Saturday, 28 March 2015

Mitchell Abidor and Ian Birchall present Jean Jaures's Socialist History of the French Revolution

At Bookmarks Bookshop on Tuesday 26 May, 6.30pm, £2

'Every revolutionary party, every oppressed people, every oppressed working class can claim Jaurès, his memory, his example, and his person, for our own' - Leon Trotsky 

Jean Jaurès was the celebrated French Socialist Party leader, assassinated in 1914 for trying to use diplomacy and industrial action to prevent the outbreak of war. Published just a few years before his death, his magisterial A Socialist History of the French Revolution, has endured for over a century as one of the most influential accounts of the French Revolution ever to be published. Mitchell Abidor’s long-overdue translation and abridgement of Jaurès’s original 6-volumes brings this exceptional work to an Anglophone audience for the first time. Written in the midst of his activities as leader of the Socialist Party and editor of its newspaper, L’Humanité, Jaurès intended the book to serve as both a guide and an inspiration to political activity; even now it can serve to do just that. Abidor’s accomplished translation, and Jaurès’s verve, originality and willingness to criticise all players in this great drama make this a truly moving addition to the shelf of great books on the French Revolution.

About The Author
Jean Jaurès (3 September 1859 – 31 July 1914) was a French Socialist who became the leader, in 1902, of the French Socialist Party, which opposed Jules Guesde's revolutionary Socialist Party of France. The two parties merged in 1905 in the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). An antimilitarist, Jaurès was assassinated at the outbreak of World War I, and remains one of the main historical figures of the French Left.

Mitchell Abidor (Translator) books include anthologies of of Victor Serge, the Paris Commune, the left of the French Revolution, as well as the novella A Raskolnikov by Emmanuel Bove. He lives in Brooklyn.

Ian Birchall is a Marxist historian and translator, and author of numerous articles and books, particularly relating to the French Left and the Rebel's Guide to Lenin.

Friday, 27 March 2015

LSHG Summer Term seminars

London Socialist Historians Summer term seminars 2015

 All seminars are held in Room 102, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St WC1 and start at 5.30pm

 Monday May 18th - Mitch Abidor, 'Jean Jaures, the Last Jacobin'

 Monday June 1st - Parmjit Dhanda, 'My Political Race'

 Monday June 15th - 'History of Riots launch'; Keith Flett and others

 Monday June 30th tbc

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

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Edward and Dorothy Thompson website

This website has been set up by the Thompson family as a resource page for anyone with an interest in the lives and works of Edward and Dorothy. There are also pages with information about Edward John Thompson and Frank Thompson, Edward's father and brother.

The Struggle for a Pit

Dear friends,

This is to let you know that Polmaise: The Struggle For A Pit by John McCormack, first published by Index Books in 1989, has just been republished on line (with John's permission). John was the pit delegate at Polmaise, the last pit in Stirlingshire. Polmaise had a deserved reputation for militancy and its miners took an active part in the fight against closures from 1983 onwards. The book is unique in recording this pre-history to the miners' strike in Scotland, from an activist's point of view, and in its frank account of the differences within the miners' union about how to resist the Tory onslaught.

You can read the book and/or download it for free at the link below. If you could pass this on to others who might be interested, I would be grateful.

Best wishes,
Simon Pirani

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Marcel van der Linden on global labour history

Dear Comrades

a reminder of the final event of the Spring term.

On Monday March 23rd at 5.15pm in Room 204 at the Institute of Historical Research  we are co-sponsoring with the Imperial History seminar:

Global Labour History: Provisional Results and Further Prospects
Marcel van der Linden (International Institute of Social History and Amsterdam)
It should be a very interesting seminar.
A reminder too that any contributions for the summer 2015 LSHG Newsletter should ideally be with me by 1st April
Keith Flett

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Upcoming Leveller events and resources

Resources and upcoming events relating to the Levellers
 Video’s of the talks at the Lilburne 400 conference are going up now on the Leveller’s Association facebook page (here) and will be shared on the twitter feed @levellers1649.

  1. A podcast introduction to the Levellers in an interview by N Quinten Woolf of the Londonist with John Rees (conducted in Guildhall yard!) is here:
  2. The new production of Light Shining in Buckinghamshire is at the Lyttelton Theatre on London’s South Bank. More information here:
  3. Separate events related to Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, all at the National Theatre, include:
  1. The new National Civil War Centre opens with a great event including 2,000 re-enactors in Newark on 3 May, details will be posted here:
  2. Liburne Night at the CWU’s training centre in Alvescot with Ann Hughes, Ted Vallance and John Rees.

    1. Annual Leveller’s Day March in Burford, details here:
    2. The Rev Hammer’s great Freeborn John song-cycle will have a rare complete performance on the first night of the Beautiful Days festival in Devon this August. Look out for news here:

    Saturday, 7 March 2015

    Postponement of A History of Riots book launch

    Dear Comrade

    I'm afraid that the planned launch of a History of Riots on 16th March has had to be postponed. The reason is entirely mundane. Copies will unfortunately not now be available from the Publisher until 21st March and it is a little silly to have a book launch without a book. It will be re-arranged for after Easter.

    I am working on the Summer term programme but in the meantime a reminder that contributions for the next LSHG newsletter should be sent in (all welcome) by the beginning of April.


    Keith Flett

    Wednesday, 4 March 2015

    Ken Loach film evening in Hayes

    Ken Loach Film Evening in Hayes: 
    ‘Cathy Come Home’ screening followed by discussion with John McDonnell MP and Ken Loach 
    Friday 6th March, 6:30pm -9pm, The Social CentreBotwell Lane, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 1HA. 
    You are cordially invited to an evening of film, discussion and radical politics with acclaimed British director Ken Loach and Hayes & Harlington MP, John McDonnell.
    The ground-breaking Cathy Come Home, first broadcast in 1966, is a seminal work and widely described as among the most important British works ever produced.
    Directed by Ken Loach prior to making the transition from TV to cinema, Cathy Come Home was pivotal in the launch of the housing charity Shelter and instrumental in changing the law regarding homelessness.
    Following the screening of the film, John McDonnell will chair a discussion with Ken on the film, the current housing crisis and need for local homes campaign.
    Full schedule of the evening:
    6.30pm: Welcome from John followed by Ken to say a few words by way of introduction to the film.
    6:45pm: Cathy Come Home (75 minutes)
    8pm: Discussion with Ken, chaired by John on the film and the current housing crisis and launching of local homes campaign.
    9pm: Finish
    The Social Centre is a short, 7 minute, walk from Hayes and Harlington station or alternatively can be easily accessed using the 195, H98, U4 or U5 local bus routes from the station towards Botwell lane.  Map attached at the foot of this email.
    I look forward to seeing you there.
    John McDonnell MP