Gerry Healy and His Place in the History of the Fourth International
Incisive Review of Wayward Trotskyist Leader Review by Terrence McGovern
David North's "Gerry Healy and his place in the history of the Fourth International" is one of many works on the split with the Workers Revolutionary Party of Great Britain which the International Committee of the Fourth International has published but it is also one of the best. North's book recounts the extraordinary career of Gerry Healy, a brave and steadfast Trotskyist for many decades who fought the emergence of Pabloism in the early 50s and even took upon himself and his own organization the task of continuing the revolutionary politics of the Fourth International after the defection of the Socialist Workers Party in the early sixties. It also recounts the growing pessimism and consequent opportunism of Healy and his organization, which led to the complete loss of the WRP as a revolutionary force. David North also presents, succinctly, perhaps the best explanation this reviewer has read of the difference between Healy's (and his co-thinkers in the WRP) verbose invocations of "dialectics" and "cognition" and genuine dialectics, as well as the real impetus behind the adoption of the WRP's bizarre "method."
North's account is a smooth read, written with respect for the subject figure and his accomplishments but determined to expose the concrete processes and acts of opportunism that led to the disastrous implosion of the WRP and the downfall of Healy as a revolutionary. (Posted on 12/16/10)
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