Memoirs from the Left
John Saville has been one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century in the field of British Labour History. He was a Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Hull. He has written or edited over twenty books including 1848, The Consolidation of the Capitalist State, and the Dictionary of Labour Biography. His political memoirs touch upon: • Early life; joining the Communist Party at the LSE, travels in France and Nazi Germany • Stories of war service as an Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Sergeant-Major • WW2 army life in India–colonialism and the Communist Party • Teaching at the Department of Economic History at the University of Hull • Deeply involved in the crisis of the British Communist Party in 1956, following the Soviet invasion of Hungary • Acquaintances and co-thinkers: the MI5 agent planted at his home in Hull, John Griffith, Stuart Hall, Philip Larkin, Doris Lessing, Ralph Miliband, Sir John Pratt, Raphael Samuel, E.P. Thompson • Working against America’s Cold War politics • Editing the Dictionary of Labour Biography and the Socialist Register • Life in Hull, perspectives on the rightward drift of Labour An engaging read that provides much insight on the life of John Saville, his writings and his impact on the thinking of The Left.
Ralph Miliband (1924-94) was a key 20th-century political thinker. His books The State in Capitalist Society (Quartet) and Parliamentary Socialism (Merlin) influenced a generation of the left and provided a focus for academic debate. Miliband’s life and work were devoted to the attempt to define and apply an independent form of socialism. As a result of his published works, teaching and role in political movements, he became the most influential socialist political theorist writing in English, and he was as well known in North America, where he held several visiting professorships, as in Britain. His writings were also widely translated. The Socialist Register, which he founded (with John Saville) and edited for thirty years, brought him into contact with left-wing intellectuals throughout the world. Miliband, an energetic letter writer, corresponded on political issues with such figures as C.Wright Mills, E.P. Thompson, Leszek Kolakowski, John Saville, Marcel Liebman, Rossana Rossanda, K.S.Karol, André Gorz and Perry Anderson. Based on exclusive access to Miliband’s extensive personal papers and supplemented by interviews, this book analyses the ideas and contribution of a key figure in the British and international Left from the second world war until the collapse of communism. It also provides an interpretative history of the evolution, debates and dilemmas of socialists throughout the period, and of the problems they faced both at work defending academic freedom and in society at large.
Canadian Man of Letters
Archibald MacMechan taught English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 1889 and 1931. His students included Ernest Buckler, Lucy Maud Montgomery and Helen Creighton, and his influence as a teacher was far reaching. He was very active as a book reviewer whose reviews were widely read and often ahead of their time. Writers as disparate as Herman Melville and Virginia Woolf wrote to him expressing their appreciation of his readings of their work. MacMechan himself thought he would be best remembered as a chronicler of Nova Scotia’s seafaring past. His accounts of significant moments in the province’s history were published in three volumes – Old Province Tales, Sagas of the Sea, and There Go the Ships. Popular when they were published in the 1920s, they are now out of print. This study of Mac Mechan is an attempt to place his work in its context and bring it to the attention of a new generation of readers.
Elizabeth Murray’s Leadership in School and Community
This vivid portrayal of the late Elizabeth (Betty) Murray recreates the life and times of one of Nova Scotia’s finest educators and community leaders, a does at the grassroots. It examines her activities as a highly innovative rural and urban teacher, as a liaison between Acadia University’s education students and their wider rural community, as a founding member of the provincial Adult Education division and, in retirement, as the author and director of a series of history plays with music about her village of Tatamagouche.
A Very Active Pacifist
“Muriel is an extraordinary woman whose life and work has enriched many-through her faith and her practice. A feminist, a pacifist and a compassionate Canadian, her life is an example of what love and selfless intelligence can do.”-Ursula M. Franklin C.C. FRSC