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1956, John Saville, EP Thompson and The Reasoner
1956, John Saville, EP Thompson and The Reasoner

1956, John Saville, EP Thompson and The Reasoner

Edited by Paul Flewers, Edited by John McIlroy


464 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $39.99)

Publication Date: July 2017

ISBN 9780850367263

Rights: US & CA

Merlin Press (Jul 2017)

Available from local and national retailers throughout the US.


1956 was a year of political drama. It saw the Anglo-French seizure of the Suez Canal, Nikita Khruschev's Secret Speech, denouncing Stalin, unrest across Eastern Europe and the Russian invasion of Hungary. This book discusses the convulsions which enveloped the Communist Party of Great Britain in the aftermath of Khruschev's revelations. It reprints the text of The Reasoner for the first time in 60 years. It tells the story of this journal and its editors: John Saville and E.P. Thompson. The Reasoner proved critical in organising opposition to Stalinism in the Communist Party. The editors have provided detailed notes on each issue and a selection of documents from both the party leadership and its opponents. Original essays explore how the events of 1956 came about, their impact on British Communism and the dissident political thinking. Meticulously evidenced, thought-provoking and iconoclastic, this text will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand British Communism and the politics of Marxism in the second half of the twentieth century.


"Flewers and McIlroy have done an immense service in gathering together the important documents of this vital moment in the history of the Communist Party and have published the three issues of The Reasoner, of which few copies survive. This rich seam of material is now readily available to all." —Keith Laybour, Labor History Review

Author Biography

Paul Flewers is the author of The New Civilisation? Understanding Stalin's Soviet Union 1929-1941 and an editor of Revolutionary History. John McIlroy is a Professor of Employment Relations at Middlesex University Business School.