Thursday, 15 December 2011

A revolutionary life

Dominic Alexander, Counterfire's books editor, has written a review of Ian Birchall's 'Tony Cliff: A Marxist for his Time' which, I think, does justice to a superb biography. It is my personal Book of the Year and - while it won't be to everyone's tastes, considering its niche subject matter - if you're active in left-wing politics then I warmly recommend you read it.

Cliff was a key figure in the international revolutionary left - especially in the UK - throughout the second half of the 20th century. Dominic concludes:

'Ian Birchall, in providing a selection of personal reminiscences on Cliff from a wide range of the people who encountered him, out of an apparently very large archive of clearly considerable value, documents vividly the many years. Moreover, the selection of these recollections appears scrupulously even-handed. This is a political work, but also a meticulously scholarly one, with the depth and breadth of research lying behind it making it of permanent value.

Opinions about Cliff, his leadership and strategies, will continue to be exchanged, and debated, but this book will surely remain the reference point, and indeed a key resource, for future discussions of the politics of Tony Cliff.'

Read the full review HERE. I also recommend Splintered Sunrise's appreciation HERE.


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