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Mary Bridges Adams and the fight for knowledge and power, 1855–1939
Author: Jane Martin

This book revisits the history of British socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the light of the life and work of Mary Bridges Adams. Mary's activities within the Labour movement, and as a campaigner for improvements in working-class education, challenged established elites in ways that are important for understanding of this watershed period. The book first contains an overview of Mary's life with a focus on her route into the socialist movement. Then, the book presents micro-histories and uses prosopography to show that socialism is both lifestyle and a form of organised political activism. It puts these elements together to provide a bridge between the social, political and education history. The discussion of the issue of parental choice, considered in relation to her son's education biography, acts as mediator between the personal and the political, to examine the importance of education to the pioneering generation of British socialists. The book also contains a discussion of different aspects of Mary's political practice, in an attempt to formulate a new interpretation of the making of the British welfare state. It injects a gendered dimension into the analysis of the independent working-class education movement and examines Mary's social action and milieu in the First World War.

Kate Soper

6 Thompson and socialist humanism Kate Soper Introduction My first encounter with the writings of E. P. Thompson was not The Making of the English Working Class, but The Poverty of Theory and other Essays. As a graduate student of Marxist philosophy at the time, taught and surrounded by convinced Althusserians and feeling much peer pressure to conform, though unpersuaded by structuralist antihumanism myself, I remember the pleasure and relief with which I read this work (and the chiding I received in some quarters for my enthusiasm). It was not that I could

in E. P. Thompson and English radicalism
Matt Perry

1 Socialist ideas and movements Wilkinson’s relationship with socialism and Communism has divided contemporary and historical opinion. For Betty Vernon, while not denying her ideas, Wilkinson was largely a pragmatist who passed through apprenticeships in the suffrage movement, in the CPGB (briefly) and in her trade union before maturing as a campaigning, but reformist, socialist. Stressing continuities and gradualism, Vernon’s account fits with Labourist narratives of Wilkinson.1 Accordingly, Wilkinson quit the CPGB alongside intellectuals such as Frank Horrabin

in ‘Red Ellen’ Wilkinson
The end of the Cold War and the breakdown of Holocaust metanarratives
Tom Lawson

Lawson 05_Lawson 08/09/2010 13:39 Page 154 5 ‘National Socialist Extermination Policies’: the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of Holocaust metanarratives When the communist bloc disintegrated from the end of the 1980s, everything changed. The American sociologist Francis Fukyama claimed at the time that the collapse of the Berlin Wall represented the ‘end of history’, the triumph of liberal capitalism.1 It appears now that Fukyama was very wrong. The certainties of life in a bipolar Cold War world disappeared at the end of the 1980s, something to which

in Debates on the Holocaust
The political campaigns of early labour leader
Marcus Morris

13 Class, performance and socialist politics: the political campaigns of early labour leaders Marcus Morris T he political world of late Victorian Britain was in many ways a dramatic show, with politicians’ campaign performances appealing to a disparate audience. Many politicians conceptualised themselves as performers, including labour and socialist politicians, who are the focus of this chapter. They deliberately sought character types and roles for themselves to play, often along class lines. The use of theatrical techniques, including the manipulation of

in Politics, performance and popular culture
continuity, innovation and renewal
Paul Kennedy

5 The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party: continuity, innovation and renewal Paul Kennedy The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español – PSOE) was founded in Madrid in 1879. It was the largest party on the left during the Second Republic (1931–36), and provided the Republic with two prime ministers during the Spanish Civil War, Francisco Largo Caballero (1936–37) and Juan Negrín (1937–39). Brutally repressed by the Franco regime (1939–75), the PSOE almost disappeared as a significant political force within Spain. Nevertheless, under the

in In search of social democracy
Alistair Cole

This chapter, on the fortunes of the French Socialists, is written at two levels of analysis. First, from the narrow perspective of the 2017 presidential competition, it considers the PS primary and the historic defeat of the PS candidate Benoît Hamon in that years's election. More broadly, the chapter discusses the decline and possible demise of the party once described as the natural party of government. The Parti Socialiste primaries and the Belle Alliance Populaire In the previous chapter, I argued that the generalisation of the

in Emmanuel Macron and the two years that changed France
Not revolutionaries, not luminaries, just ‘normal’ guys amidst the tempest
Christophe Bouillaud

9 The French Socialist Party (2008–13): not revolutionaries, not luminaries, just ‘normal’ guys amidst the tempest Christophe Bouillaud Introduction With François Hollande’s election to the presidency on 6 May 2012, the Parti socialiste (PS) seized national power after ten years in opposition in the middle of an economic crisis presented by French media as being by far the worst the western world has known since the Great Crisis of the 1930s. Seizing power in such a desperate situation was not something new for the French socialists. In 1936, the direct

in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
Satnam Virdee

11 Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79 Satnam Virdee Part II Issues Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79 A western European Left which does not seek to understand and then to tackle racism head-on is cutting its own throat. The loss of support from proletarian socialists who are sympathetic to racialist explanations  … is better than endless equivocation, denial and ineffective compromise on this issue. Dave Widgery1 In most histories of the New Left, 1968 is quite correctly identified as an important watershed, a turning point in the history

in Against the grain
Lynne Attwood

5 The ‘second socialist offensive’ W ith Stalin firmly in power by the late 1920s, the country was plunged into a new upheaval – what has been variously termed a second revolution, a revolution from above, a second socialist offensive. This one was carried out under the banner ‘Socialism in One Country’. In the early years of the Revolution the country’s leaders had been convinced that the Soviet Union was insufficiently developed to be able to establish socialism by itself, and in any case, the capitalist world would not allow it to do so.1 However, its

in Gender and housing in Soviet Russia