This issue is devoted to the life and writings of Pierre Broué (1926-2005), an outstanding historian of the Communist and Trotskyist movements. Broué's historical writings are far better known in continental Europe than among the Anglophones Britain and North America so we present a series of texts not previously available in English. We include a long biographical essayby Vincent Presumey, which gives some insight into what being a Trotskyist could be like in France during the Second World War and the following half-century.
The pieces by Broue deal with the birth of Soviet power, the struggles within the Russian party and the Third International in the 1920sand 1930sand the existence of oppositionist, including Trotskyist, currents, all in the event doomed, within the Soviet Union itself. Unlike most from that tradition he is rigorously critical of the defects and weaknesses which afflicted the Comintern from its inception. Finally there are articles which deal with the complexities of the Spanish Revolution and the opposition outside the Soviet Union. There are also three biographical essays, the last of which throw a very critical light on the behaviour of many of Trotsky's followers during and after the Second World War.