What We Are Doing


Join with Set the Record Straight in a wide range of educational and outreach activities

Developing this website as a resource for all those who want to find out about the socialist revolutions of the 20th century;

Research and publication of fact sheets, articles, and other educational materials;

Giving talks, holding workshops, and making presentations to students and community groups;

Distributing materials and staging open-air debates on college campuses;

Holding forums on topical issues and controversies relating to the historical experience of socialism;

Networking with progressive scholars in various academic fields;

Commentary in the media and on YouTube.

Some Highlights of Set the Record Straight

Organized two major symposiums on the Cultural Revolution

In 2008-09, Set the Record Straight helped organize two symposiums on the Cultural Revolution titled: “Rediscovering China’s Cultural Revolution: Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation.” In New York City, the symposium was co-sponsored by Revolution Books and the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University; in Berkeley, California, Revolution Books joined as co-sponsor. These events drew diverse audiences and were powerful and moving rebukes to the dominant and distorted narrative of the Cultural Revolution as “mass persecution and madness,” and opened up new space for contesting this narrative. Especially significant were the voices of people who experienced the Cultural Revolution first-hand and the penetrating analysis and vivid commentary on issues of gender and the liberation of women and the cultural breakthroughs of the Cultural Revolution. Watch the videos of the presentations at the Berkeley symposium.

Fielded scholars in the media and influencing public opinion

In the summer of 2008 during the Beijing Olympics, Set the Record Straight organized a media blitz to counter the barrage of distortions coming from both the U.S. and China regarding the Chinese revolution, the Cultural Revolution in particular, and also to expose the nature of the capitalist system in China today. See the Press Release: “The Beijing Olympics: What Is Really Happening On and Off The Field; Four Radical Scholars Speak Out.”

Raymond Lotta has appeared on news shows about contemporary U.S.-China relations, speaking to the intensifying rivalry between U.S. imperialism and China as an emergent imperial power. (See two YouTubes on Russia Today TV: US and China starting new Cold War? and Rising tension between China & United States)

In 2008, when the Asia Society in New York City held an exhibition of art works from the Cultural Revolution era, Set the Record Straight organized its own guided tour of the exhibit, including commentary from a scholar in China studies who participated in the Cultural Revolution.

Sponsored campus speaking tours with revolutionary communist intellectual Raymond Lotta

In the fall of 2005 Set the Record Straight sponsored a speaking tour by Raymond Lotta, “Socialism Is Much Better than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World.” Lotta’s speech challenged the conventional wisdom about communism and put before people the actual historical record of the “first wave” of socialist revolutions, in the Soviet Union (1917-56) and China (1949-76). Read the full speech, or sections excerpted on the Historical Controversies: China’s Great Leap Forward and Stalin & the Soviet Experience. The tour began in California at UC-Berkeley and traveled to UCLA and to Harvard, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Howard University, Mexico City, and London.

In 2009-2010, Set the Record Straight sponsored another national campus speaking tour by Lotta titled “Everything You’ve Been Told About Communism Is Wrong: Capitalism Is A Failure, Revolution Is The Solution.” A letter signed by several scholars called on people in the academy to engage with Lotta’s arguments and to help this tour reach large numbers of students.

At the University of Chicago, over 300 students turned out, and the tour received front-page coverage in the campus newspaper, the Chicago Maroon. At Harvard, Lotta issued an Open Letter, a challenge to anticommunist historian Roderick MacFarquhar to publicly debate issues of the Cultural Revolution.

Lotta’s speaking tours have stirred lively debate, discussion in classrooms and campus plazas, and commentary in campus newspapers. On the two tours, hundreds of students came out to hear Lotta’s comprehensive presentation of what the Soviet and Chinese revolutions were about, to take part in no-holds barred exchange, and to learn about
how Bob Avakian has re-envisioned communism for the 21st century.

Collaborated with scholars to popularize research findings
Set the Record Straight has collaborated with and popularized the work of scholars and researchers whose findings and writings shed important light on the actual history and achievements of the socialist revolutions in China and Russia. This work is cited and linked where possible, so that visitors to this website can access this valuable scholarship.

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Raymond Lotta speaking to University of Chicago Students, November 2009