[Book] Ted Grant Writings: Volume One



It is with great pleasure that we introduce this first volume of the writings of Ted Grant. It represents the first step of a very long project that aims at publishing all his writings. Our aim is to make available to a broader public Ted’s contribution to the history of the revolutionary movement. We believe this project will contribute to the education of the next generation of Marxist cadres in the traditions that Ted kept alive throughout his long-standing activity in the labour movement.

The history of the Workers’ International League is so closely linked with the work of Ted Grant that it is impossible to separate them. Especially after Ralph Lee’s departure in 1940, Ted emerged as the WIL’s most prominent theoretician. From that time on he drafted the majority of the main political documents of the movement.

In a number of cases we have been able to trace Political Bureau or Central Committee minutes where we find Ted being put in charge of drafting a certain document. Some other documents carry the fingerprint of Ted’s style so evidently that there can be no doubt about their authorship. Clearly, the documents, although drafted by Ted, would have had input from other members and can be considered the fruit of collective effort. Ted, however, was the main driving force. These documents reflect the views of the collective leadership of the WIL, which Ted played a significant role in formulating.

For these reasons we have decided to include in this volume all the main political documents of the WIL that we could trace. We also decided to include all materials relating to the important debate of February-March 1941 on the proletarian military policy, in which Ted Grant, Gerry Healy and Andrew Scott defended a Majority EC position and Jock Haston, Sam Levy and Millie Kahn put forward a Minority view. This debate was instrumental in forging a genuine principled unity amongst the WIL leadership and in orientating the activities of the WIL during the war.

The authorship of all texts is indicated when different from Ted Grant and where there is known authorship.

Ted would have drafted or written many lead articles in Youth For Socialism, Socialist Appeal and Workers’ International News that were published unsigned because they represented an official statement of the WIL. We decided not to include this material in the present volume and hope to publish it separately at a later date. The same decision was taken in relation to Ted’s complete correspondence, because of the amount of research work needed to collect and edit that material. Again, it is our intention to publish this at a later date .

All texts have been checked against the original documents and are published here in their original form, except for evident typing error­s that have been corrected and formatting characters that have been standardised throughout. Where editorial insertions were necessary for clarification, they have been introduced in square brackets [].

Footnotes in the original texts have been marked with (*). Other numbered footnotes have been introduced in the present volume.