Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 36 items for :

  • "British New Left" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Approaches to Labour politics and history

This book is an attempt to take stock of how some of the British Labour Party's leading interpreters have analysed their subject, deriving as they do from contrasting political, theoretical, disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. It explores their often-hidden assumptions and subjects them to critical evaluation. The book outlines five strategies such as materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and synthetic strategies. Materialist, ideational and electoral explanatory strategies account for Labour's ideological trajectory in factors exogenous to the party. The 'new political history' is useful in understanding Labour within a less reductive framework than either the 'high' or 'from below' approaches and in more novel terms than the Left-Right positions adopted within Labour. The book assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. New Left critiques of labourism in fact represented and continued a strand of Marxist thinking on the party that can be traced back to its inception. If Ralph Miliband's role in relation to 'Bennism' is considered in comparison to his earlier attitudes, some striking points emerge about the interaction between the analytical and subjective aspects in his interpretive framework. Miliband tried to suggest that the downfall of communism was advantageous for the Left, given the extent to which the Soviet regimes had long embarrassed Western socialists such as himself. The Nairn-Anderson theses represented an ambitious attempt to pioneer a distinctive analysis of British capitalist development, its state, society and class structure.

Madeleine Davis

ITLP_C03.QXD 18/8/03 9:55 am Page 39 3 ‘Labourism’ and the New Left Madeleine Davis This chapter assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. In part constituted in opposition to old left tendencies, including Labour, the British New Left took an independent, broadly Marxist, position. Its thinkers thus offered theoretically informed analyses of the party and its role – mainly, as will be seen, in terms of the category labourism – that were highly critical. They were preoccupied in

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Abstract only
Beyond Stalinism and social democracy?
Paul Blackledge

2 The New Left Beyond Stalinism and social democracy? Paul Blackledge The New Left: beyond Stalinism and social democracy? The British New Left emerged in 1956 as a response to a global ideological crisis that opened with Khrushchev’s secret speech, but which came to fruition when the revolutionary workers’ movement in Hungary was suppressed by Russian tanks on the same weekend that Anglo‑French troops invaded Egypt.1 Together these events created a space for a critique of the world system as a totality. In this context the New Left aimed, by contrast both with

in Against the grain
Abstract only
Scott Hamilton

New Press, New York, 1993, pp. 1–24; and Andy Croft, ‘Walthamstow, Little Gidding and Middlesbrough: Edward Thompson the Literature Tutor’, in Beyond the Walls: 50 Years of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Leeds, ed. Richard Taylor, University of Leeds, Leeds, 1996, pp. 144–156). When he wrote his authoritative study of the first British New Left, Michael Kenny excavated some useful unpublished texts from the papers of Thompson’s old comrade Lawrence Daly at Warwick University’s Modern Records Centre (Michael Kenny, The First New Left: British

in The crisis of theory
Abstract only
The investigation and trial of the Angry Brigade, 1967–72
J.D. Taylor

Alternative Press, 1966–1974 (London: Routledge, 1988), p. 141. 13 Christie, Edward Heath, loc. 4489. 14 J. D. Taylor, ‘The Party’s Over? The Angry Brigade, the Counterculture, and the British New Left, 1967–72’, The Historical Journal, 58/3 (2015), pp. 877–900. 15 ‘The Red Badge of Revolution that Is Sweeping Across Britain’, Evening Standard, 1 December 1971, pp. 22–3. 16 C. Hoefferle, British Student Activism in the Long Sixties (New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 92–6. 17 The controversy around the publication of COINTELPRO project files in March 1972, found in a raid

in Waiting for the revolution
A distinctive politics?

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

David Goodway

the New Left Review (NLR), the composite board of which was also to bring in Denis Butt, Lawrence Daly, Paul Hogarth, John Rex, Dorothy Thompson and Raymond Williams.21 The coming together of the British New Left was exactly concurrent with, although with entirely unrelated origins, the mobilisation of the nuclear disarmament movement, to which its members and journals gave vigorous support. The unilateralist campaign had begun to mobilise with the British government’s announcement in 1957 that it was to develop the hydrogen bomb. The Emergency Committee for Direct

in E. P. Thompson and English radicalism
Abstract only
The far left in Britain from 1956
Evan Smith
Matthew Worley

intervention in Hungary later the same year only exacerbated matters, leading to some 8,000 people leaving the CPGB between February 1956 and February 1958. The trajectory of those who left the CPGB varied. As several authors have pointed out, this was the beginning of a BritishNew Left’ that sought to combine socialism with humanism and democracy. Divorcing themselves from party politics, Thompson and Saville started The New Reasoner in 1957, which alongside Stuart Hall’s Universities and Left Review became the focal point of the first wave of the New Left. By the early

in Against the grain
Open Access (free)
The Nairn–Anderson interpretation
Mark Wickham-Jones

Questions Anderson, P. (1992b [1987]) ‘Figures of descent’, in Anderson, P., English Questions Anderson, P. (1992c) ‘The light of Europe’, in Anderson, P., English Questions Anderson, P. (1992d) English Questions Benn, T. (1992) The End of an Era Berger, S. (2000) ‘Labour in comparative perspective’, in Tanner, D., Thane, P. and Tiratsoo, N. (eds) Labour’s First Century, Cambridge Birchall, I. (1980–81) ‘The autonomy of theory: a short history of New Left Review’, International Socialism, 10 Chun, L. (1993) The British New Left, Edinburgh Crosland, C. A. R. (1956) The

in Interpreting the Labour Party
From CND in the 1950s and 1960s to END in the 1980s
Richard Taylor

Left, see pp. 331–8. 11 For the history and politics of the first New Left in general, see M. Kenny, The First New Left (London: Lawrence & Wishart,1995); Lin Chun, The British New Left (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993); M. Davis, ‘The Origins of the British New Left’, in M. Klinke and J. Scherlock (eds), 1968 in Europe (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Davis, ‘The New Reasoner and the Early New Left’; D. R. Holden, ‘The First New Left in Britain’, Ph.D. thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 1976. 12 New Reasoner (Spring 1958). 13 As

in E. P. Thompson and English radicalism