Bolshevism and the British Left (Vol. 1, Labour Leends and Russian Gold)

Eric Hobsbawm writes:

Morgan’s erudite and revisionistLabour Legends and Russian Gold(the first of a three-volume study to be entitledBolshevism and the British Left), may be read with profit by those interested in current debates about the funding of the Labour Party. Britain’s Communism arose not as a breakaway from an established mass social-democratic party but, as it were, side by side with a rapidly growing Labour Party radicalised by world war and the break with Liberalism, and in the process of transforming itself from a federal entity into a party with mass membership. Labour was consequently to remain the only party on the left with a national electoral presence. As Morgan’s perceptive books demonstrate, this generated a political space in which, for much of the interwar period, ‘the broader labour movement largely accommodated [Communist] and other left-wing views, and provided what many regarded as a more congenial and effective platform for them.’

(LRB 26 April 2007)

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