An Open Letter to The New York Times

October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


October 23, 2017

An Open Letter to The New York Times:

Regarding the special issue of the Book Review (October 22, 2017) marking the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution:  

I’ll leave aside the false narratives, fatuous assertions, and egregious distortions in this tired litany of anticommunist invective—though it’s something when Condoleezza Rice gives the most “balanced” appraisal of all your writers. I’ll leave aside Martin Amis’s morally moronic comparison (and factually ridiculous statement) that daily life for most Germans under Hitler—with the evidently small “exception,” he notes, for Jews, Communists, LGBT, and Roma—was better than for citizens of the Soviet Union.

I, among others, have refuted these charges at length elsewhere (“You Don't Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About the Communist Revolution…” and “Set the Record Straight”); and Bob Avakian (“Key Works…on the First Stage of the Communist Revolution”) has summed up both the overwhelmingly positive achievements, as well as the errors and shortcomings—yes, some of them indeed grievous—of the first wave of revolution that tried to emancipate humanity from class exploitation and all forms of oppression. (All available at

No, I’ll just ask this: when, dear Book Review, can we expect your special issue on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its relationship to the U.S., with its toll of 10 million and the hundreds of millions more kept in literal chains for centuries, as the “democratic West” grew fat on their labor? When can we expect you to highlight the extremely important work that has been done in just the past ten years, let alone going back to Du Bois, which for decades in this country had to fight to even get air?

And when will we be treated to your reviews of those monsters Jefferson and Washington who sold human beings away from their families, who committed rape, and whose actions led, directly and indirectly, to the violent and genocidal dispossession of one people and the further and even more horrific terms of enslavement for African-Americans (speaking here of Washington’s genocidal campaigns against the Indians and Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in particular)?

Finally, your special issue calls to mind the joke about the professor who asked her class of history students what is the main thing they think is wrong with communism. To which each and every student replied that the problem with communism is that it teaches people to think alike.

Raymond Lotta




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