First published in 1977. This book describes the growth of revolutionary organisations in Britain from 1900 onwards. It shows that there was an indigenous movement that developed quite independently from the left in other countries, although its basic outlook was remarkably similar to that of the Bolsheviks in Russia. The study concentrates the activities of the Socialist Labour Party, a small group of dedicated revolutionaries, whose impact on working-class politics had not been fully recognised.
The most controversial section of the book deals with the Russian influence on the machinations that led to the formation of the British Communist Party. It is critical of Lenin, who sometimes gave advice on the basis of insufficient knowledge, and of Comitern agents, like Theodore Rothstein, with dubious political backgrounds. This title will be of great interest to students of politics, philosophy, and history.
Table of Contents
1. The Great Divide 2. Pioneering Days 3. Industrial Unrest 4. Socialists and the Industrial Struggle 5. SLP Internal Developments, 1907-1914 6. The First World War 7. Socialists in Transition 8. Britain and the Russian Revolution 9. 1918-1920: A Missed Revolutionary Chance? 10. Lenin and the British Communist Party 11. The Formation of the Communist Party 12. The Revolutionaries’ Last Stand 13. Conclusion; Index