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Anticolonialism in British Politics : The Left and the End of Empire 1918-1964 - Stephen Howe

Anticolonialism in British Politics

The Left and the End of Empire 1918-1964

Hardcover Published: 4th November 1993
ISBN: 9780198204237
Number Of Pages: 392

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This is the first full scholarly study of British anticolonialism. British anticolonialism was an offshoot of a massive global upsurge of sentiment which has dominated much of the history of this century. In this wide-ranging and important book, Stephen Howe surveys the attitudes and activities relating to colonial issues of British critics of Empire during the years of decolonisation. He also evaluates the changing ways in which, arising out of the experience of Empire and decolonisation, more general ideas about imperialism, nationalism, and under-development were developed during these years. His discussion encompasses both the left wing of the Labour Party and groups outside it: in the Communist Party, other independent left-wing groups, and single-issue campaigns.
The book has considerable contemporary relevance, for British reactions to more recent events - the Falklands and Gulf Wars, race relations, South African apartheid - cannot fully be understood except in the context of the experience of decolonisation and the legacy of Empire.

`stimulating book ... his account provides an important - and largely negative - piece in the jigsaw' The Guardian 'well researched, wide ranging study ... This is an excellent book of record.' Guy Arnold, West Africa, February 1994 `invaluable detail on and critical analysis of the left both inside and outside Parliament...makes an important contribution to the debate on the respective importance of the various contributors to decolonisation...an interesting contribution to a major and on-going debate.` The Times Higher Education Supplement 'thorough monograph ... The main strength, and value, of the book lies in its solid scholarship, and it will serve as a prime source of information for any students contemplating future research on this subject.' Tom Buchanan, Kellogg College, Oxford, Labour History Review 'welcome study ... he provides us with an important book that recovers a vital but neglected dimension of the history of the British Left ... this is an Oxford Historical Monograph ... a most valuable book that deserves to be widely read and followed up by other radical scholars' John Newsinger, Bath College of High Education, Race & Class This will stand as a definitive study of the colonial debate among Left pressure groups. `In the book as a whole narrative predominates over the analysis; but it is a narrative which combines an expansive and hitherto unintegrated secondary literature with significant new information and ideas on neglected aspects of the subject. This is an unusual book. Howe provides a salutary reminder of both the errors and the constructive idealism of British radicals.' Parliamentary History `Dr Howe is...primarily concerned to tell us what these activists thought and said about their issues, and what they tried to do to gain public support. He does this very well, with impressive documentation.' The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History `his extremely wide-ranging researches have been conducted with true scholarly detachment...valuable contribution. In studying anti-colonialism, attachments are still liable to be strong, for Dr Howe's generation no less for mine. His work shows that, given disciplined scholarship, they do not exclude the opposite quality of detachment, nor require the deadly virtue of indifference.' African Affairs `based on extensive research in a wide range of sources.' Journal of Asian Studies `wide-ranging study of anti-colonialism in British politics' Gillian Peele, History Today `Howe has skilfully side-stepped the dangers of tedium, and shows a wry awareness of the occasional elements of farce amidst the seriously righteous passion ... The most striking feature of Stephen Howe's analysis ... is the evident and persistent poverty of reflection by his chosen anticolonialist actors on the economics of empire ... Stephen Howe has provided a valuable study of the anticolonialist left.' History Workshop Journal `Anticolonialism and anti-imperialism in general seem to be neglected themes in British history. Scholarly work on Britain's anticolonial traditions is therefore always to be welcomed, especially when it is as well researched as Stephen Howe's survey of the subject. Anticolonialism in British Politics will no doubt become a standard work on the subject ... the book's extended coverage has a great deal to recommend it and there is much that points the way forward for future research.' Hakim Adi, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Socialist History 9

List of Abbreviations
The Left and Imperialismp. 1
Decolonisation: the poverty of historiographyp. 2
Colonial revolution, transfer of power, or transition to neo-colonialism?p. 5
Decolonisation, the metropole, and the 'official mind'p. 11
British socialists and imperialism: contexts and intentionsp. 19
Socialism and Empire Before 1939p. 27
Labour and Imperialism: origins and overviewsp. 27
The impact of Empire on the British leftp. 40
The Labour Partyp. 44
British Communists and the Empirep. 53
The Independent Labour Partyp. 67
The League Against Imperialismp. 71
The Trade Unionsp. 77
The War Years, 1936-1945p. 82
Black Jacobins and Friends of Abyssiniap. 83
Warning from the West Indiesp. 90
Against war and imperialismp. 106
Communists, Common Wealth, and Coalitionp. 117
India and the intellectualsp. 126
Labour Party and TUC: reappraisal and renewalp. 134
The global contextp. 139
The Labour Governments, 1945-1951p. 143
Labour in powerp. 143
Palestine and the Middle Eastp. 148
South and South-east Asiap. 153
The CPGB, the Labour Government, and the coloniesp. 159
Attack from the Labour left, 1950-1p. 167
The Left Outside Parliament, 1945-1954p. 176
The Congress of Peoples Against Imperialismp. 176
The Trotskyists and the Empirep. 183
Pan-Africanism after 1945p. 188
The Union of Democratic Controlp. 191
Central Africap. 196
Kenyap. 200
The Caribbeanp. 207
Malayap. 214
The left in the Labour Partyp. 219
The Movement for Colonial Freedom, 1954-1964p. 231
Origins and foundationp. 231
Aims and idealsp. 233
Membership, personnel, and structurep. 237
The MCF and the left in Parliamentp. 246
The Area Councils - and the Communist Partyp. 260
Campaigns and Schisms, 1954-1964p. 268
The MCF, the Labour Party, and decolonisationp. 268
The Trade Unionsp. 281
The Communist Party - and the New Leftp. 288
Neo-colonialismp. 301
1964 - from new dawn to new disappointmentp. 306
Conclusionsp. 309
Bibliographyp. 328
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198204237
ISBN-10: 019820423X
Series: Oxford Historical Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 4th November 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.65