Paul Levi in Perspective

Historical Materialism 23 (3):143-170 (2015)
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Paul Levi was leader of the German Communist Party in the vital years 1919 and 1920; he was subsequently expelled for his opposition to the adventurist March Action in 1921. Three recent books cast new light on this complex figure: David Fernbach’s selection of his writings, Frédéric Cyr’s biography and Paul Frölich’s memoirs. Levi was a man of great talent and courage, but his leadership style was defective; he was neither Leninist nor Luxemburgist, and his greatest weakness was his inability to relate to ultra-leftism. His limitations are revealed by a comparison with his comrade Clara Zetkin.



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