HE Editorial Board departs from its previous practice in this issue by deserting the thematic approach and returning to the loose structure of the early issues of our magazine. This gives us the opportunity to publish some excellent articles accumulated over the years that could not easily be fitted into any of the topics dealt with so far, as well as going some way to answering the criticism that we are avoiding the wider issues.
This said, some sort of unity has emerged from this rather random collection, and perhaps it is worth saying what it is. All the articles we print relate to the Stalinist degeneration of the Comintern, to those who analysed, opposed, and criticised it, and what happened to them as a result. Our first section deals with these criticisms, whether made by individuals (Reade and Gunawardena) or by groupings (the Austrian oppositionists). Our second focuses upon a major change in Comintern policy, and the crisis that gave rise to it. Our third deals with two of the products of the Stalinisation of the Comintern, one (the Yugoslav Communist Party) an amazing success, and the other (the British) a no less resounding failure, if only because the former had the courage to defy Stalin, whereas the latter plainly did not. It is all rounded off with material bearing on the fate of revolutionaries during the Spanish Civil War.
Since the board never made a formal decision to stick to well-ordered themes, we still consider ourselves free to organise future issues as occasion serves. We still have a great backlog of unpublished material, much of it of burning interest and very relevant to our times. And if our readers feel strongly enough about one thing or another to send us their suggestions, they can be assured that they will be dealt with seriously.
The picture of Trotsky on the cover of Revolutionary History, Volume 7, no 2 was reproduced from the Journal of Trotsky Studies on the mistaken grounds that it was in the public domain. We offer our apologies to Ian Thatcher, the editor of the Journal, for reproducing it without asking for his permission.