Pathfinder’s new website — easier to search, browse, buy

Books help us see today’s fights as part of working-class line of march to end exploitation

By Holly Harkness
and Mary Ellen Marus
March 15, 2021
New website is optimized — for computer and phone — to help locate titles, authors, and subjects of interest in 11 different languages, and with Google and other search engines, also.
New website is optimized — for computer and phone — to help locate titles, authors, and subjects of interest in 11 different languages, and with Google and other search engines, also.

Pathfinder Press unveiled a new website this month at www.pathfinderpress.com. The attractive colorful design, enhanced search and greater security make for easy-to-use shopping and checkout. Built with improved technology, it helps readers searching the internet for various authors, titles and subjects to find Pathfinder books more quickly on search engines like Google.

Workers successfully fend off cop attack during 1934 Teamsters strike that made Minneapolis a union town and began Midwest industrial union drive.
Minnesota Historical SocietyWorkers successfully fend off cop attack during 1934 Teamsters strike that made Minneapolis a union town and began Midwest industrial union drive. From Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs.

As Mary-Alice Waters, president of Pathfinder, explains in the pamphlet Pathfinder Was Born With the October Revolution, the publishing house and its forerunners for more than a century “have had one and only one objective: to publish and distribute as widely as possible the books, pamphlets, and magazines that are necessary to advance the construction of a communist party in the United States — an objective that is inseparable from the building of a communist movement internationally.”

That’s why it’s true to say, as Waters’ pamphlet describes, that Pathfinder traces its continuity to the October 1917 revolution in Russia, led by V.I. Lenin, and the founding of the Communist International.

Readers of the Militant newspaper will find Pathfinder Press books valuable companions to the newspaper’s weekly coverage. In Tribunes of the People and the Trade Unions, Jack Barnes, national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, explains that reading these books help class-struggle-minded workers and youth “gain a historical perspective and see our actions as part of a long line of march of the working class and its allies toward emancipation from all forms of exploitation and oppression.”

Socialist Workers campaign to win new Militant readers and introduce books with lessons of over 200 years of class struggle.
Militant Socialist Workers campaign to win new Militant readers and introduce books with lessons of over 200 years of class struggle.

Pathfinder authors recount experiences and lessons from the heat of political battle, like Farrell Dobbs’ four-volume Teamster series about the 1930s truck drivers strikes and organizing drives that built the industrial union movement across the Midwest; struggles against racist discrimination in the U.S.; and speeches and accounts by leaders of Cuba’s socialist revolution.

“Picking up a Pathfinder book and reading Marx, or Lenin, or Malcolm X, or Che Guevara for yourself not only increases your knowledge, it also deepens your self-confidence and stretches your political horizons,” Waters explains. That’s why throughout the pages of the Militant, Pathfinder books are featured for further reading or offered at special prices.

Pathfinder distributes more than 800 books in 11 different languages. Customers from around the world — individuals, as well as bookstores and libraries — visit the website. Titles address pressing social questions, such as building a fighting union movement; women’s emancipation; the fight against police brutality; the roots of Jew-hatred and a working-class road to end it; and much more.

The revamped pathfinderpress.com is now “mobile responsive,” too. That means that users’ browsers automatically adjust in size and structure, whether you’re on a computer, mobile phone or tablet. Today almost 60% of web searches are done on phones, making such flexibility important.

Meeting of Cuban revolutionaries, 1957. Central leader Fidel Castro (middle), flanked by Haydée Santamaría and Celia Sánchez (right), Ciro Redondo and Vilma Espín (left). From Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution by Espín and others.
Council of State Office of Historical AffairsMeeting of Cuban revolutionaries, 1957. Central leader Fidel Castro (middle), flanked by Haydée Santamaría and Celia Sánchez (right), Ciro Redondo and Vilma Espín (left). From Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution by Espín and others.

Customers who are blind or otherwise visually impaired will find the Pathfinder site easier to navigate, due to rigorous tagging of images and content that can be read by screen-reading software.

As part of the new site, designers added photos of Pathfinder authors. There is also a News section featuring Pathfinder-related events — photos of book fairs and conferences in which Pathfinder participates, noteworthy book reviews, and videos like the one of Mary-Alice Waters speaking at the New York book launch in March 2020 of Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa.

Readers interested in building their revolutionary libraries can join the Pathfinder Readers Club for $10 a year to receive 25%-30% discounts and special offers.

The new Pathfinder site offers easier access to a world of books that contain the words of revolutionary leaders, letting them speak for themselves. In addition to those already named, these include Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, James P. Cannon, Malcolm X, Fidel Castro, Evelyn Reed, Thomas Sankara, Vilma Espín, Maurice Bishop and many more.

We encourage readers of the Militant  to visit the new site and explore what it has to offer.