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The text repository behind "red texts: communist text files"

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The Red Texts Text Archive

This repository contains the text files, used to create and maintain a red texts mirror. All files ending with .md, and only .md are processed into finished texts. To create your own archive, use the redtext mirror tools.

All files ending with .md (and only .md) within the root directory of this repository will be processed into texts for the archive. These are all written with pandoc's markdown. Metadata is stored using YAML metadata blocks, placed at the beginning of each file.


The texts collected here, primarily come from the left-communist tradition. The project values quality over quantity - this means that we don't just want to collect as many texts as possible and dump them here, but intend to have the texts properly formatted.


The actual formatting, is done with "Markdown", a lightweight plain text format. If you have never before used Markdown, there is no need to worry. Pages such as John Grubers' original specification or the CommonMark Spec will help you understand the syntax within a matter of minutes. Just make sure to use a plain text editor (Notepad++, Atom, Emacs, ...), and not a word processor such as Microsoft Word, Open-/Libre Office or others producing non-"plain text" (think .txt file) output.

If you wish to contribute a text, you think should be added, please make sure your texts adhere to to following rules/don't contain the following "defects":

  • All files should be UTF-8 encoded and written in English. Texts should contain as little non-standard ASCII characters as possible (non breaking whitespaces, ellipses and hyphenation characters, etc.). Obvious exceptions are accents or umlaute for languages like German or French. This can be checked by running uniname -alp <>.
  • Double spaces or double blank lines should be avoided.
  • Excessive Markup should be avoided, especially adding literal HTML code or trying to manually influence the final style and layout.
  • The structure of the document should represent the actual structure of the document.
  • All headings should by "ATX" headings (ie. starting with one or more #'s, instead of being underlined).
  • All documents should be proofread for typos/scannos, broken lines, strange capitalisation, etc.
  • YAML Metadata blocks should always be placed at the top of the files, and must contain at least the fields title, author, date and description. The keywords field is optional. author and keywords can contain more than one item, by using simple lists.
  • To enable tables of content for longer documents, set use-toc to true, and optionally set toc-depth to set how deep the table of contents should go in terms of heading levels.
  • Pay attention to correct YAML syntax, since otherwise the field will be ignored.
  • When adding keywords, try to check what keywords other articles use, to prevent having multiple keywords with a similar meaning (eg. Political Economy and Economics, USSR and Russia).
  • Footnotes should always be added by using the [^fn-x] ... [^fn-x]: text, as opposed to the ^[...] Syntax which pandoc also supports (this currently isn't used everywhere, but will be updated over time)
  • Text lines should be wrapped to 72 characters. This does not include the YAML block at the beginning of the file, where each field has to be written on one line. Pay attention to this when using automatic formatters like fmt or wrap.

In addition to the standard Markup syntax, we use Pandoc's extensions, especially the Footnote syntax and the YAML metadata blocks.


If you don't have Git installed on your computer or don't have a GitHub account, you can still contribute by sending in your texts to the current maintainers of this repository. We also accept diffs or just regular, non-technical Emails pointing out what to correct in a text.

All texts, unless otherwise specified, are in the public domain.


The text repository behind "red texts: communist text files"






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