Alan Rosenthal

3 Stalin’s Last Purge One of the things that I had really liked over the years was the possibility of giving documentary workshops in different countries. And the longer the period the better. So when I was invited by Ngee Ann Poly in Singapore to be a guest lecturer there for six months I was absolutely delighted. On arrival I was even more delighted to find that I only had to teach one and a half days a week. In addition I had a few hours of consulting, but nothing serious. As a result of these arrangements I had a lot of time on my hands. The only problem was

in The documentary diaries
Tijana Vujošević

5 Stalin and the housewife The socially minded woman A young mother lays in an iron bed, her head on her elbow and a smile on her face, the picture of a happy mother. She reaches across her newborn baby to hand the viewer an envelope (Figure 5.1). A framed photograph of Stalin rests on the bed stand, next to a bouquet of fresh flowers. The caption to this image explains that the woman is voting for the person in the photograph, who is her and the child’s “best friend.” This is an image of a Soviet labour ward of 1938. Here, the father of the child is replaced by

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man
Yulia Karpova

1 The aesthetic turn after Stalin In October 1967 readers of the journal Dekorativnoe Iskusstvo SSSR were probably surprised to find that the latest issue lacked its usual table of contents and was mostly devoid of text. Instead, they were confronted with forty-five pages of high-quality colour and black-and-white images of objects produced in the Soviet Union over the past five decades since its founding. This is how the journal’s editors – made up of decorative artists, designers, critics and philosophers – chose to celebrate the jubilee of the October

in Comradely objects
EP Thompson, the New Left and postwar British politics
Author: Scott Hamilton

This book tells the story of the political and intellectual adventures of Edward Palmer Thompson, one of Britain's foremost twentieth-century thinkers. It shows that all of Thompson's work, from his acclaimed histories to his voluminous political writings to his little-noticed poetry, was inspired by the same passionate and idiosyncratic vision of the world. The book demonstrates the connection between Thompson's famously ferocious attack on the ‘Stalinism in theory’ of Louis Althusser and his assaults on positivist social science in such books as The making of the English working class, and produces evidence to show that Thompson's hostility to both left- and right-wing forms of authoritarianism was rooted in first-hand experience of violent political repression.

How the personal got political
Author: Lucy Robinson

This book demonstrates how the personal became political in post-war Britain, and argues that attention to gay activism can help us to rethink fundamentally the nature of post-war politics. While the Left were fighting among themselves and the reformists were struggling with the limits of law reform, gay men started organising for themselves, first individually within existing organisations and later rejecting formal political structures altogether. Gay activists intersected with Trotskyism, Stalinism, the New Left, feminism and youth movements. As the slogan of the Gay Liberation Front proclaimed, ‘Come out, come together and change the world’. Culture, performance and identity took over from economics and class struggle, as gay men worked to change the world through the politics of sexuality. Throughout the post-war years, the new cult of the teenager in the 1950s, CND and the counter-culture of the 1960s, gay liberation, feminism, the Punk movement and the miners' strike of 1984 all helped to build a politics of identity. When AIDS and Thatcherism impacted on gay men's lives in the 1980s, gay politics came into its own. There is an assumption among many of today's politicians that young people are apathetic and disengaged. This book argues that these politicians are looking in the wrong place. People now feel that they can impact the world through the way in which they live, shop, have sex and organise their private lives. The book shows that gay men and their politics have been central to this change in the post-war world.

Author: Paul Blackledge

The recent emergence of global anti-capitalist and anti-war movements have created a space within which Marxism can flourish in a way as it has not been able to for a generation. This book shows that by disassociating Marxism from the legacy of Stalinism, Marxist historiography need not retreat before the criticisms from theorists and historians. It also shows that, once rid of this incubus, Marx's theory of history can be shown to be sophisticated, powerful and vibrant. The book argues that Marxism offers a unique basis to carry out a historical research, one that differentiates it from the twin failures of the traditional empiricist and the post-modernist approaches to historiography. It outlines Marx and Engels' theory of history and some of their attempts to actualise that approach in their historical studies. The book also offers a critical survey of debates on the application of Marx's concepts of 'mode of production' and 'relations of production' in an attempt to periodise history. Marxist debates on the perennial issue of structure and agency are considered in the book. Finally, the book discusses competing Marxist attempts to periodise the contemporary post-modern conjuncture, paying attention to the suggestion that the post-modern world is one that is characterised by the defeat of the socialist alternative to capitalism.

Renegades and ex-radicals from Mussolini to Christopher Hitchens
Author: Ashley Lavelle

The radical who is transformed into a conservative is a common theme in political history. Benito Mussolini, the Italian socialist who became a fascist, is the best-known example, but there have been many others, including the numerous American Trotskyists and Marxists who later emerged as neo-conservatives, anti-communists or, in some instances, McCarthyists.

The politics of betrayal examines why several one-time radicals subsequently became parts of the establishment in various countries, including the former Black Panther Party leader turned Republican Eldridge Cleaver, the Australian communist Adela Pankhurst who became an admirer of the Nazis, and the ex-radical journalist Christopher Hitchens, whose defection to the camp of George W. Bush’s neo-conservatives following 11 September 2001 offers one of the most startling examples of the phenomenon in recent times.

How and why do so many radicals betray the cause? Is it simply a reaction to political defeat? Were their politics always problematic, even as radicals? Were the ex-radicals psychologically flawed to begin with? What implications does it have for left politics? This book, the first of its kind, answers these and more questions.

Abstract only
Ian Aitken

as spokesman for the Marxist-Leninist, Soviet-communist camp; and with that, for the definition of realism which had been handed down from the commanding figure of Engels. Lukács also genuinely believed that, despite the deformations of Stalinism, the Leninist ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ had largely been achieved within the Soviet Bloc; and this meant that he also felt

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
The influence of Trotskyism in Britain
John Callaghan

uncovered by the first of the Moscow Trials. In January 1937, as the second of these show trials began, in which he was once again the chief defendant in absentia, the exiled Trotsky entered Mexico. In doing so he placed himself under the protection and care of his American followers as well as the government of President Cárdenas. He thereby loomed larger in the English-speaking world than hitherto, chiefly in the world of ideas. His defence against the ‘Stalin school of falsification’ would be conducted before a commission headed by the distinguished American

in Against the grain
From the Gromyko declaration to the death of Stalin (1947–53)
Joseph Heller

interest in the region and, toward the end of the war, the Soviet foreign ministry recommended opening a consulate in Palestine. The Soviet Union had property valued at £1 million and there were 240 Soviet citizens and thousands of Jewish emigrants from the western Soviet Union there as well. 2 However, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin had not abandoned anti-Semitism. Asked by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt

in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67