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Tema: Politisk biografi

Politisk biografi
Brian Richardson: Muhammad Ali – en folkets kæmper
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 352, maj 16 
Note: Muhammad Ali fascinerede verden, da han blev verdensmester i sværvægtsboksning i 1964. Han kombinerede ekstraordinær ynde og hurtighed i ringen med en stor personlighed udenfor.
Rhys Williams: Book Review: In the belly of the beast
International Socialism Journal nr. 150, apr 16 – side 218
Note: A review of Christian Høgsbjerg, C L R James in Imperial Britain (Duke University Press, 2014), £16.99
In these days of intense state and media racism, any book that offers a deeper understanding of the role of anti-racist and black liberation struggles is invaluable. Høgsbjerg’s book provides a thorough and engrossing account of such struggles in the colonial world and in the belly of the imperial beast—where C L R James lived from 1932 to 1938.
Stephen Philip: Book Review: A vibrant portrait of Walter Benjamin
International Socialism Journal nr. 148, okt 15 – side 209
Note: Howard Eiland and Michael W Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (Harvard University Press, 2014), £25

At 700 pages, Walter Eiland and Michael W Jennings’s Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life is the most complete biography available of this fascinating writer whose posthumous fame and reach continue to have an impact in radical intellectual circles. With admirable scholarship, the authors have marshalled a wealth of detail to provide a vibrant picture of Benjamin’s life.
Andrew Stone: Book Review: From militant to minister
International Socialism Journal nr. 146, apr 15 – side 214
Note: Paula Bartley, Ellen Wilkinson: From Red Suffragist to Government Minister (Pluto, 2014), £11.50, and Matt Perry, “Red Ellen” Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World (Manchester University Press, 2014), £75
Ellen Wilkinson led an extraordinary life. The daughter of an under-employed insurance collector and Methodist minister in Manchester, she took on many guises in her political life: suffragist, teacher, trade union organiser, Communist, Labourist and ultimately cabinet minister. She was an ardent and persuasive public speaker, and a journalist, novelist and writer of several influential books, including her account of the Jarrow Crusade—The Town That Was Murdered—that has lived on in the popular memory as ­epitomising ­depression-hit 1930s Britain. She was also one of the foremost anti-imperialist voices of the inter-war years.
Hazel Norton: Book Review: A Rebel’s Guide to Eleanor Marx
Irish Marxist Review (Irland) nr. 12, mar 15 – side 54
Note: Siobhan Brown, A Rebel’s Guide to Eleanor Marx, 2014, Bookmarks £3.00
Alex Callinicos: Review: A revolutionary impatience
International Socialism Journal nr. 144, okt 14 – side 218
Note: Daniel Bensaïd, An Impatient Life: A Political Memoir (Verso, 2013), £24.99
Daniel Bensaïd was, as Tariq Ali says in his foreword to this autobiography, “France’s leading Marxist public intellectual” until he died at the age of 63 in 2010. For many years he had lived with the prospect of an early death, and so he wrote a bewilderingly rapid succession of books.
Alex Callinicos: Stuart Hall in perspective
International Socialism Journal nr. 142, apr 14 – side 139
Note: Stuart Hall’s death removes from the scene one of the most influential Marxists in Britain of the past 50 years. To describe him thus is immediately to invite controversy.
Freddie Nielsen: Pete Seeger 1919-2014: Et langt og vigtigt liv er slut
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 336, feb 14 – side 14
Note: Den 27. januar døde den amerikanske protest-, folkesanger og kommunist, Pete Seeger, 94 år gammel.
Christian Høgsbjerg: A “Trot of the milder persuasion”: Raymond Challinor’s Marxism
International Socialism Journal nr. 141, jan 14 – side 71
Note: In 1957 E P Thompson in a private letter to his friend, the fellow dissident Communist historian John Saville, described Raymond Challinor (1929-2011) warmly as a “Trot of the milder persuasion”.
Siobhan Brown: Review: The age of Hobsbawm
International Socialism Journal nr. 137, jan 13 – side 215
Note: Gregory Elliott, Hobsbawm: History and Politics (Pluto, 2010), £12.99
For many, Eric Hobsbawm represented the archetypal Marxist historian. His many works on empire, class, nations and states are for many new to Marxism the first way in to understanding a history that he described as “the sweat, blood, tears and triumphs of the common people, our people”. In particular, his vast series The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, The Age of Empire and then Age of Extremes are some of the most comprehensive contributions to Marxist historiography.
Leo Zeilig: Pitfalls and radical mutations: Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary life
International Socialism Journal nr. 134, apr 12 – side 141
Note: Since his death Frantz Fanon has been appropriated for almost every cause. Five years after his death in 1961 he emerged as the preferred theorist of the emergent Black Power movement in the US, influencing Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton in the Black Panther Party.
Richard Seymour: The late Christopher Hitchens
International Socialism Journal nr. 134, apr 12 – side 167
Note: A review of Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir (Atlantic, 2010), £9.99
Ian Birchall + Joseph Choonara: Talkin’ ‘bout a revolutionary
International Socialism Journal nr. 131, jul 11 – side 207
Note: Joseph Choonara spoke to Ian Birchall, author of Tony Cliff: A Marxist for his Time (Bookmarks, 2011), which looks at the life of the founder of the International Socialist tradition,
John Charlton: Obituary: Ray Challinor 1929-2011
Socialist Worker nr. 2238, feb 11 – side 6
Note: An appreciation of the life of a veteran socialist and Marxist historian.
Matt Perry: Frank Henderson 1925-2009: A remarkable and revolutionary life
Socialist Worker nr. 2183, jan 10 – side 6
Note: Frank had a remarkable life: he was in Italy and Greece during the Second World War and encountered those countries’ partisan movements; he saw the last days of British rule in Palestine, the early days of Algerian independence and was at the battle of Saltley Gate in the 1972 miners’ strike.
Hassan Mahamdallie: William Morris: Victorian artist and revolutionary
Socialist Worker nr. 2183, jan 10 – side 13
Note: Famous for his art, William Morris's commitment to socialism and struggle is less well known.
Talat Ahmed: Gandhi: the man behind the myths
International Socialism Journal nr. 123, jul 09 – side 111
Note: “The saint has left our shores, I sincerely hope forever”.1 Jan Christiaan Smuts, a future South African prime minister, uttered these words in 1914. The saint was none other than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on his way home to India after 21 years in South Africa.
Neil Faulkner: Gordon Childe and Marxist archaeology
International Socialism Journal nr. 116, okt 07 – side 81
Note: It may not be an accident that Vere Gordon Childe (1892-1957), perhaps the greatest archaeologist of the 20th century, committed suicide within a year of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. For Childe was not just a leading academic, prehistorian and social theorist; he was also, throughout his adult life, an active and deeply committed socialist, but one who retained illusions in Stalinism to the end.
Ian Birchall: Review: Debray's memoirs: tears of a clown
International Socialism Journal nr. 116, okt 07 – side 193
Note: Régis Debray, Praised Be Our Lords (Verso, 2007), £19.99
Régis Debray first came to prominence in the 1960s when he published various articles and a short book, Revolution in the Revolution?, about guerrilla struggles in Latin America.
Mike Gonzalez: José Carlos Mariátegui: Latin America’s forgotten Marxist
International Socialism Journal nr. 115, jul 07 – side 69
Note: José Carlos Mariátegui was born into a society in crisis, a Peru deeply divided between a coastal sector where most of Peru’s capitalist class was concentrated, an emerging mining industry in the central valley between Lima and Huancavelica, and a mountain region which Mariátegui described as “semi-feudal”.
Andy Durgan: Andreu Nin and the Poum in the Spanish Revolution
Socialist Worker nr. 2057, jun 07 – side 13
Note: The revolutionary socialist Andreu Nin resisted fascism and Stalinism during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9. Nin was murdered by Stalinists 70 years ago this month. Andy Durgan looks at his life.
Sheila McGregor: The legacy of Frantz Fanon
Socialist Worker nr. 2052, maj 07 – side 13
Note: Sheila McGregor looks back at the life and work of the radical psychiatrist
Chris Harman: Review: Forgotten treasure: a new biography of Grossman
International Socialism Journal nr. 114, apr 07 – side 207
Note: Rick Kuhn, Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), £14.99
Christian Høgsbjerg: C L R James: the revolutionary as artist
International Socialism Journal nr. 112, sep 06 – side 163
Note: Marxism is often accused of being Eurocentric. One person who did not agree was C L R James, the Trinidad-born revolutionary who wrote the classic account of the slave revolt in Haiti, The Black Jacobins. Christian Høgsbjerg looks at his life and his writings.
Andy Brown: The real Simon Bolivar
International Socialism Journal nr. 112, sep 06 – side 183
Note: Simon Bolivar's name is now used to describe the revolutionary process in Venezuela. Andy Brown looks at an important new biography, explaining who Bolivar was and what he really stood for.
(A review of John Lynch: "Simon Bolivar: A Life" (Yale University Press, 2006))
Andy Zebrowski: Obituary: Jacek Kuron
Socialist Review nr. 287, jul 04 – side 31
Note: Andy Zebrowski explores the life and politics of a leading Polish dissident.
Rebecca Pitt: Reclaiming Sartre (Ian Birchall: "Sartre Against Stalinism")
International Socialism Journal nr. 102, mar 04 – side 131
Note: Rebecca Pitt argues that Jean-Paul Sartre can be reclaimed for a new generation of socialists.
Andrew Stone: Orwell Centenary: From 2003 to 1984
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 8
Note: George Orwell was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth we examine the controversy around his work and his legacy for today. Andrew Stone assesses the relevance of Orwell's most famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Paul Foot: Orwell Centenary: The Cold War Controversy
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 10
Note: Paul Foot examines why much of the left rejects Orwell.
Orwell Centenary: George Orwell, 1903-1950
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 10
Note: The facts of Orwell's life.
Andy Durgan: Orwell Centenary: No Pasaran
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 12
Note: Andy Durgan describes the impact of revolutionary Spain on Orwell.
John Newsinger: Orwell Centenary: The Biographies
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 13
Note: John Newsinger reviews recent biographies of Orwell.
Gareth Jenkins: Orwell Centenary: Culture, Class and Communism
Socialist Review nr. 276, jul 03 – side 14
Note: Gareth Jenkins assesses Orwell's writing on culture.
Ian Birchall: Michael Kidron (1930-2003)
International Socialism Journal nr. 99, jun 03 – side 103
Note: Mike Kidron, who died recently, was the founding editor of this journal 43 years ago. Ian Birchall introduces a selection of extracts from his early editorials, spanning, among other things, pacifism and the bomb, confronting Nazis on our streets, and the role of the theoretical journal.
Mikkel Birk Jespersen: Nekrolog Halfdan Rasmussen: Farvel til en finurlig socialist
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 202, mar 02 – side 8
Note: Halfdan Rasmussen er død, 87 år gammel.
Rasmus Keis + Ida H. Jakobsen: Naser Khader: Borgerskabets yndling – indvandrernes fjende
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 188, dec 00 – side 8
Note: En af Danmarks mest markante indvandrere, Naser Khader, har udgivet erindringsbogen,
Tony Cliff, en stor revolutionær: En inspiration for alle socialister
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 183, jun 00 – side 9
Note: Grundlæggeren af IS-tendensen, Tony Cliff, døde d. 9. april.
Tony Cliff 1917-2000: En revolutionær kæmpe
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 182, maj 00 – side 11
Note: Kampen for et socialistisk samfund har mistet en meget inspirerende og engageret kraft, da Tony Cliff, grundlæggeren af IS-tendensen, døde d. 9. april.
Anna Chen: George Orwell: a literary Trotskyist? (John Newsinger: "Orwell's Politics")
International Socialism Journal nr. 85, dec 99 – side 131
Shaun Doherty: Will the real James Connolly please stand up? (James Connolly: "The Lost Writings, introduced and edited by Aindrias Ó'Cathasaigh" + "Selected Writings, introduced and edited by Peter Berresford")
International Socialism Journal nr. 80, sep 98 – side 127
Note: Shaun Doherty takes issue with a new introduction to the writings of the great Irish revolutionary James Connolly
Tony Cliff + Ahmed Shawki: 50 år med den Internasjonale Sosialistiske tradisjonen
Internasjonal Sosialisme 2 (norsk) nr. 2, jun 98 
Note: Ahmed Shawki intervjuer Tony Cliff
Jakob Nerup: Månedens bog: Rudi Dutschke – revolutionær marxist fra 1968
Socialistisk Revy nr. 3, apr 98 – side 29
Note: Gretchen Dutschke: "Et skønt, barbarisk liv – Rudi Dutschke – en biografi"
Jakob Nerup: Bertolt Brecht – socialist fremfor alt
Socialistisk Revy nr. 2, mar 98 – side 24
Note: Overalt i verden fejres Bertolt Brechts 100 års fødselsdag. Han hyldes berettiget som et af dette århundredes store dramatikere. Jakob Nerup skriver om den politiske Brecht
William Keach: In perspective: Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Hitchens
International Socialism Journal nr. 78, mar 98 – side 143
Note: The return of our occasional 'In Perspective' feature gives William Keach the chance to dissect the work of two radical journalists, Christopher Hitchens and Alex Cockburn
John Parrington: In perspective: Valentin Voloshinov
International Socialism Journal nr. 75, jun 97 – side 117
Note: Valentin Voloshinov, the brilliant Marxist and psychologist who worked in Russia in the years after the 1917 revolution, comes to life in John Parrington's account, the second in our new In perspective series.
Anthony Arnove: In perspective: Noam Chomsky
International Socialism Journal nr. 74, mar 97 – side 117
Note: Noam Chomsky's work is widely admired among socialists, and rightly so, argues Anthony Arnove in the first of our new occasional series, 'In perspective'. But, he concludes, Chomsky's undoubted achievements shouldn't blind us to the weaknesses of his analysis and his corresponding difficulties in answering the question, 'What is to be done?'
Paul O’Flinn: From the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom: Morris's News From Nowhere
(C Wilmer (ed): "William Morris: News from Nowhere and other Writings")

International Socialism Journal nr. 72, sep 96 – side 101
Kevin Ovenden: Karl Liebknecht 1871-1919: Ja til revolution! Nej til krig!
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 138, jun 96 – side 8
Note: Første verdenskrig splittede arbejderbevægelsen i reformister og revolutionære. Karl Liebknecht fastholdt sin krigsmodstand og argumenterede for nødvendigheden af revolution.
Hassan Mahamdallie: William Morris and revolutionary Marxism: crossing the 'river of fire'
International Socialism Journal nr. 71, jun 96 – side 57
Note: William Morris's centenary has proved that he is the socialist the middle classes would most like to love­if it wasn't for his politics. Hassan Mahamdallie looks at the historical and social background to Morris's life, the development of his socialism and at the revolutionary behind the artist.
Chris Nineham: Raymond Williams: revitalising the left?
International Socialism Journal nr. 71, jun 96 – side 117
Note: Raymond Williams became one of the best known literary and political theorists in post-war Britain. Fred Inglis' recent biography of Williams has promoted debate about its subject and fate of the New Left. Chris Nineham adds his own assessment.
Paul Foot: A passionate prophet of liberation
(Peter Ackroyd: "A review of Blake" + E P Thompson: "Witness against the beast – William Blake and the moral law")

International Socialism Journal nr. 71, jun 96 – side 131
Brian Richardson: The making of a revolutionary
(Huey P Newton: "Revolutionary Suicide")

International Socialism Journal nr. 70, mar 96 – side 91
Note: Black Panther Huey Newton's life is both an inspiration to socialists and a lesson that taking on the state without a clear strategy is a dangerous game, as Brian Richardson's review of Newton's autobiography shows.
Jane Elderton: Suffragette style (K Dodd (ed): "A Sylvia Pankhurst Reader")
International Socialism Journal nr. 64, sep 94 – side 123
Note: A look at Sylvia Pankhurst's life
Jørgen Lund: Boganmeldelse: Ole Sohn: "Et liv i kamp og kærlighed – om sygeplejerske Elna Hiort-Lorenzen"
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 100, feb 94 – side 12
Note: Dansk Sygeplejeråd har udsendt Ole Sohns bog “Et liv i kamp og kærlighed – om sygeplejerske Elna Hiort-Lorenzen”. Når bogen er god, dramatisk og letlæst, er det fordi den nu 92-åriges liv har været dramatisk.
Jens Loller: Malcolm X – symbol på antiracisme og revolutionær kamp
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 89, feb 93 – side 10
Steve Wright: Hal Draper’s Marxism
International Socialism Journal nr. 47, jun 90 – side 157
Note: Steve Wright contributes an appreciation of Hal Draper, an early American Trotskyist and author of the much acclaimed three volume Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution, who died earlier this year.
Bill Roberts: Obituary: Abbie Hoffman: No regrets
Socialist Review nr. 120, maj 89 – side 24
Note: An obituary of the former Yippie leader
Charlie Lywood: Renegaten Kautsky
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 47, feb 89 – side 9
Note: SPD, USPD, Kautsky,
Peter Green: Sergei Eisenstein: Fire and passion
Socialist Review nr. 113, okt 88 – side 28
Note: ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and ‘October’ are probably the two most fanous films ever to come out of Russia. Sergei Eisenstein directed both and is one of the greatest directors in the history of film. An exhibition of his work is currently on in London.
Pete Green wites about the life and work of Eisenstein.
Kieran Allen: Rewriting Connolly (Austin Morgan: "James Connolly: A Political Biography")
Socialist Review nr. 112, sep 88 – side 26
Ian Birchall: Raymond Williams: centrist tragedy?
International Socialism Journal nr. 39, jun 88 – side 139
Note: Ian Birchall assesses the work of Marxist critic Raymond Williams, who died earlier this year.
Chris Bambery: The politics of James P Cannon
International Socialism Journal nr. 36, sep 87 – side 49
Charlie Lywood: Kautsky: "Marxismens pave"
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 29, maj 87 – side 9
Tony Cliff: The tragedy of A J Cook
International Socialism Journal nr. 31, mar 86 – side 69
Note: A J Cook was a leader of the miners during the 1926 General Strike
Andy Durgan: The rise and fall of Largo Caballero
International Socialism Journal nr. 18, dec 82 – side 87
Dave Beecham: Writers reviewed: Boris Vian
Socialist Review nr. 40, feb 82 – side 29
Note: "I'll desert, I'll go underground. I'll fight my own war."
Tony Cliff: Alexandra Kollontai: Russian Marxists and Women Workers
International Socialism Journal nr. 14, sep 81 – side 75
Note: Over the last ten or so years two examples have been used by many who consider themselves socialist feminists to bolster their position of the need for a separate women’s organisation. One was the example of Clara Zetkin and the German socialist movement, the other that of the Russian Marxists and above all Alexandra Kollontai.
Mike Jones: Anmeldelse: Rosa Leviné-Meyer: “Leviné – The Life of a Revolutionary”
Proletar! nr. 7, feb 74 – side 36
Note: Eugen Leviné blev henrettet efter nedkæmpelsen af rådsrepublikken i München, som han havde taget ledelsen af for det tyske kommunistiske parti. Denne biografi er skrevet af hans kone og partikammerat, Rosa Leviné-Meyer.
Peter Sedgwick: Tragedy of the Tragedian: An appreciation of Isaac Deutscher
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 31, dec 67 – side 10
Note: The sudden death of Isaac Deutscher on 19 August last tore a deep, for some an unexpectedly deep, wound in the hearts of all of us who prize Marxist thought and practice. Until we lost Deutscher, we did not know what we owed him; while he was alive, the forbidding armoury of his scholarship and his international rank shielded, not only him from us but us from him.
Ray Challinor: Review: In Memory of G.D.H. Cole
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 1, jun 60 – side 31
Note: Essays in Labour History
Edited by Asa Briggs and John Saville
Macmillan. 42s.

This volume, originally conceived in homage to Professor Cole on his 70th birthday, had to be changed, due to his unfortunate death, into a memorial to him – a well-earned tribute. For G.D.H. Cole, more than any other British socialist, has been responsible for transforming the study of the Labour Movement’s history from being a grubby, suspect business, carried out by a few cranks, into an accepted part of historical study. All socialists owe him a debt of gratitude.

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