Thorpe, Andrew
December 2004
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Dec2004, Vol. 69 Issue 3, p385
Academic Journal
This article presents a rejoinder to the reply of authors John McIlroy and Alan Campbell to Harriet Jones' Conference Report on the history of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), published in an issue of the 'Labor History Review.' A round-table panel at the Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH) was held in London, England in July 2001. It was suggested that it might be worthwhile gathering together a number of leading figures in the field for discussion. In the event, the seminar was interesting, but of course it would have been more so had McIlroy and Campbell attended. While inevitably some of the discussion did focus on the differences between the approach of McIlroy and Campbell and that of others, it was not the case that was the sole area of discussion. Indeed, viewpoints very different from those of some members of the panel were forcefully and coherently put from the floor. There are few further points arising from the reply of McIlroy and Campbell to Harriet Jones. The first is to point out the irony that it might be possible to have a decent, reasoned, professional and historical discussion with McIlroy and Campbell on Communist party history. The second point is that it is surely remarkable that McIlroy and Campbell have so widened the targets for their criticism as to, in effect, condemn all the historians that attended the ICBH event.


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