Monday, 27 January 2020

Letter - 1848 conference by Ian Birchall (1999)

Letter: 1848 conference
Written By: Ian Birchall
Date: January 1999
Published In LSHG Newsletter Issue 5: Lent 1999 

Keith Flett was not present for most of my paper at the Manchester 1848 conference (LSHGN No 4), and hence is not well-placed to report on it. It is a gross slur on my reputation as a Marxist historian to say that I claimed that “Marx and Engels’ view” of 1848 was “bad history”. The Eighteenth Brumaire will stand out as one of the great pieces of historical writing despite anything I may say about it.

I made the much more modest claim that Engels’ articles in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung under the title “The June Revolution” (CW, VII 157-94) were inaccurate history in that they falsely ascribed a centralising leadership to Kersaurie, whose true history I tried to reinstate. I also enquired why Eric Hobsbawm and his colleagues on the editorial commission of the Collected Works had connived in perpetuating this inaccuracy

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