Friday, 2 December 2016

Save the Georg Lukacs Archive


Dear subscribers,

The creation of an international foundation to save the Georg Lukács archive was achieved in the months following our appeal.

The Lukács Archívum Nemzetközi Alapítvány–Lukács Archive International Foundation–has Ágnes Heller and János Weis as founders, János Kelemen as Chair of the Board of Trustees, and a broad-based Board of Trustees. Anticipating that formal Hungarian legal approval of the Foundation–a prerequisite to collecting funds–would be soon achieved, the Foundation announced its intention to create an international network of patrons and donors, chaired by Iván Szelényi.

Recent developments are reason for deep concern. The Foundation has not yet been given the formal approval necessary to solicit funds, though we are assured that final approval is imminent. But the Hungarian Academy of Sciences,  who have full legal responsibility for the archive, has up to now not shown any sign of willingness to co-operate with the Foundation. They are threatening to begin the physical dispersion of the archive.

We therefore suggest that all subscribers directly approach the responsible person, i.e. the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Dr. László Lovász by email at:  or

Once the archive is dispersed, it is hardly possible it could ever be put back together. We need to express our concerns in a personal manner, as well as demand concretely that the Lukács Archive be preserved while the effort is made to fund its continued existence at its historic location in Budapest.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

From Pluto Press - People's History Book Series

Pluto Press are beginning a new series - the People's History Book Series - 'restoring the role of ordinary people in their own history'.

It is well known that most history is written from the standpoint of the victor. History is viewed from the perspective of the rich and powerful, and the actions of small numbers of people, generally white men, are seen to dictate the course of world affairs. History of this kind continues to dominate both academic and popular literature, despite challenges from historians who have tried to write history from different perspectives, including that of ordinary women and men. 

Whether it was E.P. Thompson in England or Howard Zinn in the United States, this ‘history from below’ is noted, at times even celebrated,but ultimately put back on the shelf while historians return to writing books and articles that lead more easily to research funding and professorial appointments. 

But there are deeper reasons for the neglect of what we are calling ‘people’s history’. It is quite simply easier to write about Prime Ministers, great industrialists and their ilk. They often write memoirs, leave their papers to archives or, in the case of U.S. Presidents,create their own libraries to house all the data they wish to make public from their career. Writing history from below is a challenge because the historical record is scattered and largely neglected. 

But it is a challenge worth taking up. This Pluto Press series is both an attempt to view history from the perspective of ordinary people, and also an exploration of how the actions of common women and men, as individuals or through forms of collective organization, influence the course of history. Books published in the series will focus on the masses of humanity rather than the designated heroes, or villains,of world civilization. Our books seek to shine a light on that which, as a feminist historian once said of women’s history, has been hidden from history. 

For further information about the series, or to submit proposals, please email David Castle , Senior Commissioning Editor at Pluto Press ( or Series Editor, William A. Pelz (

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Just an Ordinary Lawyer - Jan 11-28th at Theatro Technis in London

Just An Ordinary Lawyer
Theatro Technis
26 Crowndale Rd
London NW1 1TT
United Kingdom

11-28 January
Nigerian Tunji Sowande quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britains first Black judge in 1978. Also a fine concert singer and keen cricket lover, he muses on international politics and history as they affect the Black world from Africa to the USA and Britain, from the point of view of one who would rather watch sports, and spread love and peace through the medium of song.

Recalling heroic sporting achievements alongside epoch-defining political events, Tayo Aluko follows the multi-award-winning Call Mr. Robeson with another "brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art."

Tickets from here:

"First Rate" The Guardian on Call Mr. Robeson
"Prepare to be bowled over" (4 stars) Wirral Globe
"Another triumph  that thrills and touches" (5 Stars) British Theatre Guide
"Immensely enjoyable" (4 Stars) One4Review
"A superb play" (9/10) Liverpool Sound and Vision
"Every socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist will love this" Socialist Worker
"I learnt more about black history through your show than my entire secondary school education" E.I.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

LSHG Seminar - Merilyn Moos on children of refugees from Nazism


Monday December 5th - Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'

 Merilyn Moos will be focusing on the continuing impact on the ‘second generation’, people born in Britain to refugees from Nazism, of their parents’ terrible losses and dislocation, but also on whether  having parents who actively opposed the Nazis from the left makes a difference to their children. She will conclude by making some suggestions about similarities and differences with today's refugees.

Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm. Free without ticket - no need to book in advance.  For more on the subject and a link to Merilyn Moos's book please see here
For more information please contact LSHG convenor Keith Flett on the email address above...

Book launch - Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Free Event: Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Monday 5th December @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm – Conway Hall

Book Launch

 Rocking Against Racism

Celebrating a movement of both Cultural and Political importance in the UK’s history, Reminiscences of RAR – Rocking Against Racism 1976-1981 hears from a number of collaborators, rockers and fighters. The launch event will host talks, readings and, of course, music, not only looking back at the events of 40 years ago, but also looking at the struggles and fights we face in Britain today.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) came into existence in the autumn of 1976 in response to a rise in racist attacks, and the continuing growth of the Nazi National Front. In August a racist tirade by blues guitarist Eric Clapton from the stage in Birmingham led to a letter, jointly signed by the compilers of this book, to the music press critical of Clapton’s racism and asking for readers to support an anti-racist campaign through music. The response was overwhelming and a movement was born.
For the next six years RAR was at the centre of a cultural movement against racism and the NF. From 1978 it was partnered with both the Anti-Nazi League and School Kids Against the Nazis. Together they had broken the National Front by 1979 and continued the fight against racism with RAR’s Militant Entertainment Tour, and in 1981 the fourth and final Carnival in Leeds.
With 65 contributors this book brings together the reminiscences of activists and supporters during the period. From many backgrounds and ages, musician and audience, punk and Rasta, street fighter and pogo dancer, united with a single aim: to Rock Against Racism.

Book via eventbrite here

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The History of Labour and its Environmental Aspects

Raphael Samuel History Centre - History and Environment seminar series  

The History of Labour and its Environmental Implications

30 November 2016, 7:30 pm, Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London, United Kingdom

‘The Generalisation of Wage Labour, and the Changing Relationship with the Land in Early Modern England’, George Yerby, author of The English Revolution and the Roots of Environmental Change (Routledge 2016)

 ‘Capitalism, the Use of Labour, and the Environmental Context’, Martin Empson, author of Land and Labour: Marxism, Ecology and Human History (Bookmarks 2015)

 ‘Urbanisation, Industrialisation, and their Impact on Labour Militancy’, Neil Davidson, author of Nation-States, Consciousness and Competition (2016)

Chair: Carrie Hamilton (Roehampton)

All welcome. No booking necessary.

 Contact:George Yerby: or Neil Davidson:

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

LSHG seminar - John Boughton on Labour and the rise and fall of High Rise Housing

London Socialist Historians Group seminar 

Monday November 21st - John Boughton (Municipal Dreams blog), 'High Hopes - Labour and the rise and fall of High Rise housing'. 
Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm. Free without ticket - no need to book in advance.

Other seminars coming up - venue / time same as above

Monday December 5th - Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'
For more information please contact LSHG convenor Keith Flett on the email address above...