British communism : a documentary history

Callaghan, J ORCID: and Harker, B, (eds.) 2011, British communism : a documentary history , Documents in Modern History , MUP, Manchester.

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Wide-ranging and richly researched, this is the first sourcebook to reconstruct the tumultuous history of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Drawing together over one hundred and fifty documents, including party statements, press releases, published correspondence, reviews, poems and articles, it presents a detailed portrait of the party, its abiding concerns and its many contradictions from the 1920s to the 1980s. It samples voices from the full spectrum of the party’s diverse personnel, from long-standing party leaders (Harry Pollitt, Rajani Palme Dutt), to prominent twentieth-century British intellectuals (E. P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm), to significant cultural figures (Jack Lindsay, Alan Bush, A. L. Lloyd). Over half of the book is organised chronologically, bringing into sharp focus the CPGB’s trajectory: its emergence and consolidation; the adoption of new lines in response to shifting international contexts and Moscow directives; moments of damaging crisis and political isolation; the widening fault lines that eventually led to the party’s dissolution. Running through this overarching narrative are thematic chapters providing magnified coverage of central issues: the party’s critique of imperialism and engagement with anticolonial struggles; the party’s cultural policies and interventions; its relationship with the Soviet Union and the broader British Labour movement. Balanced, comprehensive and framed by Callaghan and Harker’s detailed introductions, British Communism: A documentary history is not only a valuable addition to the historiography of Communism, but to the study of twentieth-century Britain.

Item Type: Book
Editors: Callaghan, J and Harker, B
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Publisher: MUP
Refereed: Yes
Series Name: Documents in Modern History
ISBN: 9780719082115
Related URLs:
Depositing User: B Harker
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 13:55
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:48

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