritualism.

Wallace is best known for coming up with the theory of evolution by natural selection independently from Darwin. He certainly deserves credit for this, but nobody should take seriously the ridiculous conspiracy theory which claims that Darwin stole the theory of natural selection from Wallace.

Wallace himself was always happy to play second fiddle to Darwin. For example, in 1908 Wallace made a speech to the Linnaean Society in which he explicitly defended Darwin's priority, pointing out that "...the idea occurred to Darwin in October 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence..."

Darwin's notebooks from the 1830s and his essays of 1842 and 1844 show that Darwin had developed his theory long before he published "On the Origin of Species" and long before Wallace had his brainwave.

Wallace was an admirable character. He did not have the advantages of wealth that Darwin had; he was a socialist (of sorts) who had progressive views on many issues; and his attitude towards native peoples was unusually enlightened for an era when racism was rife.

Wallace also disagreed (later in his life, at least) with Darwin's mistaken decision to allow into his evolutionary theory a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In this, Wallace has been said to be more Darwinian than Darwin himself.

Unfortunately, on the negative side, Wallace also ended up believing in spiritualism and arguing that the human brain/mind could not have evolved. Darwin and Wallace had become good friends, but Darwin was disappointed with Wallace over this issue. Darwin and Wallace also differed over the relative importance of natural selection and sexual selection. But these differences of opinion did not stop Darwin successfully campaigning to get a state pension for Wallace.

Phil Webster.


Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
by Peter Raby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wallace's Contribution, 18 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Alfred Russel Wallace (Paperback)
Peter Raby has produced an excellent biography of Alfred Russel Wallace. It outlines Wallace's career as a widely-travelling professional collector of plants and animals, as a naturalist, and as a theorist. It also covers his political views and his later belief in spiritualism.

Wallace is best known for coming up with the theory of evolution by natural selection independently from Darwin. He certainly deserves credit for this, but nobody should take seriously the ridiculous conspiracy theory which claims that Darwin stole the theory of natural selection from Wallace.

Wallace himself was always happy to play second fiddle to Darwin. For example, in 1908 Wallace made a speech to the Linnaean Society in which he explicitly defended Darwin's priority, pointing out that "...the idea occurred to Darwin in October 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence..."

Darwin's notebooks from the 1830s and his essays of 1842 and 1844 show that Darwin had developed his theory long before he published "On the Origin of Species" and long before Wallace had his brainwave.

Wallace was an admirable character. He did not have the advantages of wealth that Darwin had; he was a socialist (of sorts) who had progressive views on many issues; and his attitude towards native peoples was unusually enlightened for an era when racism was rife.

Wallace also disagreed (later in his life, at least) with Darwin's mistaken decision to allow into his evolutionary theory a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In this, Wallace has been said to be more Darwinian than Darwin himself.

Unfortunately, on the negative side, Wallace also ended up believing in spiritualism and arguing that the human brain/mind could not have evolved. Darwin and Wallace had become good friends, but Darwin was disappointed with Wallace over this issue. Darwin and Wallace also differed over the relative importance of natural selection and sexual selection. But these differences of opinion did not stop Darwin successfully campaigning to get a state pension for Wallace.

Phil Webster.


The Malay Archipelago (Penguin Classics)
The Malay Archipelago (Penguin Classics)
by Alfred Russel Wallace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Wallace's Travels, 18 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book completes the quartet of famous nature/travel writings by great scientists of the nineteenth century. It follows in the footsteps of Humboldt's "Personal Narrative", Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle" and Bates's "The Naturalist on the River Amazons". All four books are thoroughly entertaining, though all are also rather long.

This new Penguin edition is an excellent one. (I am referring to the paperback edition - I cannot comment on the Kindle edition.) It is nicely produced; it includes both volumes in one book; and it contains an excellent and very full introduction by Andrew Berry.

Before he went on the expedition described in this book, Wallace had already travelled to South America (initially with Bates), and the dangers of such expeditions are shown by the fact that Wallace's younger brother died of yellow fever in South America and by the fact that, while he was returning to England, Wallace's ship sank and he lost most of the specimens he had collected, with Wallace and the crew being rescued after spending ten days in an open boat.

The travels described in this book form the background to the contribution that Wallace made to the development of the field of biogeography. Berry explains the significance of "Wallace's Line" in his introduction.

But Wallace is best known for coming up with the theory of evolution by natural selection independently from Darwin. In fact the idea occurred to him when he was laid up suffering from fever while on the expedition detailed in this book. (Though Wallace does not actually mention this in "The Malay Archipelago".)

Wallace certainly deserves credit for independently coming up with the same idea as Darwin, but nobody should take seriously the ridiculous conspiracy theory which claims that Darwin stole the theory of natural selection from Wallace.

Wallace himself was always happy to play second fiddle to Darwin. For example, in 1908 Wallace made a speech to the Linnaean Society in which he explicitly defended Darwin's priority, pointing out that "...the idea occurred to Darwin in October 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence..."

Darwin's notebooks from the 1830s and his essays of 1842 and 1844 show that Darwin had developed his theory long before he published "On the Origin of Species" and long before Wallace had his brainwave.

Wallace was an admirable character. He did not have the advantages of wealth that Darwin had; he was a socialist (of sorts) who had progressive views on many issues; and his attitude towards native peoples was, as Berry says, "unusually enlightened" for an era when racism was rife.

Wallace also disagreed (later in his life, at least) with Darwin's mistaken decision to allow into his evolutionary theory a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In this, Wallace has been said to be more Darwinian than Darwin himself.

Unfortunately, on the negative side, Wallace also ended up believing in spiritualism and arguing that the human brain/mind could not have evolved. Darwin and Wallace had become good friends, but Darwin was disappointed with Wallace over this issue. Darwin and Wallace also differed over the relative importance of natural selection and sexual selection. But these differences of opinion did not stop Darwin successfully campaigning to get a state pension for Wallace.

I thoroughly recommend this book, which incidentally was a favourite of David Attenborough's when he was a boy. But if you want to know more about Wallace, I would also recommend "Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life" by Peter Raby, and "Infinite Tropics: An Alfred Russel Wallace Anthology" edited by Andrew Berry.

Phil Webster.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 5:14 PM GMT


[ [ [ The Works of Charles Darwin, Volume 5: The Zoology of the Voyage of the H. M. S. Beagle, Part III: Birds[ THE WORKS OF CHARLES DARWIN, VOLUME 5: THE ZOOLOGY OF THE VOYAGE OF THE H. M. S. BEAGLE, PART III: BIRDS ] By Darwin, Charles ( Author )Mar-01-2010 Paperback
[ [ [ The Works of Charles Darwin, Volume 5: The Zoology of the Voyage of the H. M. S. Beagle, Part III: Birds[ THE WORKS OF CHARLES DARWIN, VOLUME 5: THE ZOOLOGY OF THE VOYAGE OF THE H. M. S. BEAGLE, PART III: BIRDS ] By Darwin, Charles ( Author )Mar-01-2010 Paperback
by Charles Darwin
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Birds of the Voyage of the Beagle, 9 Mar. 2015
At first glance, this book appears to be just a dry, descriptive list of the birds that Darwin came across and collected on his Beagle journey. But there is actually a great deal of interest in it for anyone who is interested in either the development of Darwin's ideas or the history of ornithology.

The two species of South American rheas and the various species of mockingbirds and finches on the Galapagos Islands all ultimately played a part in the development of Darwin's thinking about evolution. Although his ideas on evolution did not begin to form until later, he did notice at the time that the mockingbirds on different islands differed from each other. In the case of the finches, though, he did not even realise that they were all related species which differed on different islands until this was shown by the ornithologist John Gould after Darwin's return to England. As he writes: "Unfortunately I did not suspect this fact until it was too late to distinguish the specimens from the different islands of the group; but from the collection made for Captain FitzRoy, I have been able in some small measure to rectify the omission."

Darwin also admits that he only realised that he had come across a specimen of the newly discovered smaller species of rhea when it had already been skinned and cooked ready for eating. But fortunately "...the head, neck, legs, wings, many of the large feathers, and a large part of the skin, had been preserved."

Many of the scientific (Latin) names of the species in the book have been changed since Darwin's day. So there is a bit of detective work involved in comparing the descriptions here with what is known and written about the birds today. But it is worth the effort. For example, of the Chimango Caracara Darwin writes that he "...saw them following by scores the plough, and feeding on worms and larvae of insects." Today the book Raptors of the World says that this bird "follows cattle or plough", and includes an illustration of a flock following a tractor.

There are also some wonderful scenes described in the book. For example, Darwin writes of Black Vultures "wheeling round and round in the most graceful evolutions." He also refers to Captain King (a previous captain of the Beagle) having seen a hummingbird "flitting about in a snow-storm" on Tierra del Fuego.

There are two reasons why I have not given this edition five stars. Firstly, the illustrations, which were originally in colour, are here reproduced in black and white. Secondly, the introduction is very brief: we could have done with more background information about the volume. Nevertheless, I recommend the book.

Phil Webster.


Trotsky's Marxism
Trotsky's Marxism
by Duncan Hallas
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant today, 12 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Trotsky's Marxism (Paperback)
Trotsky is best known for his political activities: firstly as a key leader, alongside Lenin, of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and then later as the leading opponent of the bureaucratic tyranny of Stalin’s regime, which destroyed the fledgling workers’ democracy in the 1920s and forced Trotsky into exile.

Trotsky also made contributions to Marxist thought, for example in his theories of permanent revolution and of “combined and uneven development”. This excellent little book shows how for Trotsky theory and practice were inextricably linked, as they have been for all the great Marxists.

Duncan Hallas discusses Trotsky’s writings under four chapter headings: Permanent Revolution; Stalinism; Strategy and Tactics; and Party and Class. There is then a fifth section on “The Heritage”.

In relation to Stalinism, although he argued for a new revolution by Russia’s workers to overthrow Stalin’s dictatorship, Trotsky clung to the view that Russia under Stalin was a “degenerated workers’ state”. Hallas argues – and I agree with him - that Trotsky was mistaken on this. Much more convincing is the theory that was first fully developed by Tony Cliff: that Stalinist Russia was a bureaucratic state capitalist society, as were the other so-called “communist” regimes that appeared later.

But despite this weakness, Trotsky did keep alive the fundamental Marxist idea that socialism must be based on internationalism and democracy. (The “dictatorship of the proletariat” was meant to mean the DEMOCRATIC control of society by the working class.)

For many years genuine Marxism was marginalised by the dominance of Stalinism on the one hand and the feeble reformism of social democratic Labour-type parties on the other. The long capitalist boom of the 1950s and 1960s also contributed to this marginalisation.

Today the post-war boom is a distant memory. Capitalism has reverted to crisis and threatens us with the dangers of economic collapse, fascism and war, as it did in the 1930s. Humanity today is faced with the same stark choice that the great German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg referred to a hundred years ago: socialism or barbarism. That is why Trotsky’s theories still have relevance today: they help to give us an understanding of the world and how to change it based on the real Marxist tradition.

I’ll end with a footnote on the author. The late Duncan Hallas, along with Tony Cliff, was a founder-member of the small political group in Britain which developed into the present-day Socialist Workers’ Party (Britain), which has links with similar groups in many other countries. Duncan Hallas was my favourite political speaker: he addressed meetings with a marvellous clarity. This book reminds me that this clarity of expression applied to his writing as well as to his speaking skills.

Phil Webster.


Trotsky's Marxism and Other Essays
Trotsky's Marxism and Other Essays
by Duncan Hallas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant today, 12 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Trotsky is best known for his political activities: firstly as a key leader, alongside Lenin, of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and then later as the leading opponent of the bureaucratic tyranny of Stalin’s regime, which destroyed the fledgling workers’ democracy in the 1920s and forced Trotsky into exile.

Trotsky also made contributions to Marxist thought, for example in his theories of permanent revolution and of “combined and uneven development”. This excellent little book shows how for Trotsky theory and practice were inextricably linked, as they have been for all the great Marxists.

Duncan Hallas discusses Trotsky’s writings under four chapter headings: Permanent Revolution; Stalinism; Strategy and Tactics; and Party and Class. There is then a fifth section on “The Heritage”.

In relation to Stalinism, although he argued for a new revolution by Russia’s workers to overthrow Stalin’s dictatorship, Trotsky clung to the view that Russia under Stalin was a “degenerated workers’ state”. Hallas argues – and I agree with him - that Trotsky was mistaken on this. Much more convincing is the theory that was first fully developed by Tony Cliff: that Stalinist Russia was a bureaucratic state capitalist society, as were the other so-called “communist” regimes that appeared later.

But despite this weakness, Trotsky did keep alive the fundamental Marxist idea that socialism must be based on internationalism and democracy. (The “dictatorship of the proletariat” was meant to mean the DEMOCRATIC control of society by the working class.)

For many years genuine Marxism was marginalised by the dominance of Stalinism on the one hand and the feeble reformism of social democratic Labour-type parties on the other. The long capitalist boom of the 1950s and 1960s also contributed to this marginalisation.

Today the post-war boom is a distant memory. Capitalism has reverted to crisis and threatens us with the dangers of economic collapse, fascism and war, as it did in the 1930s. Humanity today is faced with the same stark choice that the great German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg referred to a hundred years ago: socialism or barbarism. That is why Trotsky’s theories still have relevance today: they help to give us an understanding of the world and how to change it based on the real Marxist tradition.

I’ll end with a footnote on the author. The late Duncan Hallas, along with Tony Cliff, was a founder-member of the small political group in Britain which developed into the present-day Socialist Workers’ Party (Britain), which has links with similar groups in many other countries. Duncan Hallas was my favourite political speaker: he addressed meetings with a marvellous clarity. This book reminds me that this clarity of expression applied to his writing as well as to his speaking skills.

Phil Webster.


Class Struggle and Women's Liberation: 1640 to Today
Class Struggle and Women's Liberation: 1640 to Today
by Tony Cliff
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Marxism, feminism and women’s liberation, 29 Jan. 2015
This classic book was published over 30 years ago and is currently only available from second hand dealers, but it is still well worth reading.

Cliff opens his Introduction starkly with the following passage:

“Two different movements have sought to achieve women’s liberation over the past hundred or more years, Marxism and feminism. Both wish to eradicate women’s unequal and oppressed position in present-day society, and to replace it with the full and genuine equality of men and women. However, they explain women’s oppression in very different ways, and pursue strategies which are quite opposed to one another.”

Does this mean that Marxists are not feminists? Well, the problem is that different people use the word to mean different things. If you are just using the word “feminist” to mean a person who fights for equality for women, then Marxists are by definition feminists.

However, as Cliff points out, the word is usually associated with some form of “patriarchy theory”. Patriarchy does not just mean sexism and women’s oppression; it means “rule by men” or “male power”. The problem with this is that it tends to lead to the conclusion that all men are the problem and that all women, whatever their class, should unite to fight against male power.

But society is not ruled by all men. It is ruled by the capitalist class. Cliff shows that it is capitalism, not the whole male sex, which benefits from the oppression of women. Indeed gender inequalities have always been linked to class divisions, ever since the rise of class societies.

Working class women have nothing in common with ruling class women. Ruling class women suffer from sexism, of course, but with their nannies and cleaners they do not face the “double burden” that working class women face. In fact ruling class women are involved in the exploitation of working class women (and working class men). They are not the “sisters” of working class women.

Marxists agree with all the various types of feminists that women are oppressed, and they have an excellent record of fighting alongside these feminists in campaigns against the various manifestations of sexism and women’s oppression. But when it comes to understanding what CAUSES women’s oppression and what is the best way to END this oppression, Marxists have a distinctive position, which is outlined in this book.

Cliff shows that we need to fight sexism in the here and now, but also that the only way to end all types of oppression for good is for the working class – women and men – to unite in struggle and get rid of capitalism.

Some feminists claim that by focusing primarily on class conflict, Marxists do not take the fight for women’s equality seriously enough. Cliff shows that this is not the case. Some feminists also dismiss Marxism because the oppression of women continued in the so-called “communist” countries such as China and the former USSR. But these regimes are/were actually bureaucratic state capitalist tyrannies, not socialist or communist in the genuine sense. Cliff mentions the fantastic steps towards women’s liberation that were taken following the Russian Revolution of 1917, but he also shows that these gains did not survive Stalin’s counter-revolution in the 1920s.

The author, the late Tony Cliff, was a founding member of the Socialist Workers’ Party (Britain).

Phil Webster.


Sexism and the System: A Rebel's Guide to Women's Liberation
Sexism and the System: A Rebel's Guide to Women's Liberation
by Judith Orr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marxism, feminism and women’s liberation, 28 Jan. 2015
This excellent little booklet outlines the continuing fight against sexism in today’s society and shows how that fight is inextricably linked to the struggle against capitalism.

The author is a Marxist, and there has been a lot of debate about the relationship between Marxism, feminism and the struggle for women’s liberation. Some feminists claim that by focusing primarily on class conflict, Marxists do not take the fight for women’s equality seriously enough. Judith Orr shows that this is not the case.

Marxists agree with all the various types of feminists that women are oppressed, and they have an excellent record of fighting alongside these feminists in campaigns against the various manifestations of sexism and women’s oppression. But when it comes to understanding what CAUSES women’s oppression and what is the best way to END this oppression, Marxists have a distinctive position, which is outlined in this book.

Now what about this word “feminism”? Are Marxists like Judith Orr “feminists”? The problem is that different people use the word to mean different things. If you are just using the word “feminist” to mean a person who fights for equality for women, then Marxists are by definition feminists.

However, the word is usually associated with some form of “patriarchy theory”. Patriarchy does not just mean sexism and women’s oppression; it means “rule by men” or “male power”. The problem with this is that it tends to lead to the conclusion that all men are the problem and that all women, whatever their class, should unite to fight against male power.

But society is not ruled by all men. It is ruled by the capitalist class. Orr shows that it is capitalism, not the whole male sex, which benefits from the oppression of women. Indeed gender inequalities have always been linked to class divisions, ever since the rise of class societies.

Working class women have nothing in common with ruling class women. Ruling class women suffer from sexism, of course, but with their nannies and cleaners they do not face the “double burden” that working class women face. In fact ruling class women are involved in the exploitation of working class women (and working class men). They are not the “sisters” of working class women.

Orr shows that we need to fight sexism in the here and now, but also that the only way to end all types of oppression for good is for the working class – women and men – to unite in struggle and get rid of capitalism.

One final point needs to be made. Some feminists dismiss Marxism because the oppression of women continued in the so-called “communist” countries such as China and the former USSR. But these regimes are/were actually bureaucratic state capitalist tyrannies, not socialist or communist in the genuine sense. Orr mentions the fantastic steps towards women’s liberation that were taken following the Russian Revolution of 1917, but she also shows that these gains did not survive Stalin’s counter-revolution in the 1920s.

The author, Judith Orr, is a leading member of the Socialist Workers’ Party (Britain). She is the editor of the SWP’s weekly newspaper, Socialist Worker.

Phil Webster.


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