Thursday, 7 February 2019

Historians regret decision to hold Hobsbawm book launch at University of London despite boycott

Press release - 7 February 2019

The London Socialist Historians Group, which has organised the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in central London for 25 years, says it regrets the decision by the Institute of Historical Research and Birkbeck's Department of History, Classics and Archaeology to proceed with a launch of Richard J Evans new biography of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm at the University of London’s Senate House on Thursday.

Outsourced workers, members of the IWGB, who are in dispute with the University had asked the organisers to move the venue in support of a boycott of Senate House and related central University buildings which is supported by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell amongst many others.

The socialist history seminar at Senate House is suspended in support of the IWGB boycott.

The historians say that they hold Richard J Evans, who has spoken at socialist history seminars at Senate House in the past, in the highest regard and don’t doubt his biography of Eric Hobsbawm officially published on 7th February is both highly competent and very interesting on the historian’s life, work and politics. However they consider the decision not to move the book launch despite reasonable notice to be regrettable
LSHG Convenor Dr Keith Flett said: Eric Hobsbawm was one of the great post-1945 Marxist historians whose work focused on the labouring poor and their struggles against capital. To hold a launch of a biography of his life and work at a location that is the subject of a boycott by outsourced workers is not something any socialist should feel comfortable with.

For more information please contact Keith Flett on the address above.

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