Edited by ANNELIES LASCHITZA, GEORG ADLER and PETER HUDIS
Translated by GEORGE SHRIVER
March 5th, 2011 will mark 140 years since the birth of a figure who should be as well-known and celebrated as Che Guevara: her name is Rosa Luxemburg. To commemorate the occasion, and to inaugurate a decade-long project to properly restore the life and thought of this extraordinary woman, Verso Books presents The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg.
The most comprehensive collection of Luxemburg’s letters ever published in English—over half of them translated here for the very first time—The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg is an irresistible compendium of correspondence from the heroic German revolutionary to her comrades, friends and lovers. Even for those who are familiar with her work, this is Rosa as never seen before— revealed in all her wit, eloquence and human warmth.
The letters will be accompanied by a plate section showcasing Luxemburg’s sketches and handwritten notes as well as photographs of her key correspondents, including leading figures in the international labor and socialist movements whom she counted as her closest friends: Leo Jogiches, Karl Kautsky, Clara Zetkin and Karl Liebknecht.
As a woman, a Pole and a Jew, Luxemburg’s climb to the top of German Social Democracy was one shadowed by great hostility. But bursting forth from these letters is the intellect and sheer dedication to a cause of an individual who would not be quietened—one well aware of her own power: “I want to affect people like a clap of thunder, to inflame their minds not by speechifying but with the breadth of my vision, the strength of my conviction, and the power of my expression.”
To quote Peter Hudis, writing in his Introduction, “Rediscovering Rosa Luxemburg”: One of the most insightful theorists and original personalities of modern radicalism, Rosa Luxemburg deserves a new hearing in light of the complex problems facing efforts at social transformation today … Her painstaking analysis and opposition to the logic of capital speaks especially powerfully to our time, poised as we are at the edge of an economic, political and ecological catastrophe …
Luxemberg’s fiercely independent intellect and uncompromising defense of human liberty speaks more powerfully to our era than to any other.
Rosa Luxemburg’s time is now.
Book Reviews: English
- George Fish, Socialism and Democracy No. 58 (2012) (PDF)
- Vladislav Davidzon, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Winter 2011-2012 (PDF)
- Adam Kirsch, "Red Rosa," Jewish Review of Books, Fall 2011
- George Fish, "Red Rosa: An Intimate Self-Portrait," New Politics No. 51, Summer 2011
- Jacqueline Rose, "What More Could We Want of Ourselves!" London Review of Books, June 16, 2011 (PDF)
- Vivian Gornick, "History and Heartbreak: The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, The Nation, April 13, 2011 (PDF)
- Joel Schalit, "The Optimism of the Will: Communism, Feminism and Letters From Luxemburg," Forward, April 8, 2011 (PDF)
- Scott McLemee, "The Socialist Network," Bookforum, April-May 2011 (PDF)
- Irene Gammel, "Revolutionary Rosa," Globe and Mail (Toronto), March 25, 2011 (PDF)
- Ian Thomson, "The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg," The Observer (London), March 20, 2011 (PDF)
- Sheila Rowbotham, "The Revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg," (Manchester) Guardian, March 5, 2011(PDF)
Book Reviews: Other Languages
- [Portuguese] Scott McLemee, "Bem traçadas linhas de uma socialista,"Estadao (Brazil), April 23, 2011
"Intrepid, incorruptible, passionate and gentle. Imagine as you read between the lines of what she wrote, the expression of her eyes. She loved workers and birds. She danced with a limp. Everything about her fascinates and rings true. One of the immortals.”
“Rosa goes on being our source of fresh water in thirsty times.”
— Eduardo Galeano
- "Reading Rosa: Peter Hudis, editor of the newly published Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, speaks to Red Pepper (London)," April 2011