This is the first in a series of volumes that will publish the documents of the Communist International in Lenin's time. This initial volume encompasses the years 1907-16, when the groundwork was laid for the Communist International, launched in 1919.
It opens with documents on pre-1914 efforts to prepare the Second International to face the growing threat of imperialist war, including proceedings from the International's 1907 Stuttgart congress.
When World War I broke out in 1914, the Second International collapsed. The majority leadership of its parties in most warring countries rallied behind the war effort of the imperialist governments and abandoned the struggle for workers power. A small minority of revolutionary Socialists, defying in most cases the official Socialist parties, re-established international ties and rallied workers in the fight against the war.
In this collection are the key documents of their struggle, including proceedings of the 1915 Zimmerwald conference and all the statements of the Zimmerwald Left, the international current led by the Bolsheviks that was the forerunner of the Communist International.
The discussion in these years took up imperialism, the right of nations to self-determination, the struggle against war, and how to build international working-class unity - questions that retain their urgency for the workers' movement today.
The majority of these documents have never before been published in English or are long out of print. Articles by Karl Liebnecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Karl Kautsky, Karl Radek, and others are printed for the first time in English, together with a selection of articles by V.I. Lenin.