Review: I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism, by A.M. Gittlitz

This is a wonderful book. People will read it because J. Posadas and the Trotskyist sect he led for decades were, for want of a better phrase, completely bonkers. A proponent of UFOlogy, thermonuclear war and communicating with dolphins, in recent years Posadas has become a humorous meme shared by a generation that finds traditional Trotskyists boring.

But there’s actually a lot more going on here. J. Posadas was the “party name” for a young, semi-literate Argentinian footballer who managed to build, almost single-handedly a vast regional network of Leninist revolutionaries who had a real impact on the world of Latin American leftism for many years. Of course Posadism disintegrated into a bizarre (and tiny) sect by the end, but for a time Posadas and his followers had real influence, first among some of the Cubans (they were close to Che) and later with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

An extraordinary story, well-told, of a largely forgotten slice of left-wing history.