Archive for January, 2011



Listing from
Freethought History Research Group
BCM Box 5276, London, WC1N 3XX

Saturday, May 14, 2011 12 noon – 5 pm, Conway Hall, 25, Red Lion Square, London, WC1 Tube, Holborn

The struggle for the separation of church and state is also the struggle for a free and fraternal society.
The universal aspiration to freedom of conscience winds like a thread through all history on all continents – USA, Mexico. Spain, Portugal, Russia, France…
For us, as freethinkers, this struggle for separation can only be international. Our predecessors understood this as did Charles Bradlaugh, who founded with others in London in 1880 the first International Association of Freethinkers.
In Oslo, in August 2011, we want to revive this tradition by refounding the International Association of Freethinkers.
Catherine Le Fur


Terry Liddle, founding member of the Freethought History Research Group:
The Rome Freethought Congress of 1904.

Jean-Marc Schiappa, Institute for Research and Studies on Freethought, France:
Andre Lorulot: Freethinker and Anarchist.

Catherine Le Fur, National Federation of Freethinkers, joint editor of La Raison, freethought monthly, Paris:
The Oslo Conference and After.

Bryan Niblett, author of Dare To Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh and Emeritus professor at the University of Wales:
Bradlaugh, Freethought and France.

Plenty of time for questions and discussion.
Admission Free, Collection

Organised jointly by FHRG, 0208 8850 4187
Fédération nationale de la Libre Pensée, 10-12 rue des Fosses, St Jacques 75005, Paris


Conference: Communism and Youth in the Twentieth Century

One-day conference
5 April 2011
Old Whiteknights House, Seminar Room
Graduate School in Arts and Humanities
University of Reading

9.30-10: Registration
10-11: Opening address: Kevin Morgan (University of Manchester): From Infantile Disorders to the Fathers of the People: Youth and Generation in the Study of International Communism.
11-11.15: Coffee break
11.15-13.15: Morning Session: Communist education (Chair: Matthew Worley, University of Reading) Guillaume Quashie-Vauclin (Université Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne): Between Dance and Demonstration: the Union of the Republican Youth of France. 1945-1956; Elke Weesjes (University of Sussex – United Academics): Communist Identity: the Public vs. the Private Sphere; Leo Goretti (University of Reading): Irma Bandiera and Maria Goretti: Gender Role Models for Communist Girls in the Early Cold War Years (1945-1956).
13-15-14: Lunch
14-14.30: Screening of the trailer of the movie The Train to Moscow (Kiné-Vez Film);
14.30-17.00: Afternoon Session: Communism, Consumerism and Mass Culture (Chair: tba) Pia Koivunen (University of Tampere): A Dream Come True: Experiencing Socialism at the World Youth Festivals in the 1940s-1950s; Mark Fenemore (Manchester Metropolitan University): Glossy Socialism: the Youth Magazine Neues Leben, 1954-1969; Matthew Worley (University of Reading): Shot By Both Sides: Punk, Politics and the End of Consensus in Britain.

This event is funded by the Royal Historical Society and the Economic History Society.
Attendance is free but registration is required. For any additional information please contact the organisers: Matthew Worley (; Leo Goretti (


Socialist History Journal No. 37

New issue of the Socialist History Journal

Socialist History 37: Syndicalism and Radical Unionism
During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the ideas of revolutionary syndicalism connected with, and helped to produce, mass workers’ movements in a number of different countries across the world. Socialist History 37 explores the issues which this raises from a number of different perspectives.

Alex Gordon’s glimpse into the syndicalist railwayman Charles Watkins adds a much needed rank-and-file dimension to the biographical literature on British syndicalism. Paul Buhle offers a panoramic overview of syndicalism in the United States. Wayne Thorpe documents in graphic and detailed fashion the way in which European syndicalists in the First World War raised their voice against the discourse of national defence. Moving into the 1920s, Reiner Tosstorff examines the conflictual nature of the relationship between revolutionary synidcalist organisations and the Bolsheviks and the Comintern. Finally Gregor Gall’s focus broadens out from syndicalism per se to the wider historical experience of ‘radical’ labour unionism in Britain, from the 1880s to the 1970s. Like the issue as a whole, the article brings out both the limits and potential of radical unionism. A wide-ranging introduction is contributed by the editor of the issue, Ralph Darlington.


LSHG Newsletter and conference

Though Eric Hobsbawm’s meeting is sadly now booked out, the following day (Saturday 26 February) by way of small recompense the London Socialist Historians Group have organised a One Day Conference on the subject of the history of the Conservative Party.

Saturday 26th February 2011 9.30am-4.30pm
Institute of Historical Research
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1

Speakers include Ian Birchall, Neil Davidson, Nigel Harris (author Competition and the Corporate Society: British Conservatives, the State and Industry, 1945- 1964,(1971) David Renton and Richard Seymour (author The Meaning of David Cameron).

Advance registration is encouraged – please contact Keith Flett for details:

The latest issue of the LSHG Newsletter is also now online, with fuller details etc – see here


Eric Hobsbawm meeting, 25 February – no more places

Please note that this event has been oversubscribed many times over, and it is not possible to accept any more bookings. Sorry.


Eric Hobsbawm Meeting

Eric Hobsbawm on How to Change the World

Professor Eric Hobsbawm in discussion on his latest book, How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism.

7pm, Friday 25th February2011.

Venue: Bishopsgate Institute, Liverpool Street.

In his major new work, Eric Hobsbawm addresses the history of Marxism in the 162 years since the publication of Marx’s Capital and assesses its continuing relevance as a challenge to capitalism.

This event is free but places are strictly limited. As we anticipate high demand we ask that you send your details to Stefan Dickers to confirm your place:

January 2011