ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Rebel in Saffron

In his other avatar as a revolutionary leader and theorist affiliated to the Fourth International and foremost defender (after the death of Trotsky and Isaac Deutscher) of the Trotskyist-Leninist tradition in the spectrum of Marxist or Marxist-inspired currents, the quality and range of his output was no less remarkable but had a less wide appeal. Here his major works include From Stalinism to Eurocommunism, Revolutionary Marxism Today, Trotsky: A Study in the Dynamics of His Thought, Power and Money (a major analysis of class and bureaucracy), as well as Marxist primers like Class Society to Communism, and innumerable pamphlets, essays and articles on an immense range of classical Marxist and contemporary social, political and economic problems in all parts of the world. His was an encyclopaedic mind. (He even penned a book called Delightful Murder that is perhaps the best social history ever of the genre of Crime and thriller novels.) Such writings necessarily had a more limited appeal even on the left because they were more directly politically challenging constituting as they did, a defence of the Trotskyist tradition as the representative of classical Marxism and demanding in the name of political coherence and integrity some considerable degree of affiliation with that tradition as embodied in the Fourth International. For many among the admirers of Mandel this was obviously much more difficult to swallow. In this respect there was a striking parallel found in the reception accorded to Gramsci and Trotsky, respectively by the new and old left after the post- 1960s discovery of Gramsci's intellectual and political importance.

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