Alan Woods


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 ( 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.

Where to find Alan Woods online

Where to buy in print


Spain’s Revolution against Franco: The Great Betrayal
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 206,020. Language: British English. Published: October 25, 2019 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » History » European
The story of the Spanish revolution of the 1930s is quite well known to most people on the left, but there is a surprising level of ignorance concerning the events that occurred subsequently. History did not cease with the victory of Franco in 1939. And the story of how the Franco dictatorship was eventually brought down by the revolutionary movement of the Spanish workers is an inspiring one.
The First World War – A Marxist Analysis of the Great Slaughter
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,260. Language: British English. Published: July 3, 2019 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Military
Could the Great Slaughter have been avoided? Alan Woods uses the method of Marxism to answer this question. He explains that, actually, whilst individuals play an important role in history, to explain events such as wars, one must look at deeper causes. As well as dealing with the origin of the war, Woods traces the conflict through its development, looking at the role of all the major actors.
The Venezuelan Revolution - a Marxist Perspective
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 77,930. Language: British English. Published: February 20, 2019 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » World politics
This book, originally published in May 2005, is a collection of articles written by Alan Woods and covers the momentous events of the Bolivarian revolution from the April 2002 coup which was defeated by the masses, up until 2005 when president Chavez declared that the aims of the Venezuelan revolution could only be achieved by abolishing capitalism.
The Ideas of Karl Marx
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,390. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2018 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism
This short book, released for the two hundredth birthday of Marx, contains a series of articles on the man, his life, and his ideas: from an explanation of the philosophy of Marxism; to Marx’s battles against petty-bourgeois anarchist ideas; to Trotsky’s assessment of the Communist Manifesto. This book should be read by all class-conscious workers as the beginning of the study Marxism.
Bolshevism: The Road to Revolution
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 309,480. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2018 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism, Nonfiction » History » Russian
This is a comprehensive history of the Bolshevik Party, from its early beginnings through to the seizure of power in October 1917. Using a wealth of primary sources, Alan Woods reveals the real evolution of Bolshevism as a living struggle to apply the method of Marxism to the peculiarities of Russia. It can be used as a handbook for those involved in the movement today.
Marxism and Anarchism
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 136,060. Language: British English. Published: November 12, 2018 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism
This volume includes classic essays by Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Plekhanov, and contemporary analysis by Alan Woods and others, on an array of topics related to anarchism, e.g. the Occupy movement; Marx vs Bakunin; Engels on authority; Michael Albert and Parecon; why Marxists oppose individual terrorism; direct action; anarcho-syndicalism; Kronstadt; the Makhno rebellion; the Spanish Revolution.
What is Marxism?
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,470. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2017 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism
This book is aimed specifically at newcomers to Marxism. A bestseller now in its second edition, it comprises introductory pieces on the three component parts of Marxist theory, corresponding broadly to philosophy, social history and economics: dialectical materialism, historical materialism and Marxist economics. With some key extracts from some of the great works of Marxism.
Reason in Revolt
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 205,780. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2015 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Philosophy of Science, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Cosmos
20 years have passed since the publication of Reason in Revolt. The book has been greeted with enthusiasm not only on the Left, but by scientists and others interested in philosophy and the latest scientific advances. It explains how dialectical materialism, the philosophy of Marx, allows us to study reality, not as a series of unconnected, senseless events or “facts”, but as a dynamic process.
Reformism or Revolution
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 200,160. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2015 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Political
A reply to Heinz Dietrich in the context of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, concerning the nature of the socialist transformation of society. Alan Woods uses the ideas of Marxism to explain the revolutionary road to socialism and answer Dietrich's arguments for a "new alternative".
Ted Grant: The Permanent Revolutionary
Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 147,500. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2013 by Wellred. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Political biography, Nonfiction » History » Revolutionary
Ted Grant was a well-known figure in the international Marxist movement. The book covers the development of his life from his birth 100 years ago to his death in 2006. It explains the important theoretical questions and debates within Trotskyism of this period and it outlines Ted Grant's important theoretical contribution.