Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library

AMERICAN FORERUNNERS OF MODERN SOCIALISM

Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1967), 44, (1), 11–16.

Abstract

- 11 ality and inventiveness in forms of struggle, coupled with a new selfdisoipline and morale - probably the direct result of lessons learned in the world war itself: the steadfastness of the leadership, in faoe of bullying and abuse, above all of Hannington himself (though told with remarkable modesty): the actual successes achiev.ed - all this, described in most vivid detail, makes the book a major contribution to workingclass politics no less than history. In the first months of 1966, Wal Hannington with two or three other veteran workingolass Marxists formed an advisory sub-eommittee at our Library which prepared the notable exhibition on the General Strike of 1926. His book will give the reader an exoelll?nt idea of the zest whioh he displayed. This is only one of the crowding memories of Wal Hamlington as fighter and oomrade for whioh the present writer, like innumerable others, is deeply in his debt. ******** AMERICAN FORERUNNERS Andrew Rothstein. OF MODERN SOCIALISM We'know too little in Britain of the birth and early development "f the Socialist movement in the Uni.ted SJ.;o,i1e3 ~ A recent gift to the library which was therefore particularly appreciated was a copy of §,ocialist Origins in the 'Uni ted States,· by Dr. David Harris, based upon the thesis which he submitted for his doctorate at the London School of Economics, and published by Van Corgum and Co. in Assen, The Netherlands, in 1966. The author reminds us that Marx and Engels, in The German Ideology, observed that the North Americans "have had, since 1829, their own socialistic democratic sohool"; and he gives a close and detailed survey of the work of six of its leading representativesft He desoribes how the winning of the War of Independence in 1783, and the adoption in 1788 of the Federal Constitution (uniting former~ separate British colonies)prepared the way for the unfettered development of capitalist industrialisation in the United States, based in its first stages on the adoption of techniques frnm Britain. At the same time, the long war between Britain and France gave the rising Amerioan capitalist class great opportunities. The U.S., except for the last three years when she herself was at war with Britain, was neutral - in fact, the chief neutral p-rwer , She became the main ocean carrier, and an important supplier of goods to various countries, including Britam. Manui'actures of textiles, and of iron and steel products, grew rapidly

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