This book is written from a perspective of communism and anti-racism. It is, naturally, opposed to anti-semitism in whatever guise. In particular, it is a polemic against manifestations of anti-semitism by those who claim to be part of the socialist or communist tradition. It has been a painful piece to write, intellectually and emotionally. I guess it will be painful to read. Leon Trotsky once said that "only the truth is revolutionary". This was his answer to those who refused to criticise Stalinism for fear that imperialists would jump on these criticisms, to further attack the very real achievements of the Bolshevik revolution. The facts in the book might well provide some perverse ammunition to reactionaries of all kinds, who want to denounce revolutionary change. So be it. Reaction has to be defeated honestly, not by defending the indefensible; what is written here is not in any way presented as a last word, rather it is an attempt to open up a genuine debate on the Left. Hopefully, something positive will emerge from the dissection of such negative material.

Even in draft form, the book has been attacked by individuals on the Left and the Right. However, what has made it possible and worthwhile has been the tremendous encouragement from so many different people (many of whom I have never met). Not least are those who have donated the entire cost of the production. I would like to thank Manchester Jewish Socialist Group for their support—in particular Joe Garman and Jeremy Green for their midnight discussion. I would also like to thank all those women in the women's caucus at the national Jewish Socialist Group day school on Left anti-semitism, who forcefully expressed their desire for publication. Francesca Klug and Judy Keiner wrote me extremely long and constructive letters, helping to clarify many points and raising further ones. Bill Williams spent years, literally, discussing the issues raised in the book. Finally, limitless thanks to Libby Lawson and Erica Burman who kidnapped the manuscript after it had been through countless drafts and, by editing it, made sure that it is Kosher and fit for human consumption.

All money that is received through sales will go to Shifra magazine, which is about to be produced by a Jewish feminist collective. So buy!

Steve Cohen

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© 1984 Steve Cohen, edited and produced by Libby Lawson and Erica Bunnan.
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