Friday, 22 January 2016

David Goodway on GDH Cole

Saturday 23 January 2016 
G.D.H. Cole: A Libertarian Trapped in the Labour Party 
David Goodway 
New venue: MayDay Rooms. 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH, 2.00 – 4.30 pm 
Meeting organised by the New Anarchist Research Group 

From the 1920s until his death in 1959 Cole was the pre-eminent Labour intellectual, surpassing Harold Laski and R.H. Tawney in the proliferation of his publications and general omnipresence. The paradox is that he was an extremely restive, critical member of the Labour Party, going so far as say towards the end of his life that he was ‘neither a Communist nor a Social Democrat in the ordinary sense, but something, not betwixt and between these two, but essentially different from both’. ‘I was’, he said, ‘– and I remain – a Guild Socialist.’ 

 David Goodway taught sociology, history and Victorian studies to mainly adult students from 1969 until the University of Leeds closed its School of Continuing Education in 2005. For twenty-five years he has written principally on anarchism and libertarian socialism, publishing collections of the writings of Alex Comfort, Herbert Read, ‘Maurice Brinton’ and Nicolas Walter and of the correspondence between John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman; Talking Anarchy with Colin Ward (2nd edition, 2014); as well as Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward (2nd edition, 2012). But his first book was London Chartism 1838-1848 (1982); and he has recently published The Real History of Chartism (2013) and an edition of George Julian Harney’s late journalism, The Chartists Were Right (2014).
He was the convenor of the original Anarchist Research Group.

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