Max Shachtman: His Ideas and His Movement

Editor’s Note: Max Shachtman (1904-72) was expelled from the Communist Party in 1928 for Trotskyism. He broke with Trotsky in 1939 to found the Workers Party- Independent Socialist League (1940-58). From 1958, he was a leading figure in the Socialist Party, the author of The Bureaucratic Revolution: The Rise of the Stalinist States (1962) and an intellectual influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Declaring George McGovern’s foreign policy a ‘monstrosity,’ he leaned towards Senator ‘Scoop’ Jackson in the 1972 Democratic Party presidential primaries.

Tom Kahn (1938-92) was a ‘Shachtmanite.’ He played a leading role in organising the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and served as chief speechwriter to Senator Henry M. Jackson in the early 1970s. From 1986-92 he was Director of the Department of International Affairs at the AFL-CIO. Rachelle Horowitz provides a moving account of his life in this issue of Democratiya. This previously unpublished tribute to Shachtman was written in 1973 and has been provided by Eric Chenoweth, to whom we express our gratitude.

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