Book Review: Rosa Luxemburg by Dana Mills

Reviewed by William Smaldone

Marx and Philosophy Review of Books | June 07, 2021

Dana Mills
Rosa Luxemburg

Reaktion Books, London, 2020. 208 pp., $16.99 pb
ISBN 9781789143270

More than 100 years after her murder by counterrevolutionary soldiers during the German Revolution of 1918-1919, Rosa Luxemburg continues to demand attention. As one of socialism’s most prominent Marxist theorists and one of its most courageous revolutionary activists, Luxemburg remains inspiring to radicals today. Not surprisingly there is a large literature on most aspects of her life and work, including relatively recent major biographies such as those by Annlies Laschitza (1996) and Ernst Piper (2018), which, unfortunately, have not been translated into English. J. P. Nettl’s massive study, originally published in 1966, remains the standard scholarly work in English, while a more accessible volume by Luxemburg’s comrade, Paul Fröhlich, is now over 80 years old. Likewise, Stephen Eric Bronner’s brief 1981 biography, which examined the applicability of Luxemburg’s thought to the conditions of the late twentieth century, is also dated. Meanwhile, Kate Evans’s recent graphic biography provides an innovative presentation of Luxemburg’s life, but lacks the depth that a more text-oriented biography can provide.

Read More »