Marxist books are back: International Publishers rolls out expanded catalogue, more diverse authors

People’s World isn’t the only one celebrating its centennial in 2024. International Publishers, long known as one of the leading publishers of Marxist literature in the English-speaking world, is also marking its 100th year. For over a century, the company has been distributing “the literature of the revolution,” as our predecessor, Daily Worker, put it ten decades ago.

Since last year, People’s World has featured a series of articles spotlighting International’s history and revival as a force in the field of radical publishing. In the interview below, with IP President Tony Pecinovsky, we check in again to find out the latest plans that are in the works for growing the company’s profile and get a sneak peek at a few upcoming titles.

After you’ve read the interview, check out the links at the bottom of the article to see some of our other coverage of International Publishers.

People’s World: This is International’s 100th birthday year, and it seems like there’s already been a lot of celebrating going on these past few months. What’s happened so far to mark the occasion?

Some of the participants at the International Publishers 100th Anniversary Symposium, October 2023, from left: Dr. Denise Lynn, Dr. Melissa Ford, Dr. Gerald Horne, International Publishers President Tony Pecinovsky, Dr. Dennis Laumann, and Dr. Elisabeth Armstrong. | Photo and graphic design: C.J. Atkins / People’s World

Tony Pecinovsky: That’s right, International Publishers is celebrating its 100th Anniversary! We kicked off our 100th Anniversary last October with a day-long symposium at NYU’s Tamiment Library. The event was a huge success. Historians, activists, and leaders of the Communists Party spoke. They collectively took the day to recognize IP’s historic and continuing relevance as a premier Marxist publisher. The symposium included a wonderful exhibit and was keynoted by Dr. Gerald Horne, who I’m happy to announce has a new book now available for pre-order titled Armed Struggle? Panthers and Communists; Black Nationalists and Liberals in Southern California through the Sixties and Seventies.

Speaking of Dr. Horne, earlier this year we announced an ambitions scholarship partnership with him—the Jerry and Flora Horne Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship, named after Dr. Horne’s parents, is an investment in ongoing Marxist research into the links between Indigenous dispossession and Slavery / Jim Crow. The scholarship will be awarded to the manuscript proposal that best reflects the tradition of Dr. Horne’s pioneering research in scope and content, as well as International Publishers’ commitment to Marxist historiography. So, this is also part of our 100th Anniversary!

IP authors have also been a part of the academic mainstream, speaking at conferences. For example, myself, Denise Lynn, and Melissa Ford recently lead a panel at the Organization of American Historians 2024 Conference titled “Fear of a Socialist America: Black Radicals Face Right-Wing Anti-Communism.”

So, as you can see, IP has been much more outwardly projecting during our centennial.

As someone who keeps up with the latest scholarship in radical and left history, I’ve heard that International has some other interesting titles on the horizon, too. Can you let our readers in on what will be coming out in the months ahead?

We have a ton of exciting new titles in the works. In addition to the book I mentioned, we have another new title by Gerald Horne that’s being prepared now. It will hopefully be out this fall and is tentatively titled African Americans & A New History of the USA.

We also have several titles by and about women available for pre-order. This is a major step for IP. When I came on board, I recognized this as a major weakness of our catalog—an absence of titles by and about women. So, I made it a special project to reach out to new authors. For example, we have Melissa Ford’s Their Example Will Inspire Us: Five Black Communist Women, a collection of five short biographies. We have Joelle Fishman and Lisa Armstrong’s Lessons From Revolutionary Organizing: On the Campaign Trail and Beyond. We have Bennett Shoop’s Half the World: A Century of Communist Women’s Writing, which includes a Foreword by Denise Lynn, who is also working on a project for IP on the CPUSA’s Women’s Commission publications Working Women and Women Today. And we have a Claudia Jones reader in the works by Cristina Mislan and Keona Ervin. So, we’re making some real strides toward correcting this imbalance.

That’s several new, women authors who have not appeared in the IP catalogue previously. Is that a sign of things to come?

It’s definitely a sign of things to come. When I’m at various conferences—the Organization of American Historians, the African American Intellectual History Society, etc.—I’m talking with people. I’m connecting. I’m trying to figure out what manuscript ideas are out there that might be right for IP. I hear from folks how excited they are that IP is still around, how influential IP has been to their own political and ideological development.

I say all of this to say that IP is actively looking for new authors and manuscripts, which gets me to some other exciting projects on the horizon. We have a collection of poems by Stewart Acuff, titled Love Is Solidarity In Action. As you may know, Acuff is probably one of the most well-known labor leaders of the late-20th / early-21st century. He was responsible for leading the effort to unionize the workers involved with the 1992 Olympics while serving as president of the Atlanta AFL-CIO.

We also have a biography of George Meyers, titled No Power Greater: The Life & Times of George Meyers, by Tim Wheeler. Meyers was the President of the Maryland CIO, redbaited during the McCarthy era. And we have a new collection of essays titled Philip S. Foner – Marxist Historian, edited by Paul Mishler and myself.

If we can keep this pace, IP is on track to have one hell of a centennial!  

Seeing some of the covers of these new titles, it also looks like International is getting a real upgrade in the graphics and design department, too.

Thank you for noticing! For a long time, IP was mostly focused on the content, on the substance of its books, which—don’t get me wrong—is vitally important. However, we live in a modern world. We must compete for people’s attention in the modern marketplace of ideas, in a marketplace of instant gratification. And many of our covers were honestly doing us a disservice.

A few years ago, I attended an Independent Book Publishers Association Conference. One of the workshops was on book covers. And they noted that in a modern marketplace, we have roughly five seconds to catch a reader’s attention. If we don’t, they are moving on to something else. So, we could have the best content in the world, and we might. But readers would never know because they weren’t picking up our books—at least, not as much as they should.

100th anniversary totes and other merchandise available at

So, that became another major project. We decided all new manuscripts would be colorful and vibrant. They would feature photos as much as possible of the relevant personalities, so as to humanize the often-demonized characters involved (again, we’re often talking about Communists).

From seminars and conferences to several new titles and authors, this centennial year has been a big one. Is there anything else in the works for IP fans to look forward to?

A couple of things come to mind. We’ll be at the CPUSA National Convention in Chicago in June where several of our authors will read excerpts from their forthcoming books, and we’ll have books on hand for folks to take back with them. Plus, we have these really cool 100th Anniversary totes now available. They’ve been selling like hot cakes!

And by fall, the companion book publishing from the NYU 100th Anniversary Symposium will be in print. So, keep your eye out for that!

It’s going to be a busy 100th Anniversary!

READ other People’s World articles on International Publishers:

> International Publishers – 100 years producing ‘the literature of the revolution’

> International Publishers begins its second century of printing ‘books to change the world’

> We Charge Genocide: Ceasefire movement learning from the Black freedom struggle

> Gerald Horne endows International Publishers research prize on Indigenous dispossession and Black oppression


C.J. Atkins
C.J. Atkins

C.J. Atkins is the managing editor at People's World. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University in Toronto and has a research and teaching background in political economy and the politics and ideas of the American left.