Film Showing: Spiridonova – Armed Love

miscellaneous 2018 poster
In Russia in October 1917 the Bolsheviks could rule only in coalition with LEFT SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONARIES who's charismatic leader MARIA SPIRIDONOVA was the equal of Lenin. Till April 1918 they maintained a fragile alliance but by June an uprising was inevitable and the outcome uncertain. SPIRIDONOVA maps those few months as tension grows and the divide between Leninism and a more libertarian socialism becomes starker........and fixed in history. Spiridonova is awash with assassins, plotters, […]

Socialist History (51)

By Francis King and Matthew Worley (eds)
Journal Review: “Left Intellectuals after 1956” may not sound like the most exciting of titles but the latest edition of Socialist History (no 51) contains a lot of fascinating material, especially for older Bristol Radical History activists. Michael Shatz’s opening sentence sets the tone – “Why did so many intellectuals tolerate the sterile and stifling culture of the Communist Party (CPGB) during the decade following the Second World War?” He provides his own answer in his article on “The […]

Remembering my father: From the Bavarian workers rising of 1918 to resisting the rise of the Nazis

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
My talk will draw on my father’s remarkable life in Germany up till 1933. I will use it to illustrate how the Nazis first built on the defeat of the 1918/19 Bavarian workers (and sailors) uprising, a consequence of the war, by the viciously anti-Communist Freikorps. My father, having observed the early Nazis and more aware than many on the left of how dangerous they were, was later deeply involved in the almost forgotten resistance to the Nazis pre-1933. He was active in a number of […]

How to stop a war: The German servicemen’s revolt of 1918

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
The German revolution of 1918-20 and its violent suppression is a little known event in the British popular memory. Where it is described the narrative typically commences with the mutiny of sailors from the German High Seas fleet over the first few days of November 1918. However, the numerous actions against the continuation of the war by hundreds of thousands of German soldiers on the western front during the preceding summer, have only been recently exposed by the work of historian Nick […]

The War after the War

In the light of the elements of working-class economics

“Every intelligent person now admits that the antagonism among the nations of Europe that led to competition of armaments and the present world war was fundamentally due to a universal desire to secure increased empires for the deposit of capital, the enslavement and robbery of the conquered races, and the monopoly of the oil, rubber, tin, and other products of the annexed territories” – John Maclean (1918) Written in 1918, as World War One drew to its bloody close, The War after the War is […]

Sylvia Pankhurst, ‘The Dreadnought’ and the ‘Great War’

During the First World War Sylvia Pankhurst’s newspaper, The Dreadnought was the most consistently anti-war publication. It not only opposed the global conflict but condemned the crushing of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, supported the 1917 Russian Revolution and campaigned for a revolution in Britain. Professor Newsinger is the author of numerous books including The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire (2006), Fighting Back: The American Working Class in the 1930s […]

Spies and Trouble Makers

Wales's response to the Russian revolution

In 1917 in Britain, one of the government’s worst nightmares was developing. There had always been a ‘hard-core’ of opposition to the war on political, moral & religious grounds. Over the course of the war this opposition had developed as conscription was introduced. It began to be joined by industrial militancy as working conditions came under attack. With the February Revolution those opposed to the war could see an alternative and a way for the war to end. The authorities understood the […]

54

By Wu Ming
WuMing 54 Cover
What does the Italian/ American mafia, the Italian Communist Party, Cary Grant, Field Marshal Tito, the KGB, and a McGriffin TV have in common? Well read this book and you will have a find out. All these are marvellously and skilfully interwoven into a rich plot that spans 541 pages of compelling reading. What makes the story even more enthralling is the fact that it is written by a collective of authors, going under the name of Wu Ming. Previously known as Luther Blisset, a famous black […]

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 […]

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