Eric Hobsbawn: Socialist Historian

This publication by The Socialist History Society is a record of a special event in 2013 to celebrate and assess the work of the late Marxist and historian, Professor Eric Hobsbawm. The centre section of this publication, entitled ‘Hobsbawm’s Tetralogy’ focuses on his four important writings The Age of Revolution, Primitive Rebels, The Age of Capital and The Age of Extremes, beginning at the French revolution in 1789 and concluding towards the end of the twentieth century in 1991. According to […]

Angela Remembered

The Life of Angela Gradwell Tuckett

By MacGregor
Rosie MacGregor remembers Angela, that is Angela Gradwell Tuckett (1906-1994); a stalwart Communist, an all-round radical and something of a Renaissance woman. I’ll call her simply Angela too. Angela had a radical family background. She descended on her father’s side from a family of abolitionist (and quite prosperous!) Quakers. Her maternal family line included her grandfather, Bristol artist Henry Stacy and her aunt the pioneering socialist Enid Stacy. Born in Weston-Super-Mare, Stacy was an […]

City Under Fire

The Bristol Riots and Aftermath

By Geoffrey Amey
City under fire cover
From Dreadnought Books The riots of 1831 gripped the city of Bristol for three days at the end of October. Most general histories of the city include some reference to this infamous event. ‘This lively row gave Bristol the biggest advertisement in its history’ (Columbus p. 16, 1893), yet it has rarely received more considerable attention. There appear to be only four book-length histories: ‘A Citizen’ (John Eagles) produced his assessment in the following year, The Bristol Riots, Their Causes, […]

Central Labour College

A Chapter in the History of Adult Working-class

By W.W.Craik
Written by William Craik a railway guard who got kicked out of Ruskin College, Oxford and was then the principal of the CLC in the early 1920s The Central Labour College schooled a whole generation of the brightest workers mainly from the mines and railways of Britain between 1909 and 1929. It was formed by the dissident students who had been thrown out of Ruskin college following a strike (see Colin Waugh ‘Plebs’ ISSN 0459-2026). The CLC was housed initially in Oxford until the University […]

The Nightmare Trail

By Davis Adams
Scenes from the Life of Poet and War Casualty: FW Harvey The poet FW Harvey (1886-1957) spent the last thirty years of his life in Yorkley in the Forest of Dean. I was brought up in the Forest of Dean and was always taught that Harvey was our very own war poet and First World War hero who won a medal for “conspicuous gallantry” which included killing a number of German soldiers at close quarters. However this book is about Harvey the man, who was both human and flawed. The book challenges some […]

Dreaming A City

From Wales To Ukraine

By Colin Thomas
This book describes the making of the 1991 TV documentary ‘Hughesovka and the New Russia, Dreaming a City’ created by the author and the Welsh historian Gwyn Alf Williams. Focusing on the town of Donetsk in the Ukraine from its origin in eighteen-seventy, when it was a small village occupied by one hundred and seventy people, it documents the historical events from that time through the Russian revolutions, Bolshevism, Stalinism, Nazi occupation, the collapse of Communism and rising Ukraine […]

Charles Booth’s Policemen

Crime, Police and Community in Jack-the-Ripper ’s London

By Victor Bailey
Charles Booth's Policemen cover
The recorded crime rate in the East End of London fell during the period of 1875 until 1900. The rate of common assaults, aggravated assaults, and assaults on the police fell from 423 crimes per 100,000 people in 1875 to 204 crimes in 1900 and even prosecutions for drunkenness fell after 1875. The purpose of this book is to show clearly how that decline was directly related to the actual behavior of the public rather than changes in law enforcement or people’s attitude to crime. In the later […]

Ready for Revolution

The CNT Defense Committees in Barcelona 1933-38

By Agustín Guillamón
Translated by Paul Sharkey Morpheus: ‘I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo, I just said it would be the truth’ I remember seeing Frederica Montseny speak in Barcelona in 1986 for the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution. I was on holiday with Ian Bone and our girlfriends and as we looked up at Montseny I remember Ian slagging her off and being a bit embarrassed that this ‘brave’ woman who must have been through so much was not getting the respect she deserved. Of course at the time I was a […]

Partisanas

Women in the Armed Resistance to Fascism and German Occupation (1936–1945)

By Ingrid Strobl
Partisanas: Women in the Armed Resistance to Fascism and German Occupation (1936-1945)
This book examines the parts played by women in the struggle against fascism across Europe. Strobl acknowledges the importance of so-called “passive” resistance such as hiding people, distributing leaflets and listening for information on radio Moscow and the BBC, which is perceived as the traditional role of women in the resistance. However this book looks as the women who broke away from this traditional role and took part in the armed struggle against fascism. As someone who didn’t know very […]

The Body Economic

Why Austerity Kills

By David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu
This book and one of its authors briefly hit BBC radio in the summer of 2013 and luckily one afternoon I caught one of the interviews. What stuck in my mind was the almost unbelievable statement made by David Stuckler that ‘ten million Russian men disappeared in the early 1990s’ as a result the transition from so-called ‘Communism’ to ‘Capitalism’. Ten million! Surely this must have made world news? How had I not heard about this biblical scale disaster? It must be left wing lies….mustn’t it? […]

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