Thompson and the peace movement
From CND in the 1950s and 1960s to END in the 1980s
in E. P. Thompson and English radicalism
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Edward Palmer Thompson was a Popular-Front, social-movement man, a perspective in harmony with the eloquent 'human agency' argument which permeates his historical as well as his political writing. This chapter traces the perspectives through the lens of Thompson's peace campaigning from the late 1940s until his death in 1993. It focuses on his work in the context of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB ) from the immediate post-war years until 1956. The chapter also focuses on his role in the early New Left from 1956 until the early 1960s, his close involvement with Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It discusses his internationally recognised, highprofile role in European Nuclear Disarmament (END) from late 1979 onwards. END was a social movement, working with other analogous movements across Eastern and Western Europe, to move beyond the Cold War, to undermine the orthodoxies of both East and West.


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