RORY CASTLE: A tribute to Norman Geras (1943- 2013)

Rory Castle

[first published on the Rosa Luxemburg blog]

The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, 1976

The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, 1976

The respected writer, thinker and groundbreaking blogger, Professor Norman Geras has died in Cambridge. Geras contributed greatly to the study of Rosa Luxemburg in the UK and internationally, most notable with his ‘The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg’ (UK: New Left Books, 1976), but also since then in numerous articles, reviews and blog posts.

Just a few months ago, Professor Geras appealed to readers of his blog to donate money in support of the effort to publish Luxemburg’s Collected Works in English, writing:

“Rosa Luxemburg wrote that ’Freedom is always… freedom for the one who thinks differently’. She was a partisan of the idea of democratic pluralism within the socialist movement. Her ideas on this topic also had their limitations, but hers was a humane and powerful voice, within the Marxist tradition, for taking the values of freedom and democracy seriously.”


In tribute to Professor Geras and to his work, here is a selection of his vast contribution to the study of Rosa Luxemburg:

Books and Chapters:

Norman Geras, The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg(UK: New Left Books, 1976) (republished by Verso in 1983 and available here:

Norman Geras, Luxemburg and Trotsky on the Contradictions of Bourgeois Democracy in Robin Blackburn (ed.), Revolution and Class Struggle: A Reader in Marxist Politics(Glasgow: Fontana, 1977), 302–313

Articles and Reviews:

Norman Geras, Rosa Luxemburg in David Miller (ed.), The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987), 299–301

Norman Geras, Review of Elzbieta Ettinger, Rosa Luxemburg: A Life’ New Statesman, vol. 113, no. 2929, 15 May 1987, 27–28

Norman Geras, Rosa Luxemburg in Tom Bottomore (ed.), A Dictionary of Marxist Thought (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983), 293–94 (second edition, 1991, 327–29)

Norman Geras, Review of Lelio Basso: Rosa Luxemburg- A Reappraisal Political Studies, vol. xxiv, no. 1, March 1976, 96–98

Norman Geras, Rosa Luxemburg after 1905′ New Left Review, 89, Jan-Feb 1975, available at: (£)

Norman Geras, Rosa Luxemburg: Barbarism and the Collapse of Capitalism New Left Review, 82, Nov- Dec 1973, available at: (£)

See also the archives of his excellent blog, for more:

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