Soldiers as workers: working-class life and conflict in the British army of the nineteenth century

Far from being ‘ruffians officered by gentlemen’, the British army of the nineteenth century was made up of a typical cross-section of working-class men whose military lives mirrored those of the civilian working class, says Nick Mansfield, author of Soldiers as Workers – Class, Employment, Conflict and the Nineteenth-Century Military. As a labour historian, I have always retained a slightly odd interest in military history. … Continue reading Soldiers as workers: working-class life and conflict in the British army of the nineteenth century

The Global Challenge of Peace: introducing book 17 in the Studies in Labour History series

Histories of the transition from war to peace at the end of the First World War tend to focus on the role of statesmen and imperial powers. Now a new book in the Studies in Labour History Series aims to re-examine the year 1919 from below, as its editor, Dr Matt Perry explains Continue reading The Global Challenge of Peace: introducing book 17 in the Studies in Labour History series

The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

Labour’s European policies in the Wilson era were shaped not just in Whitehall but by formal and informal links between key players in the party and its Danish counterpart, says Dr Matt Broad, author of Harold Wilson, Denmark and the Making of Labour European Policy, 1958–72 Continue reading The Copenhagen connection: Harold Wilson, Jens Otto Krag and Labour European policy

The delights of exile: French anarchists in Victorian and Edwardian London

Their numbers were small but France’s revolutionary exiles were to have a significant impact on international politics, says Dr Constance Bantman, author of The French Anarchists in London, 1880-1914, now published in paperback. The history of the French anarchists exiled in London between the late 1870s and 1914 has long been treated like a footnote in the history of the French anarchist movement. Looking at … Continue reading The delights of exile: French anarchists in Victorian and Edwardian London

Walter Citrine’s dealings with communism and communists

Walter Citrine served as TUC general secretary from the time of the General Strike to the arrival of the post-war Labour Government. Though sometimes seen as a hardline anti-communist, his relationship with communism in the UK and internationally deserves a more nuanced understanding, as his biographer Dr Jim Moher explains Continue reading Walter Citrine’s dealings with communism and communists

Workers of the Empire Unite: introducing book 15 in the Studies in Labour History series

Co-editor Yann Béliard introduces the latest volume in the Studies in Labour History book series. In most studies of British decolonisation, the world of labour is neglected, the key roles being allocated to metropolitan statesmen and native elites. Instead this volume focuses on the role played by working people, their experiences, initiatives and organisations, in the dissolution of the British Empire, both in the metropole … Continue reading Workers of the Empire Unite: introducing book 15 in the Studies in Labour History series

Tom Paine’s graphic life story to be told anew with the support of the SSLH

“Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good,” declared Thomas Paine in The Rights of Man. Yet by the end of his life, the Norfolk-born radical had been exiled from Britain, narrowly escaped the guillotine in revolutionary France, and was widely shunned in his adopted homeland by his former comrades-in-arms in the struggle for American independence. Paine … Continue reading Tom Paine’s graphic life story to be told anew with the support of the SSLH