Christopher Hitchens on the great question of the day

At the close of the Fifties, the New Left put on a mass meeting in London, at which the star speaker was Isaac Deutscher and the slogan was ‘Into the Red Sixties’. At the close of the Seventies, there was a much-anticipated rally in Central Hall, Westminster, unironically billed as ‘The Debate of the Decade’, between Tony Benn and the leaders of the supposed British extra-parliamentary opposition. At this event, the motion for the debate was reform versus revolution. On the cusp of the Eighties and Nineties, New Left Books offers us a discourse of positive revolutionary gradualism from a young Muscovite dissident, winner of the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize for his last book, who is fighting to save the Soviet Union for socialism. You certainly need a dialectic to interpret this evolution.

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