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Healy's Big Lie: The Slander Campaign Against Joseph Hansen & George Novack Paperback

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Press (NY)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873486838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873486835
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,194,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In 1975, Gerry Healy's Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) in Britain and their American co-thinkers, the Workers League, started an international smear campaign against the U.S. Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The bizarre campaign, known as "Security and the Fourth International", claimed that long-time SWP leader Joseph Hansen was a double agent of the Soviet secret police and the FBI, and that he was somehow involved in the murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico. The exiled Russian revolutionary was struck down in 1940 by a real Soviet agent, one Ramon Mercader, who had managed to infiltrate Trotsky's household. Hansen had been one of Trotsky's guards.

Usually, a absurd conflict of this kind between two Trotskyist groups would be of little interest, but in 1975 both the British WRP and the American SWP were well known and high profile in their respective countries. The SWP had a strong influence in the anti-war movement in the United States, while the WRP was numerically strong (at least on paper) and had recruited famous actress Vanessa Redgrave to its ranks. WRP leader Healy used his contacts in the British media to get maximum publicity for his accusations against Hansen. Of course, claims that Trotsky's guard was infiltrated by Soviet intelligence also have a certain intrinsic interest all by themselves. (For some reason, both the SWP and the WRP anachronistically refer to the Soviet secret service as the "GPU", a name which apparently dropped out of use already in 1923. Not being a scholarly expert on the bewildering number of Soviet spy agencies, I will nevertheless use the term "GPU" in this review, for the sake of consistency with the book under review.)

"Healy's Big Lie" was published by the SWP in 1976. Hansen easily refutes Healy's claims.
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