In 1889, Samuel Winkworth Silver’s rubber and electrical factory was the site of a massive worker revolt that upended the London industrial district which bore his name: Silvertown. Once referred to as the “Abyss” by Jack London, Silvertown was notorious for oppressive working conditions and the relentless grind of production suffered by its largely unorganized, unskilled workers. These workers, fed-up with their lot and long ignored by traditional craft unions, aligned themselves with the socialist-led “New Unionism” movement. Their ensuing strike paralyzed Silvertown for three months. Historian and novelist John Tully tells the story of the Silvertown strike in vivid prose. He rescues the uprising—overshadowed by other strikes during this period—from relative obscurity and argues for its significance to both the labor and socialist movements.
Join Monthly Review Press author John Tully for the Launch of his new book Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement, on Wednesday, March 5, at The VU Bar at Footscray Park campus, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. He will be joined by distinguished historian Stuart Macintyre and Victoria University colleague Phillip Deery.
Read an exclusive excerpt from historian John Tully’s new book, Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement, in which Tully describes living and working conditions in the Silvetown district of London leading up to a massive strike in 1889.
…[A]n international movement that brings together the peoples of the global North and the global South, with a common goal of nationalizing the monopolies that currently have a stranglehold on the world’s economy and a commitment to “de-financialization” (a “world without Wall Street”) is not only possible but indispensable, argues Samir Amin in his latest book, The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism. These would not be ends unto themselves, but rather the first necessary steps on a long road toward a sustainable and equitable future.
In the context of rapid industrialization and globalization in Asia’s dynamic economies, Peter Custers’s book highlights the continuing relevance of Marxian theory to understanding the exploitation of women’s productive and reproductive work. At the same time, it critiques the silences in Marx’s work regarding the key role of women’s labor in the perpetuation of capitalism…In tracing the coevolution of capitalism and patriarchy and the different ways in which women are impacted by capitalist accumulation processes, Custers makes a noteworthy contribution to the causes of both Marxism and feminism. This book, with its rethinking of Marxist analysis to incorporate insights from feminist theories, would be a very worthy addition to the library of academics, researchers, and students of development alike.
This collection includes the major writings of General Giap, who, on the evidence of his record as well as his theoretical work, has long been recognized as one of the military geniuses of modern times. The book includes writings from the 1940s to the end of the 1960s and is presented here with a valuable historical introduction by Russell Stetler.
Value and Crisis opens with a long and highly informative essay on the development of Marxian economics in Japan, and contains a number of the author’s important and original contributions to this stream of thought. Itoh discusses the major points of view on Marx’s theory of value, on theories of crisis, and on problems of Marx’s theory of market value. The essays demonstrate a wide-ranging familiarity with all the major theoretical schools of Marxist thought. In dealing with theories of crisis, for example, Itoh succinctly summarizes and criticizes the points of view of Tugan-Baranovsky, Hilferding, Bauer, Kautsky, Bukharin, and Luxemburg, as well as Grossman, Sweezy, and the Japanese Marxist Kozo Uno, together with the relevant parts of Capital. The book includes a section on the 1930s Great Depression in the context of the theoretical discussion about crisis theory.
The Socialist Register 2014 is the 50th edition of the journal which was founded by Ralph Miliband and John Saville in 1964 to advance socialist analysis and discussion. It was an offshoot of the New Left, but reflected a different approach from that of the New Left Review editors, Perry Anderson and Tom Nairn. Over the years, it has produced a rich collection of contributions on socialist ideas.
Alan Wieder has put his oral history expertise together with already existing material on Ruth First and Joe Slovo to construct a remarkable record of these two heroes of South African emancipation. When Nelson Mandela went to Camden Town’s Lyme Street to unveil a blue plaque on the house where they lived in exile from 1966 to 1978, he noted their description as freedom fighters. “This means they were Communists,” he explained to his audience, for some of whom this bluntly positive assessment of a political current that was supposed to be over and done was a little disquieting.
Steve Early is the author of Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress, recently published by Monthly Review Press. He is interviewed by Dr. Jack Rasmus, discussing the strategic implications of the past four decades of partial victories, and numerous defeats, suffered by union labor in America, and what ‘needs to be done’ going forward if unions are to rise again to play the economic and social role in the future they once did in the past.