Author Archive for


The Wapping Strike

30 March 2010, 7.30pm
Bishopsgate Institute
£7, concs £5; advance booking required

In 1980 Fleet Street was more than an address, it was the proverbial centre of Britain’s newspaper industry. Every national paper and major news agency had its head office either on the street or close by. Within ten years, there was not a newspaper office left on Fleet Street. The decade had seen the biggest upheaval in the newspaper industry since Victorian times. In this talk, Andy McSmith looks at the biggest and most dramatic event – the Wapping dispute between Rupert Murdoch’s company and the print union.

Andy McSmith has worked in national newspapers since 1988, and is currently a senior writer at The Independent. His book ‘No Such Thing as Society’: A History of Britain in the 1980s will be published in August 2010.

Visit or telephone our ticket line on 020 7392 9220.


Conspirator: Lenin in Exile

18 February 2010, 7.30pm
Bishopsgate Institute
£5, concs £3; advance booking required

Conspirator is the compelling story of Lenin’s 17 year exile during which he and his political collaborators plotted a revolution that would change 20th century history. In this talk, Helen Rappaport discusses her recent book which tells the story of Lenin in the years leading up to the Russian Revolution. Constantly on the move around Europe, with conflicts both personal and political, Conspirator situates Lenin’s struggle for change in Russia within the context of the revolutionary movement in exile as a whole. Helen also considers the wider network of Russian revolutionaries both at home and abroad who supported Lenin and the risks they took in support of his vision.

Helen Rappaport is a historian with a specialism in the Victorians and revolutionary Russia. Her books include Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of Romanov and No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War.

Visit or telephone Bishopsgate Institute’s ticket line on 020 7392 9220.


Labour on Labour : a one day event exploring the historical influences on today’s labour movement

Labour on Labour
at Bishopsgate Institute

Saturday 20 March 2010 • 10.00am – 4.00pm
Tickets: £15, concs £10; advance booking required

Who were the most influential individuals and organisations in the labour
movement? Who inspires the politicians and activists of today? This
unique one-day event will ask figures in today’s labour movement to describe
the people or groups who inspired them in their beliefs and decision to lead a
career in politics.

• Diane Abbott (Labour MP) on Rosa Luxemburg and women in revolutionary
• George Galloway (Respect MP) on George Lansbury
• Stan Newens (ex-Labour MP and MEP) on Robert Owen
• Harpal Brar (CPGB-ML) on Lenin

Additional events:
• Exhibitions of archives and historical material from Bishopsgate Library
relating to the labour movement
• Bishopsgate Library Tour

Please note that lunch will not be provided.
Please download the booking form available at


The Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2009 – Making the Human Gesture: History, Sexuality and Social Justice

Bishopsgate Institute, 27 November 2009, 6,30pm

Free, no advance booking required

The 1970s saw the rise of new social movements engaged with issues of sexuality. Historians inspired by these movements began writing histories of sexual life. This talk traces the development of these histories since the 1970s and considers what they show us about changing attitudes to human rights and social justice in western society. Speaker Jeffrey Weeks will discuss the importance of sexual history to contemporary thought and ask what a history rooted in the sexual radicalism of the late 20th century can teach us about life in the 21st.

Jeffrey Weeks is a leading historian and sociologist of sexuality. His 1977 book Coming Out was hugely influential, and he has since published many other landmark works, including Sexuality and Its Discontents, Making Sexual History and The World We Have Won: the Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life. Jeffrey Weeks is now Emeritus Professor at London South Bank University.


International Trade : Who makes the rules? 13 October 2009

Bishopsgate Institute, 13 October 2009, 7.00pm.
Free, no advance booking required.
Over the last decade international trade talks have successively stalled, been deferred due to immovable impasse, seen stalemate bring meetings to abrupt ends, and finally all-out collapse.

Bringing together historical perspectives with the experience of traders and legislators, the event asks how democratic is the making of multilateral trade agreements? To whom, are international trade legislators accountable? What values underpin international trade law? How do these values resonate within the UK and around the world? 

This event brings together historians, international trade policy makers, monitors and advisors with traders and negotiators to talk about international trade law in the past and present.
Speakers include Razeen Sally (International political economist, London School of Economics), Frank Trentmann (Historian, Birkbeck) and Alan Beattie (World Trade Editor, Financial Times).
This event is part of the series, ‘Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future: History and the Making of Public Policy’, organised by the Raphael Samuel History Centre (University of East London, Birkbeck College, Bishopsgate Institute), in partnership with ‘History & Policy’ (Cambridge, Institute of Historical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

March 2023