Books on Red Ellen, Representations of slavery, E. P. Thompson, Exporting Empire, Irish & Afro-Caribbean struggles

Manchester University Press history books of interest

Ellen Wilkinson

Red Ellen’ Wilkinson. Her ideas, movements and world

Unearthing new evidence to provide a richer understanding of her life, Matt Perry delves beyond the familiar image of Ellen Wilkinson on the Jarrow Crusade. From a humble background, she ascended to the rank of minister in the 1945 Labour government. Yet she was much more than a conventional Labour politician. She wrote journalism, political theory and novels. She was both a socialist and a feminist; at times, she described herself as a revolutionary. She experienced Soviet Russia, the Indian civil disobedience campaign, the Spanish Civil War and the Third Reich. Interest in Wilkinson remains strong among academic and non-academic audiences alike. This is in part because her principal concerns – working-class representation, the status of women, capitalist crisis, war, anti-fascism – remain central to contentious politics today.

ISBN 978-0-7190-9744-7. May. Paperback

Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar. Representations of slavery

Slavery is a recurring subject in works by the contemporary black writers in Britain Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar, yet their return to this past arises from an urgent need to understand the racial anxieties of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain. Now available in paperback, Abigail Ward  examines the ways in which their literary explorations of slavery may shed light on current issues in Britain today, or what might be thought of as the continuing legacies of the UK’s largely forgotten slave past. She explores a range of novels, poetry and non-fictional works in order to investigate their creative responses to the slave past. This is the first study to focus exclusively on British literary representations of slavery, and engages with such notions as the ethics of exploring slavery, the memory and trauma of this past, and the problems of taking a purely historical approach to Britain’s involvement in slavery or Indian indenture. Although all three authors are concerned with the problem of how to commence representing slavery, their approaches to this problem vary immensely, and this book investigates these differences.

ISBN 978-0-7190-9764-5.  June 2015

E. P. Thompson and English radicalism

Available in paperback for the first time, E. P. Thompson and English radicalism gathers together a selection of leading authors from a diverse range of disciplines to critically review not only this pivotal work, but the wide range of his career, including his experience as an adult educator, writer, poet and critic. His involvement in the early New Left, his political theories, his socialist humanism and his concept of class are all interrogated fully. Thompson was also a notable and passionate political polemicist, peace campaigner and activist who saw all his public activity as complementary parts of a unified whole, and this collection aims to bring his ideas to the attention of a new generation of students, scholars and activists. Edited by Roger Fieldhouse and Richard Taylor.

ISBN 978-0-7190-9748-5. June

Exporting empire. Africa, colonial officials and the construction of the British imperial state, c.1900−39

For Africans, rank and file colonial officials were the most visible manifestation of British imperial power. But in spite of their importance in administering such vast imperial territories, the attitudes of officials who served between the end of the nineteenth century and the Second World War, as well as what shaped such attitudes, have yet to be examined in any systematic way. Now available in paperback, Christopher Prior draws upon an enormous array of private and official papers to address some key questions about the colonial services. How did officials’ education and training affect the ways that they engaged with Africa? How did officials relate to one another? How did officials seek to understand Africa and Africans? How did they respond to infrastructural change? How did they deal with anti-colonial nationalism?

ISBN 978-0-7190-9929-8. June

Struggles for a past. Irish and Afro-Caribbean histories in England, 1951–2000

This book by Kevin Myers examines the construction of ethnic communities, and of multicultural policy, in post-war England. It explores how Irish and Afro-Caribbean immigrants responded to their representation as alien races by turning to history. In cultural and educational projects immigrants imagined, researched, wrote and pictured their pasts. They did so because they sought in the past dignity, a common humanity and an explanation of the hostility that had greeted them in England. But the meaning of the past is never fixed. Encouraged and conditioned by the burgeoning field of race relations, these histories were interpreted as expressions of difference. They asserted, it was claimed, specific ethnic needs and identities. They were the nation’s ‘other histories’. Drawing on a wide range of sources and covering many different debates, Myers seeks to recover the inclusive historical imagination of radical scholars and activists who saw in the past the resources for a better future.

ISBN 978-0-7190-8480-5. July

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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