The Lost Literature of Socialism

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A hard-hitting and controversial examination of the foundation texts of socialism. Drawing on an impressive range of sources from John Millar to Ken Livingstone, Watson lifts the lid off decades of sloppy scholarship and deliberate suppression to how closely socialism was linked to racist and genocidal ideas. He shows that socialism was often a conservative, nostalgic reaction to the radicalism of capitalism, and not always supposed to be advantageous to the poor. There have even been socialist monarchs - Napoleon III was one. The book includes a study of Hitler's claim that 'the whole of National Socialism' was based on Marx, and it analyses the common theoretical basis of the dogmas of Stalin and Hitler which led to the death camps. As a literary critic the author's concern is to pay due respect to the works of the founding fathers of socialism, to attend to what they say rather than to what their modern disciples wish they had said. The book forces the reader to abandon long-standing assumptions in political thought, enabling a genuine debate to be revived. George Watson was a Fellow in English at St John's College, Cambridge, and the general editor of the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. He was the author of studies in political literature and critical history including The Story of the Novel, Never Ones for Theory, Take Back the Past and Heresies and Heretics. "The literature of socialism is lost only in the sense of not having been read for a very long time. George Watson has been re-reading this literature as a professional literary critic, with strong interests in both political affairs and the history of ideas. Many of his findings are extraordinary." Antony Flew


Publisher -

Author(s) - George Watson


Published Date -

ISBN - 9780718892272

Dimensions - 23.4 x 15.6 x 0.7 cm

Page Count - 128

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