History of the International Socialist Youth Movement

History of the International Socialist Youth Movement

History of the International Socialist Youth Movement

History of the International Socialist Youth Movement

Excerpt

The increasingly important role of international youth organizations and national youth movements in world affairs has been commonly recognized since 1945. This study attempts to reconstruct more than two decades of the activities of one international political youth movement: The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). The story has been beset with all of the difficulties common to any study dealing with comtemporary problems. Since no work has been done on the history of international socialist youth movements beyond 1921, the writer has had to base his study almost entirely on primary source material. The almost complete lack of secondary sources has made the IUSY record files the single most important source for the post-1945 period. However, the abundance of material has presented a certain obstacle, since many documents contribute little, if anything, to the subject. Some correspondence of a semi-private nature is missing. To fill obvious gaps the author has consulted former leading IUSY officials, who at present are for the most part in positions of power. The writer has also drawn extensively on his own experience in the youth movement.

Although the author has been encouraged by IUSY officials to undertake this work, and thus has been given free and unhampered access to all the most recent correspondence and documents in the office of the IUSY secretariat in Vienna, the responsibility for the views expressed and for whatever errors may be evident is entirely his own. The writer tried -- as he believes with an open mind -- to establish the available evidence, to investigate the complex problems, and to appreciate the ideals implicit in the values of the groups involved. He has arranged the evidence, in the main, in chronological order and has concentrated the narrative on the post-1945 era described in Parts Two, Three, Four, and Five. The major topic running through the story is the transformation of the IUSY from a Europeancentered, to a truly worldwide, movement.

The nature and activities of the IUSY cannot be fully understood without including an outline history of its immediate predecessor, the Socialist Youth International (SYI). Thus, in Part . . .

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