Front cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. iii

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Preface and Acknowledgements

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pp. iv-v

While standing alone as a study of the funding of the British left, this book also forms the first instalment of the three-volume study, Bolshevism and the British Left, whose collective rationale is described in the introduction which follows. This project has been several years in the making. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. 6-8

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Introduction: Bolshevism and the British Left

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pp. 9-22

Neither Bolshevism nor the British left has suffered from historians’ neglect; nor has the relationship between them. At least five published monographs discuss the general impact of Soviet communism upon the British labour movement.1 Other works focus on particular themes or individuals, including the main subjects of the three studies here brought together under this title. ...

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Chapter 1 Lenin’s travelling salesmen

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pp. 23-33

Four-and-a-half years after the Bolshevik Revolution, the American anarchist Emma Goldman produced one of the first major documents of left-wing disillusionment in the new communist regime. Based on her experiences of Bolshevism as a deported American revolutionary, its primary focus was on the crimes committed in Russia itself ‘in the name of the Revolution’. ...

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Chapter 2 The time of roubles: communist party funding in the 1920s

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pp. 34-59

Bolshevik funding of the British left began as early as 1918, two years before the formation of the communist party. Due to their laxity and prodigality, these early financial arrangements have long been informally documented, and were at the centre of Kendall’s account published in 1969. ...

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Chapter 3 The Labour Research Department

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pp. 60-87

Critics of the demoralising effect of Moscow subsidies usually had in mind their impact upon the militant plucked from industry. Within Britain, a sort of precedent existed in the paid trade union organiser, who since the emergence of organised socialism and the New Unionism in the 1880s had often combined union employment with active political commitments. ...

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Chapter 4 Laying claim to a miracle: the communists and Lansbury’s children

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pp. 88-130

The one successful daily newspaper in Labour’s history, George Lansbury’s Daily Herald, was a product of the same political ferment that gave rise to the LRD. Launched just three months before the department, in April 1912, it had no official standing and drew much of its personnel from the same ‘rebel’ cadre, ...

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Chapter 5 Candidates, caucuses and the democratic deficit of parliamentary socialism

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pp. 131-195

The Labour Party’s very name has a resonance. Attention is often drawn to the socialist basis it implicitly disavows, an omission the more remarkable when made with some deliberation by its progenitor the ILP. Equally significant, however, is what the name proclaims: Labour as a vehicle for working-class representation, ...

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Chapter 6 Living on Moscow’s breadline

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pp. 196-238

As these last chapters suggest, perhaps it reflected the funding climate of the time that the CPGB’s Russian subventions occasioned so little comment on the British left. Reinforcing a sense of defensiveness as to what was potentially a Conservative campaigning issue, no special stigma seems to have attached to the receipt of Comintern funding by a party openly proclaiming its identification with the Bolsheviks. ...

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Chapter 7 Stalinisation and the progressive tradition

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pp. 239-285

In the marking out of boundaries between communism and the British Labour Party, 1924 was a watershed year. As already noted, the CPGB’s criticisms of the first MacDonald government, together with the proven electoral liability of the Campbell case, provided Labour with both occasion and incentive for the systematic exclusion of communist influences. ...

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Afterword

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pp. 286-289

In 1991, as the CPGB prepared for its winding-up congress, Russian gold made British newspaper headlines for almost the last time. What gave rise to them was the revelation by a former official of discussions that had taken place with the Russians in 1958 to secure appropriate recognition of the CPGB’s steadfastness during the tumultuous events of two years earlier. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 290-304

Index

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pp. 305-315