Towards a history of the Fourth International: The testimony of a communist against the current
by Livio Maitan
This book is an analysis of the major events of the second half of the Twentieth Century by a Marxist and a participant. Livio was for a long period part of the leadership of the Fourth International. The book deals with the strategic and programmatic problems his generation faced as it sought to work towards a democratic socialist alternative.
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We are making an appeal for donations to complete the translation of this book.
We are hoping to raise to 5000 euros.
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About the book
In Per una storia della IV internazionale Livio relates his experience of being a revolutionary communist during the second half of the 20thCentury. From his early commitment to communism in 1942 under fascism in Italy, Livio chose to be ‘against the current’ by rejecting both Stalinism and social democracy. Instead, he charted a course of democratic and revolutionary Marxism, which brought him to the ‘Trotskyist’ movement, participating on its international leadership. Livio also became from 1991 a leading member of Rifondazione Communista until his death in September 2004 at the age of 81.
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About Livio Maitan
Livio Maitan was born in Venice on 1 April 1923, and developed a passion for politics from his youth. In 1942, when studying classical literature (Greek and Latin) at the University of Padua, he became active in the anti-fascist resistance. In 1944 he was sentenced by a fascist court, escaped to Switzerland and had to spend several months in internment camps there before he could return to Italy in May 1945.
In 1947 he joined the Italian Trotskyist movement, of which he remained a leading member all his life. He was one of a small group of comrades who led the Fourth International during the difficult years of the 1950s and early 1960s. First elected in 1951, he remained a member of the International leadership until his death. From 1991, he was a leader of Rifondazione Comunista. Maitan died in Rome on 16 September 2004.
Livio Maitan wrote a great many articles and several books, including Teoria e politica nel dopoguerra, Milan, 1959; Pci 1945-1969, Rome, 1969. Dinamica delle classi sociali in Italia, Rome, 1975, Destino di Trotsky, Milan, 1980, Il marxismo rivoluzionario di Antonio Gramsci, Milano, 1987; Il dilemma cinese, Rome, 1994; Dall’Urss alla Russia, Rome, 1996, Tempeste nell’economia mondiale, Rome, 1998, La strada percorsa, Bolsena, 2002.
Livio’s IIRE notebook The Long March of the Italian Communist Party can be downloaded from the IIRE site. An obituary of Maitan and a collection of English language articles can be found on International Viewpoint.