History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1925-1927: The General Strike - Vol. 2

History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1925-1927: The General Strike - Vol. 2

History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1925-1927: The General Strike - Vol. 2

History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1925-1927: The General Strike - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This second in the six volume series covers the years of the General Strike, and includes a detailed examination of the policies, successes and failings of Communists and the militant left generally.

Excerpt

This second volume of the History of the Communist Party of Great Britain treats the period from the defeat of the first Labour Government at the end of 1924 to the end of 1926.

Originally I had planned that all this would be included in the first volume of the History, but, in the course of writing, it more and more seemed necessary to treat in detail the many-sided aspects of the General Strike of 1926, so important a chapter in British Labour History. The volume describes different aspects of the work and life of the Communist Party—struggles in the industrial field, relations with the Labour Party, the Party’s role in the unemployed struggles, its international policy and actions of solidarity, especially its initiative in the “Hands off China” campaign. It analyses the changes in party organisation. It contains brief histories of the Young Communist League, the National Minority Movement and the National Unemployed Workers Committee Movement during the period 1925–1926.

But inevitably, the General Strike, its prelude, its brief but momentous days, the prolonged and bitter struggle of the miners which continued after the general strike had been betrayed, came to dominate the whole story of these two years. I have tried to work out in some detail the role of the Communist Party during the General Strike and to consider at some length the lessons which the Strike had both for the labour movement in general and for the Communist Party in particular.

Once again, an attempt has been made to write not an internal isolated history of the Party, but its history within the living context of the general labour movement.

I must warmly thank those who read and commented on the draft— R. Page Arnot, J. R. Campbell, R. Palme Dutt, Frank Jackson, John Mahon and Andrew Rothstein. But once again, I must accept full responsibility for the judgements made and for errors committed.

May I appeal to those who have memories of the period, particularly of the role of the Communist Party and its members during the General Strike and the Miners’ Strike, to put them on paper or tape, and to let me have copies for the Communist Party library. May I

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