For some time now studies on the history of communism have taken a transnational and comparative turn — a development that has undoubtedly produced a range of intriguing insights into the emergence of a global movement that shaped the outlook of the twentieth century. Oleksa Drachewych’s book is another outstanding example of this overall trend.

This published version of a doctoral thesis completed at McMaster University highlights the important role of the Comintern in developing communist thinking on race, imperialism, and national self-determination across the communist world. Drachewych underlines the importance of Lenin’s thought in shaping the general disposition of the Comintern toward those issues, and he highlights the vital interventions of the Indian communist M. N. Roy. He also acknowledges the crucial role of Willi Münzenberg’s League against Imperialism. But, he notes how, later on, Stalin’s priorities in international politics had a strong influence on the Comintern’s actions, turning...

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