By Andy Croft
For over 70 years, the Communist get together of serious Britain had a rare effect on British cultural lifestyles, exercise a power relatively out of percentage to its measurement or political effect. Many artwork types have been revitalized or profoundly replaced, new ones have been demonstrated or formed by way of teams and participants linked to the get together. They introduced a dynamism and imaginative and prescient to cultural creation - no matter if in track, movie, theatre or literature - that helped lay the rules of a brand new radical tradition, a revolutionary avant garde during which the fight used to be to provide a tradition for and of the folks, within the entrance line of the conflict of rules. This quantity recounts the histories of the artists, poets and cultural visionaries of the interval, putting them in a broader historic context and supplying an creation to British social and cultural heritage within the twentieth century.
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Extra info for A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party
In July 1937 the Party’s Lancashire District Committee held a grand Pageant of English History in Manchester. A handbill advertising the day was decorated with portraits of Simon de Montfort, Wat Tyler, Milton, Cromwell, Owen, Morris, Burns, O’Connor, Tom Mann, Keir Hardie, Cobbett, Fox, Shelley and Byron, linked with a sash, ‘Pageant of ENGLISH HISTORY WITH BANNERS OF GREAT HISTORICAL EVENTS’. Between 1500 and 3000 people marched from Ardwick Green to Debdale Park, Gorton, bearing ‘one hundred beautiful banners and dozens of red flags’ portraying ‘the struggle of Lancashire people’ – Peterloo, Chartism, Crippled Children in the Mills, the Rochdale Pioneers.
It is not just another amusing stunt. It is defiant, the desperate act of men too profoundly convinced of the rottenness of our civilisation to want to save a shred of its respectability. The problem for Boswell and for most Communist Party members was that it was seen by the general public precisely as ‘just another amusing stunt’. Such incidents as the attempted lecture given by Salvador Dalí in TO DISABLE THE ENEMY Figure 1 James Boswell, Empire Builders, 1935 37 38 A WEAPON IN THE STRUGGLE a diving suit predictably caught the attention of the press and the exhibition was undoubtedly a great, fashionable success.
11 It is interesting that Lewis Grassic Gibbon should also refer to this hymn in his short story ‘Greenden’. This was included in The Scottish Scene (1934), the miscellany written jointly with Hugh MacDiarmid. 12 See Andy Wightman, Who Owns Scotland Now? (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1996). 13 Lewis Grassic Gibbon, ‘New Novels: Mr Barke and Others’, The Free Man, 24 February 1934; quoted from William K. Malcolm, A Blasphemer and Reformer: A Study of James Leslie Mitchell / Lewis Grassic Gibbon (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1984), p.
A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party by Andy Croft