- Phil Webster: A Note on Sex and Early Societies
International Socialism Journal nr. 141, jan 14
Note: Terry Sullivan has written an excellent online article (“Pre-Class Sexuality: Free, Warm and Wild”), in which he shows what is in effect the dialectical interaction between the biological and the social aspects of sexual behaviour.
- Andrew Stone: Review: A history of struggle
International Socialism Journal nr. 141, jan 14 – side 205
Note: Neil Faulkner, A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals (Pluto Press, 2013), £18
This is the kind of book that the now thankfully lesser-spotted postmodernists warned you about—an unashamed grand narrative of humanity’s global history; an attempt to analyse rather than describe, and to synthesise rather than compartmentalise. But it is also an account which holds no truck with the nationalist and elitist narrative advocated by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove in his recent abortive attempt to disembowel the school history curriculum. Neil Faulkner’s history is one which, in the classical Marxist tradition, is both profoundly internationalist, and which celebrates the self-activity of the exploited and oppressed and their potential to shape the future.
- John Molyneux: Feedback: History without nature? A response to Nancy Lindisfarne, Jonathan Neale and Colin Wilson
International Socialism Journal nr. 140, okt 13 – side 201
Note: Unfortunately I lack the knowledge, particularly in anthropology, needed to offer a comprehensive response to either Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale’s “What Gender Does” or Colin Wilson’s “Sexuality in Pre-class Society” in the previous issue of this journal. However, it does seem to me that each of their articles suffers from a serious and fundamental weakness and that, on inspection, this turns out to be basically the same weakness—a tendency to completely separate human history from what Karl Marx referred to as its “natural bases”.
- Martin Empson: Review: Pre-class societies
International Socialism Journal nr. 140, okt 13 – side 220
Note: Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery and Empire (Harvard University Press, 2012), £29.95
This important new book is a thorough examination of the earliest human societies and how they transformed themselves into the unequal societies that have characterised recent human history.
- Pepijn Brandon: Liberating history
International Socialism Journal nr. 132, okt 11 – side 214
Note: Jairus Banaji, Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation (Brill, 2010), €99
The concept of “modes of production” plays an important but problematic role in Marxist historiography.
- Andrew Stone: What’s wrong with school history?
International Socialism Journal nr. 129, jan 11 – side 151
Note: “The moment I understand history as possibility, I must also understand education in different way”.
- Mette Hermansen: Introduktion til socialisme: Historien holder med Marx
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 295, feb 10 – side 12
Note: Overgangen fra en historisk fase til en anden kan ifølge Marx altid spores tilbage til ændringer i de materielle produktivkræfter. Gennem en materialistisk historieopfattelse af fænomenerne arbejde, klassekamp og produktionsmåde er det muligt at forstå nutidens kapitalisme og dens undertrykkelse. Og perspektiverne for dens afskaffelse.
- Matt Perry: Review: Rescuing history
International Socialism Journal nr. 117, jan 08 – side 202
Note: Reviews: Mike Haynes and Jim Wolfreys (eds), History and Revolution: Refuting Revisionism (Verso, 2007), £17.99 + Chris Wickham (ed), Marxist History Writing for the 21st Century (Oxford University, 2007), £14.99
- Matt Perry: A to Z of Socialism: H is for History
Socialist Review nr. 321, jan 08 – side 21
Note: Throughout history rulers mystify the past to convince ordinary people that their rule is inevitable. The first recorded histories — in the form of king lists — were used to justify their legitimacy.
- Colin Wilson: Foucault and history
Socialist Worker nr. 2082, dec 07 – side 13
Note: Colin Wilson takes a critical look at the ideas and politics of influential historian Michel Foucault
- Judith Orr: Howard Zinn on Making History
Socialist Review nr. 315, jun 07 – side 18
Note: Pathbreaking historian and political activist Howard Zinn talks to Judith Orr about his life, war, class politics and taking sides.
- Megan Trudell: Deciphering the past
International Socialism Journal nr. 112, sep 06 – side 97
Note: A review of Paul Blackledge: "Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History" (Manchester University Press, 2006), £14.99 + Matt Perry: "Marxism and History" (Palgrave, 2002), £13.99
- Neil Davidson: Enlightenment and anti-capitalism
International Socialism Journal nr. 110, mar 06 – side 85
Note: The Enlightenment was an intellectual and social movement which, like the Renaissance and the Reformation before it, characterised a specific historical period. Yet it remains at the heart of current concerns in a way that, for example, Reformation debates over predestination do not. The Enlightenment remains a contemporary issue and not merely a historical one.
- Chris Wickham: Structures and agencies
International Socialism Journal nr. 110, mar 06 – side 176
Note: A review of Alex Callinicos: "Making History: Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory" (Brill, Historical Materialism book series, 2004), euro 52.
- Neil Faulkner: Crusade and jihad in the medieval Middle East
International Socialism Journal nr. 109, dec 05 – side 127
Note: The debate about the Iraq war echoes with references to the conflict eight centuries ago between Christian Crusaders from Western Europe and the Islamic people of the Middle East. These echoes raise questions for socialists. How accurate is the traditional image of the Crusaders as chivalrous knights inspired by piety? Is there something inevitable and eternal about conflict between ‘the West’ and ‘the Orient’? To what degree can the conflicts of the medieval past inform our understanding of the present and provide a guide to action for the future?
- Chris Harman: Book review: Shedding new light on the Dark Ages
International Socialism Journal nr. 109, dec 05 – side 187
Note: A review of Chris Wickham: "Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800" (Oxford, 2005), £85
- Ian Birchall: Pierre Broué: A rare combination
International Socialism Journal nr. 108, sep 05 – side 179
Note: Pierre Broué (1926-2005) who died in July, was one of the most important historians in the revolutionary socialist tradition.
- Chris Harman: Digging deeper (Thomas C Patterson: "Marx's Ghost: Conversations with Archaeologists")
International Socialism Journal nr. 104, sep 04 – side 131
Note: A review of Thomas C Patterson, Marx’s Ghost: Conversations with Archaeologists (Berg, 2004), £15.99
- Brian Manning: The legacy of Christopher Hill
International Socialism Journal nr. 99, jun 03 – side 125
Note: Brian Manning draws out the legacy of Marxist historian Christopher Hill.
- Brian Manning: Obituary: 'A voice for the exploited' (Rodney Hilton)
Socialist Review nr. 265, jul 02 – side 16
Note: Brian Manning looks back at the life of the distinguished historian Rodney Hilton
- Brian Manning: History and socialism (Jonathan Haslam: "The Vices of Integrity: E H Carr, 1892-1982")
International Socialism Journal nr. 90, mar 01 – side 103
Note: On the biography of historian E H Carr
- Robin Blackburn: Reviewing the millennia (Chris Harman: "A People's History of the World")
International Socialism Journal nr. 86, mar 00 – side 119
Note: Robin Blackburn, editor of New Left Review, reviews Chris Harman's 'A People's History of the World'.
- Chris Harman: The 20th century: an age of extremes or an age of possibilities?
International Socialism Journal nr. 85, dec 99 – side 87
Note: Chris Harman looks at the shape of the last century
- Mark Steel: Mark Steel reviews ‘A People's History of the World’: History to make a future
Socialist Worker nr. 1672, nov 99 – side 10
Note: There is something slightly satisfying about reading a history of the whole world. You find yourself thinking, “While I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I can do the 11th Century”. A five stop train journey can get you through the decline of the Roman Empire and a bit of the Crusades (with a bit of concentration).
Chris Harman: “A People's History of the World”
- Martin B. Johansen: Jared Diamond: "Guns, Germs and Steel": 13.000 års historie
Socialistisk Revy nr. 11, jan 99 – side 23
Note: I historietimerne lærer vi om, hvordan europæerne i 15-1600-tallet drog ud i verden og koloniserede hele kontinenter og tvang alverdens folkeslag til underkastelse. Men man stiller sjældent spørgsmålet, hvorfor det lige netop var europæerne, der erobrede resten af verden.
- Rikke Holm: John Rees m.fl.: “Essays on Historical Materialism”: Månedens bog: Hvordan skal vi forstå historien?
Socialistisk Revy nr. 7, sep 98 – side 26
Note: "Alle hidtidige samfunds historie er en klassekampenes historie," skrev Marx og Engels i Det Kommunistiske Manifest for 150 år siden. Det er udgangspunktet for al marxistisk historiefilosofi og har siden dannet grundlag for mange diskussioner om, hvordan man bedst får et ægte billede af den historiske udvikling.
- George Paizis: Back to the future (Alex Callinicos: "Theories and Narratives: Reflections on the Philosophy of History")
International Socialism Journal nr. 68, sep 95 – side 109
- John Rees: The light and the dark (Eric Hobsbawm: "Age of Extremes")
International Socialism Journal nr. 66, mar 95 – side 109
Note: Taking the longer view, Eric Hobsbawm's panorama of the 20th century, Age of Extremes, informs and infuriates in not quite equal measure, argues John Rees.
- Chris Harman: Engels and the origins of human society
International Socialism Journal nr. 65, dec 94 – side 83
Note: Chris Harman's "Engels and the origins of human society" looks at Engels' work on human evolution, the rise of class society and the roots of women's oppression.
- Chris Harman: Change at the first millenium (Guy Bois: "The Transformation of the Year One Thousand")
International Socialism Journal nr. 62, mar 94 – side 91
Note: Guy Bois's investigation of the birth of feudalism
- John Molyneux: The ‘politically correct’ controversy
International Socialism Journal nr. 61, dec 93 – side 43
Note: ‘Political correctness’ was a scare started by the right in academia and the press. But it involves issues which no socialist can duck. John Molyneux plots a careful course through the arguments. He damns the hypocrisy of the right but shows that socialists should not be uncritical supporters of much of what is done in the name of political correctness.
- Chris Harman: Blood simple (Chris Knight: "Blood relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture")
International Socialism Journal nr. 54, mar 92 – side 169
- John Brown: Class conflict and the crisis of feudalism
International Socialism Journal nr. 51, jun 91 – side 131
Note: Review: Rodney Hilton: “Class conflict and the crisis of feudalism”
- Lionel Sims: Rape and pre-state societies: a note on Sheila McGregor’s anthropology
International Socialism Journal nr. 49, dec 90 – side 123
- Sheila McGregor: A reply to Lionel Sims
International Socialism Journal nr. 49, dec 90 – side 129
- John Rees: Trotsky and the dialectic of history
International Socialism Journal nr. 47, jun 90 – side 113
Note: Leon Trotsky was murdered by Stalin’s agent 50 years ago. We publish three articles which re-examine his legacy just at the moment when Stalin's empire is crumbling. John Rees examines Trotsky’s recently published Writings on Lenin, Dialectics and Evolutionism and evaluates Trotsky's original contribution to the Marxist method.
- Alex Callinicos: Making History: a reply to John Rees
International Socialism Journal nr. 39, jun 88 – side 162
Note: Alex Callinicos replies to John Rees’ critique of his new book, ‘Making History’, which appeared in the previous issue of the journal.
- John Rees: On Making History (Alex Callinicos: "Making History")
International Socialism Journal nr. 38, mar 88 – side 83
- Alex Callinicos: A note on racism in the ancient world
International Socialism Journal nr. 37, dec 87 – side 133
Note: A reply to Norah Carlin: “Was there racism in ancient society?” in ISJ2:36
- Norah Carlin: Was there racism in ancient society?
International Socialism Journal nr. 36, sep 87 – side 90
- Ole Mølholm Jensen: Marxismens betydning: Fra økser til stjernekrig
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 3, dec 84 – side 7
Note: Et tilbageblik over de sidste mange hundrede år viser, at menneskehedens historie har været præget af elendighed, udbytning, krigsrædsler og frygt, grusomme magthavere, oprør og undertrykkelse.
- Mike Haynes: Capitalism in Marx's time and ours
International Socialism Journal nr. 19, mar 83 – side 49
- Ann Rogers: Review of G. Cohen’s “Karl Marx’s Theory of History – A Defence”
International Socialism Journal nr. 12, mar 81 – side 125
Note: Since its publication, Cohen’s book has acquired a formidable reputation in certain left circles; both as heralding a return to orthodox Marxism, and as a masterpiece of philosophical rigour. Cohen himself sees his mission as being to introduce the ‘precision of intellectual commitment’ which he thinks was a product of British philosophy’s engagement with logical positivism, to an interpretation of historical materialism ‘in which history is, fundamentally, the growth of human productive power, and forms of society rise and fall according as they enable or impede that growth.’
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