James Connolly’s <i>Labour in Irish History</i>
in Mobilising classics
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James Connolly's most significant and longest written work, Labour in Irish History, retains a central position in the canon of Irish socialist literature and was read assiduously by leftists until at least the 1980s. Although published in 1910, Labour in Irish History had its genesis in the late 1890s and its political kernel is consistent with positions that Connolly had articulated for many years. The 'sensation' that Connolly had predicted his book would create failed to materialise and was scarcely likely from such a short print-run and narrow distribution. Connolly directly contradicted many of the certitudes of nationalist historiography, especially those cherished by constitutional nationalists for whom he had little respect. In Connolly's version, the arrival of capitalism and bourgeois values was an act of cultural imperialism that necessitated the destruction of racial memory as well as social institutions.

Mobilising classics

Reading radical writing in Ireland

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