Bolshevism, Syndicalism and the General Strike: The lost

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The final volume of Kevin Morgan’s widely-acclaimed series Bolshevism and the British Left centres around Alf Purcell (1872-1935), a leader in the British and international labour movement between the wars.

A. A. Purcell was famously one of the TUC ‘lefts’ of the 1920s. But he was also Labour MP for the Forest of Dean and Coventry, the controversial president of the International Federation of Trade Unions and the man who moved the formation of the British Communist party.

A long-term member of the TUC General Council, Purcell became chairman of the general strike committee in 1926 – and this could have been his hour of glory. But when it was called off ignominiously he experienced the obloquy of defeat. With the squeezing of his syndicalist approach, and as the labour movement polarised into Labour and Communist currents, Purcell died a politically broken figure.

Kevin Morgan deploys the life of Purcell as a biographical lens, a way of exploring wider controversies – among them the rival modernities of Bolshevism and Americanism; the reactions to Bolshevism of anarchists like Emma Goldman; and the roots of political tourism to the USSR. The volume also includes a major challenge to existing interpretations of the general strike, which Morgan compellingly presents, not as the last fling of the syndicalists, but as a first and disastrously ill-conceived imposition of social-democratic centralism by Ernest Bevin.

More Information
Weight 0.445000
ISBN13/Barcode 9781905007271
ISBN10 1905007272
Author MORGAN, Kevin
Binding Paperback
Date Published 4th April 2013
Pages 354
Publisher Lawrence & Wishart