British Marxism in Philosophy, Science, and Culture
Before the New Left:
Essential Historical Surveys

Compiled by Ralph Dumain


Caesar, Adrian. Dividing Lines: Poetry, Class, and Ideology in the 1930s. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

Clark, John et al, eds. Culture and Crisis in Britain in the Thirties. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1979.

    Acknowledgements  6
    Foreword  7
  James Klugmann Introduction: The Crisis in the Thirties: A View from the Left  13
  Iain Wright F. R. Leavis, the Scrutiny Movement and the Crisis  37
  David Margolies Left Review and Left Literary Theory 67
  Arnold Kettle W. H. Auden: Poetry and Politics in the Thirties 83
  Margot Heinemann Louis MacNeice, John Cornford and Clive Branson: Three Left-Wing Poets   103
  Peter Widdowson Between the Acts? English Fiction in the Thirties  133
  Carole Snee Working-Class Literature or Proletarian Writing? 165
  Betty Reid The Left Book Club in the Thirties 193
  André van Gyseghem British Theatre in the Thirties: An Autobiographical Record 209
  Jon Clark Agitprop and Unity Theatre: Socialist Theatre in the Thirties 219
  Ralph Bond Cinema in the Thirties: Documentary Film and the Labour Movement 241
  Bert Hogenkamp ‘Making Films with a Purpose’: Film-making and the Working Class 257
    Notes on Contributors  271
    Name and title index  273

Kaye, Harvey J. The British Marxist Historians: An Introductory Analysis. New York: Polity Press, 1984.

Macintyre, Stuart. A Proletarian Science: Marxism in Britain 1917-1933. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Pierson, Stanley. Marxism and the Origins of British Socialism: The Struggle for a New Consciousness. Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 1973.

Rée, Jonathan. Proletarian Philosophers: Problems in Socialist Culture in Britain, 1900-1940. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.

Roberts, Edwin A. The Anglo-Marxists: A Study in Ideology and Culture. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997.

Note “Postscript: Christopher Caudwell, Ghost of Marxism’s Future,” pp. 95-96, 101-102.

Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001, 2003.

Sheehan, Helena. Marxism and the Philosophy of Science: A Critical History. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1985.

Introduction to 2nd edition (1993). pdf

New ed., with a new afterword by the author: London: Verso, 2018. (Radical Thinkers)

Thompson, Willie, ed. Historiography and the British Marxist Historians. London; East Haven, CT: Pluto Press, 1995.

Werskey, Gary. The Visible College: The Collective Biography of British Scientific Socialists of the 1930’s. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1979.

Proletarian Philosophers

Osborne, Peter. “On the Jackson Trail” [Review of Proletarian Philosophers: Problems in Socialist Culture in Britain, 1900-1940 by Jonathan Ree], Radical Philosophy, no. 44, Autumn 1986, pp. 30-32.

Rée, Jonathan. “Proletarian Philosophy: A Version of Pastoral?,” Radical Philosophy, no. 44, Autumn 1986, pp. 3-7.

Proletarian Philosophers: Philosophical Works

Casey, Fred. Method in Thinking: A Series of Popular Lectures. Manchester: South-East Lancashire Labour College, 1933.

Casey, Fred. Thinking: An Introduction to Its History and Science. London: The Labour Publishing Company Ltd., 1922.

Jackson, T. A. (Thomas Alfred). Dialectics: The Logic of Marxism. London, Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., 1936. Contents. Prologue.

Marxist / Socialist Scientists: Biographies

See also Werskey.

Brown, Andrew. J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Clark, Ronald. J. B. S.: The Life and Work of J. B. S. Haldane. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1968.

Goldsmith, Maurice. Joseph Needham: 20th-century Renaissance Man. Paris: UNESCO, 1995.

Goldsmith, Maurice. Sage: A Life of J. D. Bernal. London: Hutchinson, 1980.

Guest, David. David Guest, a Scientist Fights for Freedom (1911-1938): A Memoir, edited by Carmel Haden Guest. London: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd., 1939.

Hogben, Lancelot. Lancelot Hogben, Scientific Humanist: An Unauthorised Autobiography, edited by Adrian and Anne Hogben. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Merlin Press, 1998.

Swann, Brenda; Aprahamian, Francis; eds. J. D. Bernal: A Life in Science and Politics. London: Verso, 1999.

Winchester, Simon. The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Harper, 2008.

Marxist / Socialist Scientists: Biographies: Articles

Filner, Robert E. “Science and Marxism in England, 1930-1945,” Science and Nature, no. 3, 1980, pp. 60-69.

Other British Marxists: Biographies

Newman, Michael. John Strachey. Manchester, UK; New York: Manchester University Press; New York: Distributed by St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

Thomas, Hugh. John Strachey. London: Eyre Methuen; New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

Thompson, Noel. John Strachey: An Intellectual Biography. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1993.

Other Contemporary British Marxists: Selected Works

Cornforth, Maurice, ed. Rebels and Their Causes: Essays in Honour of A. L. Morton. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1978.

Cornforth, Maurice. A. L. Morton—Portrait of a Marxist Historian, pp. 7-19.

Kettle, Arnold. Bernard Shaw and the New Spirit, pp. 209-220.

Lewis, John. Marxism and Modern Idealism. New York: International Publishers, 1945.

Lewis, John. Marxism and the Open Mind. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1957.

Strachey, John. Literature and Dialectical Materialism. New York: Covici, Friede, 1934.

Thomson, George. The First Philosophers: Studies in Ancient Greek Society. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1972. (First published 1955, 2nd ed. 1961, reprinted with corrections, 1972.)

Links Between the Old & New Left

Why E.P. Thompson is My Hero (E.P. Thompson’s Universe of Knowledge) by R. Dumain

E.P. Thompson on William Blake & Intellectual Traditions 

Raymond Williams on Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck (1952)

The bourgeois living room drama: from Naturalism to Expressionism (1988) by Raymond Williams

Ideology” by Raymond Williams

Bibliographies & Web Guides

Christopher Caudwell: Selected Bibliography

A Checklist of Jack Lindsay’s Books by John Arnold, with additions by R. Dumain

Intellectual Life in Society, Conventional and Unconventional: A Bibliography in Progress

Marx and Marxism Web Guide

Second International Marxism, German Social Democracy, Austro-Marxism: Selected Secondary Bibliography

Philosophy and the Division of Labor: Selected Bibliography

Salvaging Soviet Philosophy (1)

Wittgenstein, Marxism, Sociology, Politics: An Annotated Bibliography

Related Offsite Links

Communist Party Historians Group

CPGB Bibliography (Communist Party of Great Britain) by Dave Cope (2008)

Our History Digital Archive (Socialist History Society). Some articles:

Tom Mann 1890-92 by Dona Torr & E. P. Thompson (#26/27)
Shakespeare's Idea of History by A. L. Morton (#33)
Leveller Democracy- Fact or Myth? by A. L. Morton (#51)
T. A. Jackson - Revolutionary and Working Class Intellectual: Centenary Appreciation 1879-1979 by Vivien Morton & Stuart Macintyre (#73)

Graham Stevenson - Books, pamphlets, articles and speeches

The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

Marxism Today, October 1957 to November 1998
The Anglo-Soviet Journal, January 1940 to May 1974

Prof Kevin Morgan

The same mould or different moulds? Reflections on a prosopography of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) by K. Morgan, Bruno Groppo, Berthold Unfried; Editors

Communism and an International Language by Mark Starr

Note: This bibliography so far focuses on those figures associated at some point with the Communist Party of Great Britain. The proletarian autodidactic tradition prior to the emergence and dominance of the CPGB is included. The Australian Jack Lindsay is included, as he migrated to Britain and was a party member. British Trotskyists and others outside of the CPGB orbit, as well as others from the Commonwealth who lived in Britain, such as C.L.R. James (who was associated with the Trotskyist movement in the 1930s and 1940s), are not included.


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Uploaded 5 August 2018
Last update 12 August 2018
Previous update 11 August 2018

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