Liberate the Colonies!

Communism and Colonial Freedom 1917-1924

Edited by John Riddell, Nazeef Mollah, Vijay Prashad

LeftWord Books, 2019

Language: English

294 pages

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In the first years after the 1917 Russian revolution, a bold new cry was heard around the world, ‘Liberate the Colonies!’ It was voiced in Moscow by Marxists combating tsarist oppression of Asian peoples. It came from the world of Communism, which launched a great International for a global freedom struggle. It came from the colonies, where activists such as M.N. Roy, Ho Chi Minh, Tan Malaka and others worked to break the chains of empire.

Over the decades, anti-colonial freedom movements transformed the face of the world. This book portrays how this movement took shape.

Pioneer revolutionists from oppressed countries, in their own words, pinpoint the movement’s weaknesses, debate its problems, and develop a global strategy and programme. Among other things, the book highlights how

  • in 1920, at a conference in Baku, women won the right to comradeship with men on an equal basis;
  • revolutionary leaders from Asia convinced the Moscow government to combat chauvinist abuses of Soviet power; and
  • V.I. Lenin and M.N. Roy – the old strategist of Russia and the young rebel of India – debated and reached a common framework for unity in the freedom struggle.

This precious historical record is vitally important to all those who seek a socialist future.

John Riddell

John Riddell is general editor of the Comintern Publishing Project (1983–2017), and editor of several volumes of Comintern documents.

Nazeef Mollah

Nazeef Mollah is Editor, LeftWord Books.

Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad is the Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Darker Nations: A Biography of the Short-Lived Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (both from LeftWord). His most recent book is Red Star Over the Third World (LeftWord 2017). He writes regularly for FrontlineThe HinduAlternet and BirGun. He is Chief Editor at LeftWord Books.

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