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Alan Woods was born in Swansea, South Wales, in 1944 into a working-class family with strong communist traditions. At the age of 16, he joined the Young Socialists and became a Marxist. He studied Russian at Sussex University and later in Sofia (Bulgaria) and the Moscow State University (MGU). He has a wide experience of the international labour movement and played an active role in building the Marxist tendency in Spain, where he participated in the struggle against the Franco dictatorship. He was later active in Pakistan, Mexico and other countries, including Venezuela, where he developed a close relationship with the late Hugo Chavez, and founded the international campaign, Hands off Venezuela.
Alan Woods is the author of many works covering a wide spectrum of issues, including politics, economics, history, philosophy, art, music and science. He is also the political editor of the popular website In Defence of Marxism (marxist.com) and a leading member of the International Marxist Tendency.
Highlights of the books he has authored are: Lenin and Trotsky: What they Really Stood For and Reason in Revolt: Marxist Philosophy and Modern Science, both in conjunction with the late Ted Grant; Marxism and the United States; Reformism or Revolution; The Venezuelan Revolution: A Marxist Perspective, The Ideas of Karl Marx and Bolshevism: The Road to Revolution. He also edited and completed Trotsky’s last unfinished work, the biography of Stalin, which had remained incomplete for seventy years.
His books have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, Greek, Turkish, Urdu, Danish, Portuguese, Russian and Bahasa Indonesian.