Many of the documents in this volume have never been translated into English before, and many others have not been published since the 1920s when their translation was often not of the highest order. This, therefore, is the first modern translation of the complete set of documents actually approved by the Lenin era of the Third International: the period when debate within it was still possible if not always welcome - before being snuffed out by the monolithism of the Stalin period. By their emphases and lacunae they help us to understand the Comintern, its relations with the Soviet Government, the checks to its growth and the main questions it tried to resolve.
The Introduction by Bertil Hessel points out the major events and changes which took place a) in the relations between classes in the main foci of class struggle b) within the Soviet Union, within the Communist Party there, and between the Party and the working class and peasantry c) between the Soviet Union and such countries as Britain, Germany, Turkey & China d) within the Comintern itself. This is an essential to understanding the issues discussed at, or just as importantly, ommitted from the different congresses.