See Socialist Appeal issue 56 or visit our website for part one of this article, which covers the party’s early days, the Foreign Language Federations, and the split with the Socialist Party.

In January of 1917, a meeting was held in New York City to begin organizing the left-wing of the Socialist Party of America. They wanted to publish a regular Marxist paper, which would be a tool to win over the rank and file of the SP to a Marxist program. There were approximately 20 people at this meeting, one of whom was Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was new to New York and the USA. Soon after the meeting, he would leave the U.S. and go back to Russia and play the role of co-leader of the first successful workers’ revolution, while the SP left-wing would go forward and eventually become the Communist Party.

As part of our ongoing series on the early Left in the United States, we turn next to the Socialist Labor Party and its central figure, Daniel De Leon. Given the continued influence of De Leon and his ideas on some people on the Left, our aim is to draw a balanced appraisal. With the benefit of hindsight, we examine the rise and fall of the SLP as a relevant force in the socialist and workers' movement in order to draw the lessons for today.

On Saturday, March 27, Kenny McGuigan died after six years of fighting Motor Neurone Disease. Kenny was a class fighter, a Marxist and a leading Scottish member of the International Marxist Tendency. We send our deepest condolences to Kate, Paula, Laura, Cara, and all the family, and will not forget our comrade as we continue the struggle he dedicated so much time and energy to.

On January 27th, 2010, the working class and the oppressed of the United States lost one of our greatest historians. For many of us on the left, our introduction to political life was reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, which presents a comprehensive history of this country from the “bottom-up.” Zinn made it his life goal to speak for those whose voices had been silenced in the traditional telling of this nation’s history, and to make this history as accessible as possible, so that it did not remain isolated in the ghetto of academia, but was taught in high schools and colleges across the US.

On Thursday October 24th 1929 the great New York stock exchange panic began. 12,894,650 shares changed hands, many at fire sale prices. The following Black Tuesday October 29th Wall Street began its long meltdown. The Wall Street crash divides two eras: the jaunty ‘jazz age’ of the 1920s and the 1930s – the decade of depression.

After a bitter coal yard workers’ strike and organizing campaign in early 1934, Teamsters Local 574 won the right to represent thousands of workers in Minneapolis. But by May, a second strike became necessary, after the trucking and warehouse bosses refused to recognize the local.

On August 21, 1940 the great revolutionary fighter, theoretician, and martyr, Leon Trotsky, died of the wounds inflicted in a brutal attack by a Stalinist agent. To mark the anniversary of the assassination of Trotsky we are publishing a transcript of a speech given by Esteban Volkov, Trotsky's grandson, to a school in Barcelona at the end of July 2003.

Marx has been declared dead so many times, and yet he keeps coming back again and again, the reason being that his ideas, his theories, are the only ones that can explain the present crisis of capitalism. Here a Nigerian Marxist gives his views on the relevance of Marx’s ideas today.

The 1934 Teamsters strike in Minneapolis, led by the Trotskyists of the Communist League of America (the forerunner of the Socialist Workers Party), was a decisive moment in the US labor and socialist movements. During the years preceding the strike, few would have expected the upsurge that took place in 1934.

I recently visited Mexico at the invitation of Esteban Volkov, Trotsky's grandson, to participate in the filming of a documentary about the life and death of the great Russian revolutionary. The documentary, by the Argentine-Mexican director, Adolfo Videla, was filmed in the house in Coyoacan where Leon Trotsky lived for the last few years of his life, together with his faithful companion and comrade, Natalia Sedova. The documentary draws on rich archive material and includes valuable contributions by people like the French Trotskist historian Pierre Broue. It is due to be shown on Mexican television in the autumn.

59 years have passed since that hot afternoon on the 20th of August 1940 in an old house surrounded by leafy trees and cactus in a peaceful suburb of Coyoacán, in the capital of Mexico. Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, revolutionary Marxist and, alongside Lenin, one of the most outstanding leaders of the 1905 revolution and the October revolution in Russia, fell victim to an assassination expressly ordered by Joseph Stalin.

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