Monday, January 10, 2011

John Saville: commitment and history

Themes from the life and work of a socialist historian

Edited by David Howell, Dianne Kirby and Kevin Morgan
Lawrence  & Wishart
Buy book HERE

John Saville (1916-2009) was one of the leading socialist academics of his generation, and one of the most influential figures in British labour history. This new collection of essays offers a variety of perspectives on his lifetime’s work. A first section – commitments – assesses Saville’s activities, at different times during his life, as a communist, as a founder of the New Left, and as editor (with Ralph Miliband) of the long-running Socialist Register.

The middle section – themes – looks at key themes which mattered for Saville, from revolutionary anti-imperialism in India to the politics of Cold War and debates in labour history. In part three – interventions – contributors discuss Saville’s contributions to contemporary historical understanding of Chartism, British labourism and the Cold War. The aim is to offer critical analysis and reflection in the tradition which Saville himself did so much to establish.


Kevin Morgan The good old cause
Madeleine Davis The New Reasoner and the Early New Left
Colin Leys ‘Honest socialists’: John Saville and the Socialist Register
John Sakkas The first casualty of a socialist foreign policy? Greece and Britain in the 1940s
Dianne Kirby Islam and the Religious Cold War
Sobhanlal Datta Gupta History re-examined: anti-imperialism, the Communist Party of India and international communism
Tony Adams Port workers and politics: religion, casual labour and voting in English docklands, 1900-1922
Malcolm Chase The Chartist movement and 1848
David Howell The ideology of labourism
John Callaghan The politics of continuity

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