Four Socialist Reformers of Socialism: Alexandra Kollontai, Andrei Platonov, Robert Havemann, and Stefan Heym

Author: Riser, John
This study analyzes and evaluates major elements of the careers of four dissidents who were opposed to the socialist systems under which they lived. It focuses on the main events in their lives, their most significant contributions, the influence they wielded, as well as the substantive adjustments in outlook they made after their early optimism about the prospects of “existing socialism” disintegrated due to disillusionment about, and rejection of, its guiding policies.


“. . . does much to dispel misperceptions by portraying the difficult lives of the four critics who remained in communist-governed countries because they were committed to the revolutionary aspirations of their regimes, however disillusioned they were and however much they dissented from the direction and behavior of these regimes.” – Prof. Stuart A. Lilie, University of Central Florida

“The author paints a truthful picture of the four, their lives, their intellectual positions and their political and scientific activities on behalf of a humanistic development of socialism. Many generally unknown facts are specified; and a substantial difference between Soviet and East German “socialism” is emphasized, that is, the antifascist orientation of the latter after the destruction of the Nazi Reich.” – Prof. Heinz, Engelstädter, Humboldt University

Table of Contents

Preface by Stuart A. Lilie
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Alexandra Kollontai and Soviet Socialism
Chapter 3: Andrei Platonov and Soviet Socialism
Chapter 4: Robert Havemann and East German Socialism
Chapter 5: Stefan Heym and East German Socialism
Chapter 6: Conclusion