Publishing fund


Towards a history of the Fourth International

The testimony of a communist against the curent

by Livio Maitan

Per una storia della IV internazionale

La testimonianza di un comunista controcorrente

Published 2006  by Edizioni Alegre, Roma.


This book is an analysis of the major events of the second half of the Twentieth Century by a Marxist and a participant. Livio was for a long period part of the leadership of the Fourth International. Livio deals with the strategic and programmatic problems his generation faced as it sought to work towards a democratic socialist alternative.


Why we need financial support

Resistance Books is making an appeal for donations for the publication of this book. We are a non-commercial publisher, run by volunteers. The translation of this book is being completed by an unpaid volunteer .

We are hoping to raise to £5,250 – €6,000 – $6,000. 

About the book

In Per una storia della IV internazionale Livio relates his experience of being a revolutionary communist during the second half of the 20thCentury. From his early commitment to communism in 1942 under fascism in Italy, Livio chose to be ‘against the current’ by rejecting both Stalinism and social democracy. Instead, he charted a course of democratic and revolutionary Marxism, which brought him to the ‘Trotskyist’ movement, participating on its international leadership. Livio also became from 1991 a leading member of Rifondazione Communista until his death in September 2004 at the age of 81.

How to make donations

In Sterling to Resistance Books
By bank transfer to:
Account name: Socialist Outlook Fund
Bank: Co-operative Bank PLC
IBAN: GB40CPBK08022870935370
In the UK, use:
Sort Code: 080228; Account no 70935370
By Paypal to
Mention “Livio” on the transfer, and email of the donation.

In Euros to the IIRE
By bank transfer to:
Account name: SOWS
Bank: ING
IBAN: NL55INGB0001039161
Or via the IIRE website.
Mention “Livio” on the transfer, and then email to notify us of your donation.

The Livio Maitan Library now open

The Livio Maitan Library is finally opening to the public. It is a centre for the study of the workers’ movement and has thousands of documents and publications, many of which are very rare, documenting the history of our movement’s struggles, debates and rich discussions in the 20th century.

The struggles of the exploited and oppressed didn’t just start today. There is a red thread linking the successive generations which is relevant to what we are doing today. Without the memory of these, often heroic, struggles and the debates which took place alongside them, not only would we be unable to understand the struggles of today, but we’d lose the indispensable experience of the past which can help us begin history anew, appreciating the continuities and the ruptures.

This is a heritage which is both useful and essential if we are to build a new international workers’ movement in the 21st century. The library is at the disposal of all those, but especially young people who want to be part of this project.

At a time when capital is trying to wipe out the memory of what has gone before, we think that this is a valuable thing to do. We are certain that Livio would approve.

Biblioteca Livio Maitan
via Elisabetta Canori Mora, 13 – Roma
contact c/o

About Livio Maitan

Livio Maitan was born in Venice on 1 April 1923, and developed a passion for politics from his youth. In 1942, when studying classical literature (Greek and Latin) at the University of Padua, he became active in the anti-fascist resistance. In 1944 he was sentenced by a fascist court, escaped to Switzerland and had to spend several months in internment camps there before he could return to Italy in May 1945.

In 1947 he joined the Italian Trotskyist movement, of which he remained a leading member all his life. He was one of a small group of comrades who led the Fourth International during the difficult years of the 1950s and early 1960s. First elected in 1951, he remained a member of the International leadership until his death. From 1991, he was a leader of Rifondazione Comunista. Maitan died in Rome on 16 September 2004.

Livio Maitan wrote a great many articles and several books, including Teoria e politica nel dopoguerra, Milan, 1959; Pci 1945-1969, Rome, 1969. Dinamica delle classi sociali in Italia, Rome, 1975, Destino di Trotsky, Milan, 1980, Il marxismo rivoluzionario di Antonio Gramsci, Milano, 1987; Il dilemma cinese, Rome, 1994; Dall’Urss alla Russia, Rome, 1996, Tempeste nell’economia mondiale, Rome, 1998, La strada percorsa, Bolsena, 2002.

Livio’s IIRE notebook The Long March of the Italian Communist Party can be downloaded from the IIRE site. An obituary of Maitan and a collection of English language articles can be found on International Viewpoint.