This issue of Revolutionary History is devoted to the origins of the Trotskyist movement in South Africa, and has been assembled under the guidance of the noted South African historian Baruch Hirson. In his essays in this journal, Hirson not only gives an extensive account of the early years of the South African Trotskyist movement, including vignettes of many of its leading personalities, but presents studies of the South African socio-economic formation and of the rise of Socialism in South Africa, both of which help the reader tounderstand the conditions in which the Trotskyist movement emerged.
This issue of Revolutionary History also contains a wide variety of documents and correspondence from the 1930s and 1940s in relation to the South African Trotskyist movement, including a previously unpublished letter by Leon Trotsky. The founding theses ofthe Workers Party of South Africa are included, and these give penetrating insights into the racist nature of South African capitalism, the problems of building an effective trade union movement within a racially divided working class, the nature of a revolutionary party, and conflicting ways of building an anti-war movement.
This issue's 'Work in Progress' section reveals the actual role of the Soviet secret police in the murder of the Spanish revolutionary Andreu Nin in 1937, and of the Czech Trotskyist Wolfgang Vaclav Salus in 1953.