Against the grain

The British far left from 1956

Edited by Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Against the grain
Paperback +
  • Price: £15.99
  • ISBN: 9781526107343
  • Publish Date: Jan 2017
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £15.99
  • ISBN: 9781847799227
  • Publish Date: Dec 2014
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-8477-9922-7
    • Published Date: December 2014


    Against the grain is the first general history of the British far left to be published in the twenty-first century. Its contents cover a range of organisations beyond the Labour Party, bringing together leading experts on British left-wing politics to examine issues of class, race and gender from 1956 to the present day. The essays collected here are designed to highlight the impact made by the far left on British politics and society. Though the predicted revolution did not come, organisations such as the International Socialists, the International Marxist Group and Militant became household names in the 1970s and 1980s. Taken as a whole, the collection demonstrates the extent to which the far left has weaved its influence into the political fabric of Britain.


    Introduction: The far left in Britain from 1956 - Evan Smith and Matthew Worley
    PART I: Movements
    1. Engaging with Trotsky: the influence of Trotskyism in Britain - John Callaghan
    2. The New Left: beyond Stalinism and social democracy? - Paul Blackledge
    3. Narratives of radical lives: the roots of 1960s activism and the making of the British left - Celia Hughes
    4. Marching separately, seldom together: the political history of two principal trends in British Trotskyism, 1945-2009 - Phil Burton-Cartledge
    5. Opposition in slow motion: the CPGB's 'anti-revisionists' in the 1960s and 1970s 98 - Lawrence Parker
    6. Dissent from dissent: the 'Smith/Party' Group in the 1970s CPGB - Andrew Pearmain
    7. British anarchism in the era of Thatcherism - Rich Cross
    PART II: Issues
    8. Jam tomorrow? Socialist women and Women's Liberation, 1968-82: an oral history approach - Sue Bruley
    9. Something new under the sun: the revolutionary left and gay politics - Graham Willett
    10. 'Vicarious pleasure'? The British far left and the third world, 1956-79 - Ian Birchall
    11. Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968-79 - Satnam Virdee
    12. Red Action - left-wing pariah: some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance - Mark Hayes
    13. Anti-fascism in Britain, 1997-2012 - David Renton


    Matthew Worley is Professor of Modern History at the University of Reading

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