Thursday, September 14, 2006

London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter

The London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter (No 28 Autumn 2006) is available on the web. It remains an exellent little e-publication. If there's a fault it's that it is too dominated by people associated with the SWP, with the obvious sharing of perspectives that implies; but is that because the SWP has the intellectual capital to contribute to a variety of these things. I certainlym don't think there is a consciopus policy of exclusion, more a process of intellectual agglomeration. And the danger of that is that people with different persepctives stay away.

Anyway the lead feature is the announcement of a historical project by Neil Faulkner and Pete Glatter entitled 'Revisionism and the New Imperialism' and proposing acomprehensive international history of 1914 to 1921 with a clearly revolutionary perspective. The starting point is a BBC documentary on the Battle of the Somme, which they link to a revisionist history of the First World War in which the evil bastards who led the British army are rehabilitated and Niall Ferguson's revisionist history of empire and how that relates to the current 'New Imperialism'.

Toby Abse reviews repubished books on the immgrant anarchist history of pre-1914 London by Bill Fishman and Rudolf Rocker. Of course, having Toby writing here does undermine my 'too much SWP' case and Toby is certainly critical (extremely and hysterically over-critical in my view) of the SWP; but he's the only one, so I'm gpoing to make the 'exception that proves the case' defence.

Geoff Brown reviews Dave Renton's histroy of the ANL, When We Touched the Sky, praising it for much of its material (which I think Brown contributed to as organiser of the ANL in Manchester), but criticising some of its politcal analysis. There is more Brown could have said, so I'm glad Brown advocates writing more in pursuit of the full picture of the ANL's success.


Blogger Louisefeminista said...

I recently read the Renton book, When We Touched the Sky and though it gave a fulsome account of the history of the ANL, it was pretty much dominated by SWPers or ex-SWPers.

There was hardly any mention of other activists in the ANL.

Also, coming from the west Midlands, there was hardly any mention of the the various campaigns against fascists standing.

In Wolverhampton, during the late 1970s, there was a local anti-racist committee, which was extremely active and had deep roots in the asian working class. It was an independently run group but gets no mention in the book.

There is also little mention of CARF (Campaign Against Racism and Fascism).

1 October 2006 at 20:15  

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