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Ernest Mandel Bibliography


  1. Generalities, background
  2. Size, coverage, contents, completeness, etc.
  3. Structure of entries, arrangement, bibliographic style
  4. Dedication
  5. Notes

1. Generalities, background

Within the framework of the Ernest Mandel section of TrotskyanaNet website we are presenting as an ongoing project the Ernest Mandel Bibliography which records writings by as well as writings about the late Ernest Mandel (Apr. 5, 1923 - July 20, 1995).

By this bibliographic labour of love we would like to pay honour to an outstanding academic figure and remarkable political activist who - particularly during the 1960s and 1970s - was one of the most distinguished, prominent and original personality of the non-Stalinist and non-reformist Left worldwide, one of the most respected Marxist economists and a long-time leader of the Trotskyist Fourth International. Once calling himself "a Flemish internationalist of Jewish origin", Ernest Mandel can be put in a line of "Non-Jewish Jews", to paraphrase a well-known formulation of Isaac Deutscher, whose stance was uncompromisingly internationalist and whose very intention was to resolve humanity's vital question "socialism or barbarism" in favour of socialism and to "overthrow all relations in which man is a debased, enslaved, forsaken, despicable being" (K. Marx). In the tradition of such outstanding Marxists like Rosa Luxemburg or Leon Trotsky, scholarly and theoretical work on the one side and revolutionary, propagandistic, political and organisational activities on the other side were inseparably linked in Ernest Mandel, thus "belonging to a species that has become increasingly endangered in [the] second half of the twentieth century: theoreticians of militant Marxism. Being a lifelong revolutionary Marxist and socialist, he was one of those few men and women in the history of the socialist movement who were able to combine the untiring activities of revolutionary leaders with a body of intellectual work that fulfilled the scholarly criteria for scientific research and compelled respect in academic circles. He was one of those who conceived Marxist theoretical activity as both a scientific endeavour and an integral part of revolutionary activity in the sense in which Marxist theory is a guide to action".[1]

With never-ending energy and born by an almost unshakeable optimism, for decades on end, Ernest Mandel dedicated himself to a task the meaning of which he himself - like Leon Trotsky whom he so greatly admired - considered in the first instance to lie in maintaining and saving the continuity and the heritage of the authentic, revolutionary and humanistic Marxism beyond all tempests of time and in keeping up, reanimating and restoring the emancipatory traditions of the labour movement and of the Marxist theory, so thoroughly disavowed and distorted beyond all recognition by Stalinism, and in passing these traditions on to the following generations, i.e., in providing them with the equipment which according to his firm belief was the indispensable prerequisite for realizing the "upright walk on an inhabitable earth" as Ernst Bloch so aptly had defined socialism.

This is the background against which whatever activities of his must be seen: his important contributions to the Marxist economic theory, his contributions as a journalist, essay writer, polemicist and speaker, and last not least his activities as the leading mind, organizer, and strategist of the Fourth (Trotskyist) International [2] whose veritable personification he has been for almost 50 years.

His intellectual influence and his significance as a mentor and inspirer actually went far beyond the Fourth International and its followers who in most countries did not come in significant numbers. A not insignificant number of persons, having become politically conscious and won over to the radical left in the nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies, most probably will have gained their knowledge of the political economy of Marx from reading Ernest Mandel's publications or from his seminars rather than from studying the original classic works. Some of Ernest Mandel's publications reached truly remarkable circulations in terms of copy numbers [3] which rather seldom happens in the case of non-belletristic literature. Nearly all his books and pamphlets, but also a major part of his contributions in journals, almanacs, commemorative publications and various collections appeared at the same time, or with a delay, in various languages (in some instances as many as thirty) with dozens of publishing houses in many countries of all continents. In view of the worldwide overall circulation of copies of his works Ernest Mandel is up to date the most-translated and most-read Belgian author, coming second only to Georges Simenon. He had substantial literary or public debates with many renowned representatives of both the bourgeois and the Marxist economic theories, with social and political scientists as well as with representatives of varying political orientation. He also had long talks with them or wrote books, polemic treatises and the like against them (or even together with them). The number of panel discussions and debates he attended is considerable. In those discussions and debates he passionately, decidedly and eloquently, yet always fair, advanced the positions of his contentious and humanist revolutionary Marxism against his antagonists from the ranks of reformist labour parties, yet quite often also against Trotskyist dissidents and sectarians. Likewise considerable is the number of his other public appearances, his speeches, lectures, interviews etc. For several decades he mastered a huge travel programme in addition to his academic and journalistic duties. As a matter of fact, he travelled to all countries of West, North and South Europe, to North and South America, to India, Sri Lanka and Japan, to Australia and New Zealand, dividing his time between speaking to large audiences at places like Berkeley, Sorbonne or Free University of Berlin and addressing internal meetings of members and adherents of the Trotskyist movement. In view of his innumerous activities and his workload it is hardly believable that he additionally found time to read crime novels, a weakness he admitted to with a twinkle in his eyes when he was older. Yet, typically of Ernest Mandel, this weakness ultimately seems to have led to the publication of his Delightful murder, a social history of crime novels.

Ernest Mandel exerted a strong and lasting influence on many a reader and member of his audiences. He was undoubtedly a fascinating and convincing, yet also a polarizing, personality. "Whether or not one agreed with all the ideas he expressed, a political or theoretical writing by Ernest Mandel was always a rich and stimulating document, even if it was one of the personal discussion letters he wrote so many. [...] Mandel was someone whom you could listen to for hours, always with the feeling of learning more and discovering new horizons. And he was certainly not a man to hug his knowledge jealously to himself. Not that he showed off his encyclopaedic culture out of pedantry, far from it. But he felt a duty to pass on what he knew, to communicate his thirst for knowledge and his intellectual passions. These concerns marked all his works".[4]

More than fifty years of intensive and uninterrupted political, scholarly, journalistic and teaching activities on the part of Ernest Mandel resulted in a most comprehensive and diversified, almost too vast, literary heritage. Sorting out this heritage, getting it somewhat into shape and, also, rescuing it from the fate of possibly becoming forgotten are - besides the historic, political and ideological importance of Ernest Mandel outlined above in short terms - the major motives of presenting this bibliography which we have decided to be published exclusively in electronic form. However, we can produce printed and bound copies on demand; thus don't hesitate to contact us.

According to our knowledge, so far, there is no comparable work as regards comprehensiveness and density of recording. In published form there have been existing up to now:

Our bibliography is an edited version of a selection made from one of our bio-bibliographical databases in the field of Trotskyana established by means of the Allegro C library software.

The compilers of this publication set great store by emphasizing that their bibliography as well as the mentioned databases from which it is generated are exclusively self-financed projects neither sponsored nor influenced by any private persons or by institutes of whatever type.
The following statements regarding contents, scope, form and layout of this bibliography are to be preceded by our admission that we are fully aware of the fact that despite the remarkable scope of this bibliography in view of the state of affairs and in view of what has been pointed out above, can only be a temporary, not a "final" or "complete" bibliography. In this context, we would like to finish by quoting Gilbert Achcar: "An exhaustive bibliography of Ernest Mandel's writings - even if it were restricted to published works, books, brochures and articles, leaving out his voluminous correspondence - would be an undertaking on the scale of a doctoral dissertation".[6]

2. Size, coverage, contents, completeness, etc.

Our Ernest Mandel Bibliography (as at November 2020) lists round about 5,000 items: some 3,500 items by Ernest Mandel plus some 1,500 items about him. In both categories - i.e. primary and secondary sources - independently published works (books, pamphlets) as well as dependently published writings (articles, reviews etc. published in journals and newsletters, as component parts of monographic collections etc.) are considered, published between 1944 and 2020. With regard to the places of publication, most of the listed items were published in Western and Central Europe and in the United States, Canada and Australia; with regard to the language of the documents, only European languages are considered.

The Ernest Mandel Bibliography contains published books, brochures, pamphlets, journal articles and various contributions to collections (multi-author works), occasionally including the following special types of documents: lecture scripts, dissertations and master theses, contributions to conferences and reports about them, reviews of works by and about Ernest Mandel, obituaries, biographical sketches, encyclopaedic articles, etc.

Unpublished items such as manuscripts, letters and other typical archivalia, flyers and articles in daily newspapers generally remain unconsidered, however with a few exceptions. Quite predominantly unconsidered remain the uncountable contributions of Ernest Mandel to various internal bulletins of the Fourth International and its national sections as well as the numerous reflections of his activities at conferences and meetings of the Fourth International, its leading bodies and its national sections (e.g. the minutes of the International Secretariat or of the Executive Committee of the Fourth International). With regard to manuscripts, letters and numerous other archivalia we should like to mention here a considerable goldmine of information called the Ernest Esra Mandel Papers, housed at the famous IISH/IISG (International Institute for Social History / Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis), Amsterdam.

Predominantly the listed items were published in printed form. Electronic resources are considered only occasionally (and of course without any claim for completeness!) and only if either a corresponding printed edition/version could not yet been traced or if the electronic version is considerably varying in title proper and/or contents. A very modest selection of nonprint media (e.g. video or sound cassettes) has been considered, too. Films and video clips easily available via YouTube are not listed.

As already mentioned above, with a few exceptions only material published in European languages is considered. The bulk of the items is in English, French, German, Netherlandic [Dutch/Flemish], Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish. Additionally, our listing considers some items published in Norwegian, Icelandic, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Slovene, Polish, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, Esperanto, etc. Many writings of Ernest Mandel have been translated into languages which unfortunately can not be considered (for various reasons), e.g. Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, Singhalese, Hindi, Farsi etc. The overwhelming majority of the writings listed in our Ernest Mandel Bibliography has been published in Europe (chiefly in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain) and in the United States of America.

Claiming completeness with regard to the present bibliography would be a sign not only of presumption, but of ignorance and naïvité; worse: it would mean practising a fraudulent labeling. True, we intend a considerable density and breadth of recording, thus striving for a relative completeness, however a good deal of relevant items and sources has to remain unconsidered since we have been faced with some difficulties or obstacles hardly to overcome, only some of which should be mentioned here:
a certain number of writings simply has not yet been available to us; they are not listed in any catalogue or the like;
other items lie dormant in archives or private collections not available to us or they are not for lending or can not be copied. This is often the case with regard to serial publications which have had a little printrun only and/or which have been produced for an internal, limited use.
Some papers in which contributions from Ernest Mandel's pen have appeared, simply have been beyond our access until now or could have only been partially analysed. Many of Ernest Mandel's writings, even letters and similar documents, have been translated (authorized or unauthorized) into various languages and published in various serials, newsletters, internal bulletins and the like, often issued by tiny political organizations. Many of those sources are of course hardly to trace.
It should be noted, too, that there are certain gaps even in those archives which are housing the literary heritage of Ernest Mandel, due to the fact that Mandel for instance failed to make carbon copies from every outgoing correspondence.
Last not least there is a considerable number of items which were published anonymously and which we decided to exclude from the bibliography because Mandel's (single) authorship could not (yet) be established free of doubt.

3. Structure of entries, arrangement, bibliographic style

The Ernest Mandel Bibliography is divided into 2 main sections:

Section 1: Writings by Ernest Mandel

Section 2: Writings about Ernest Mandel

Additionally, we offer a consolidated list of analyzed sources, i.e. an alphabetically arranged list (by title/author) of some 1,000 journals, newsletters, collections of writings by Ernest Mandel, multi-author collections and other works, most of which have been analyzed, i.e. most of which have been searched for items by or about Ernest Mandel which are listed in section 1 or 2 of our bibliography; please note that complete bibliographic data of the sources are mentioned only in the consolidated list of analyzed sources, whereas in the analytical bibliography sources' data are given in a slightly abridged form.

Please note, that our bibliography has no indices; occasionally there are provided cross references (e.g. between related items, originals and translations).

Within section 1, entries are arranged chronologically (i.e. by years of publication). Within one and the same year, arrangement is by title proper. Undated items (to which by definition are also belonging electronically published items!) are to be found at the very end of the section. Within section 2, entries are arranged alphabetically by (first mentioned) author. Within one and the same author, arrangement is by title proper. Items which have been published anonymously or which have been authored by more than 3 persons, are filed under title proper or under supplied title (e.g. "Review"), respectively.

The bibliographic style and the structure of the entries - those provided in sections I and II as well as those in the list of sources - are more or less self-explanatory and should be quite familiar to people using bibliographies and library catalogues. We would like to mention here only a few peculiarities which should be noted when using the Ernest Mandel Bibliography:

4. Dedication

We dedicate this work to the late Ernest Mandel (1923-1995), the unforgettable Marxist-humanist, teacher and revolutionary.


[1] Achcar, Gilbert: Ernest Mandel (1923-1995) : an intellectual portrait, in: Achcar, Gilbert (ed.): The legacy of Ernest Mandel, London and New York, 1999, p.3

[2] For the sake of historico-political correctness it is to be mentioned here that Ernest Mandel was not the personification of the "Fourth International" but the main inspirer of one of several tendencies or currents - yet, however, of the most important one - each of which claiming for itself the label of the Fourth International founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938. Short mention is made here only of the fact that the strongest attacks and longest-lasting polemics against Ernest Mandel emanated particularly from the chief theoreticians of the various rival Trotskyist Internationals. It was not seldom that these polemics culminated in 'unmasking' Ernest Mandel as a revisionist charlatan, as a pioneer of capitalist restoration or as a lackey of Stalinism. The arguments within the 'Trotskyist family', the detailed replies to the assaults on his theories or on Trotskyism according to his understanding required not a small part of Ernest Mandel's activities as a writer and speaker. And it may be pointed out here that - a few months before his death and already marked by his severe illness - Ernest Mandel did not hesitate to travel to New York City in order to participate in a public debate (his last one as it turned out) with representatives of the International Communist League [the former International Spartacist Tendency] who numbered among his most tenacious and fundamental critics. [Within brackets it is here pointed out that the flood of Trotskyist (or pseudo-Trotskyist) polemics directed against Ernest Mandel is reflected by rather a minor section, only, of Section 2 of our bibliography dedicated to the secondary literature on Ernest Mandel and that no 'completeness' is intended in respect of our listing.] Besides, it is pointed out here that some social liberal and democratic conservative governments of bourgeois states considered Ernest Mandel so dangerous a 'wirepuller' and a person undermining the prevailing social structures as to impose upon him refusals of entry of many years and to not grant him the right of free speech and/or of appearing in meetings and academic auditoriums. Such was the case in the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Switzerland. As regards to the Federal Republic of Germany some of the consequences of the refusal of entry (1972-1978) were that Ernest Mandel could neither visit Frankfurt a.M., the city where he was born, nor his inlaws [see Der Spiegel (Hamburg), Apr. 10, 1972] and that the examining board in front of which he was to defend his thesis submitted to the Freie Universität Berlin in 1972 had to travel expressly to Brussels. The East-European countries (with the exception of Yugoslavia) remained completely inaccessible to him until 1989/90; court actions were brought against, and professional bans were also imposed on, dedicated followers of Ernest Mandel such as the Czech Petr Uhl; other Trotskyists had to spend many years in prison.

[3] For instance, 110,000 copies of but the German edition of his Introduction to Marxist economic theory were sold by 1990.

[4] Achcar, Gilbert: Ernest Mandel (1923-1995) : an intellectual portrait, in: Achcar, Gilbert (ed.): The legacy of Ernest Mandel, London and New York, 1999, p. 4.
We would like to quote here what Jurriaan Bendien said about Ernest Mandel a few years ago, since we widely share his appreciation: "Being a journalist, Ernest learnt to read and write incredibly fast, in fact one Belgian socialist said to me he could hold a conversation and write an article at the same time! The main strength of his writing lay in his ability to expound basic Marxian ideas in clear language, without sectarian innuendo, and his willingness to enter into dialogue with the most diverse people (more than I would). He was a humanist and Luxemburgist in orientation, who was interested in people. He excelled as theoretician and debater, but I think he wasn't a great politician himself, although he worked very hard at it for many years, as trainer and team leader. Many of his students became leading socialist politicians and scholars though; one of them became a successful banker. I think myself Mandel had somewhat restricted view of what politics and radicalisation is about, and didn't really come to grips with the culture of postmodernity, that's my bias. Tariq Ali covers some of these issues in his satirical novel Redemption, which offended quite a few Trotskyists. Ernest was always under great pressure to be very 'orthodox', but actually he was really quite innovative, and he knew a lot more than he wrote about. On the other hand, because he was a political activist, often he did not have the opportunity to pursue topics systematically in greater depth. So, often he provides only an approach or introduction to the topic, showing the main elements involved, and putting them in context. That is pedagogically useful, but obviously more work is necessary to obtain a full answer. [...] Basically, Ernest burned himself out in the end, and wound up with Parkinsons disease. [...] The Trotskyists had this 'small group, big world' syndrome - their breadth of vision and aspiration by far exceeded what they could actually realize in their lives. But perhaps that is a problem affecting all revolutionaries seeking to go beyond the status quo." [Cited from Marxism mailing list archive, dated Dec. 14, 2004, accessed on Jan. 5, 2005, URL unfortunately defunct as at Oct. 31, 2014]. And we also share Tariq Ali's final appreciation as expressed in his foreword to the first English-language edition of Jan Willem Stutje's booklength biography of Ernest Mandel: "Ernest Mandel was a Trotskyist, but one able to think independently and to engage with many whose views were far removed from his own. Some of his finest essays were written for audiences that needed convincing. I miss him greatly. He had a profound influence on me that will never completely disappear" [Cited from Stutje, Jan Willem: Ernest Mandel : a rebel's dream deferred, London, 2009, p. XIII].

[5] In 2009, Jurriaan Bendien generously supplied us with an unpublished manuscript of 30 pp. titled Additions/corrections to the 1987 bibliography of Ernest Mandel's writings by Jurriaan Bendien, updated June 2000, chronologically ordered by year only (S.l.); this amendment previously had been cited in Kellner, Manuel: Kapitalismusanalyse, Bürokratiekritik und sozialistische Strategie bei Ernest Mandel, Marburg, Philips-Univ., Diss., 2006, p. 429. We would like to give our thanks to J. Bendien and at the same time we would like to emphasize that his bibliography contains some items (e.g. some records of manuscripts) which have not been (or, not yet been) included into our Mandel bibliography.

[6] Jaber, Salah [i.e. Gilbert Achcar]: Rapid survey of a substantial body of work, in: International Viewpoint, 1995 (269), pp. 16-17.

Wolfgang and Petra Lubitz

https://www.trotskyana.net © by Wolfgang & Petra Lubitz