Duncan Thompson provides a concise summary of the hitherto neglected history of New Left Review and its political and intellectual development from 1962 to the present. Perry Anderson, Robin Blackburn et al. emerged as the leading figures of a second new left around New Left Review six years after the new left first emerged in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Hungary and Britain and France’s invasion of Suez.
Thompson traces NLR’s attempts to develop socialist politics, through the ‘old’ Labour of Harold Wilson, through heady days in 1968, through new Marxist theory, through the Cold War years and into the era of contemporary capitalist globalisation. He surveys the achievements of NLR: a respectable academic reputation has been won, but it has not succeeded in achieving or facilitating the primary goal of the second New Left, that of finding a strategy for transition to socialism.
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