Two important changes took place in the personal and political life of Leon Trotsky during 1933.
After four and a half years of exile in Turkey, to which the Soviet government had deported him, Trotsky succeeded in getting a visa for France. His two-year stay in that country was marked by government harassment and, in less than a year, a government order expelling him, which could not be executed for some time because no other government was willing to accept him.
The year 1933 also marked a crucial change in the political orientation of Trotsky and the movement he led, the International Left Opposition. The failure of the German Communist Party to put up any serious struggle against Hitler's seizure of power earlier in 1933 and the failure of the Communist International and all of its affiliates to correct their policy as a result of the German catastrophe combined to persuade Trotsky that it was no longer possible to regenerate the Comintern on a Leninist basis. Consequently Trotsky and his supporters called for the creation of a new International and new revolutionary parties throughout the world, and work to build them became the central task to which Trotsky devoted the remaining seven years of his life.
Along with that task, the sixty pamphlets, articles, letters and interviews in this volume deal with the Reichstag fire trial, the French fascist bid for power, an obituary on Anatoly V. Lunarcharsky, Hitler's pacifist mask, the class character of the Soviet state, the nature of centrism, Christian Rakovsky's capitulation to Stalin, tactical problems of party-building in Britain, France and Belgium, and a detailed analysis of war in the era of imperialism. Many of these are here translated into English for the first time, while others, unisgned or signed with pen names when first published, are included here for the first time under Trotsky's name.