Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Homage to John Saville

Lucid, fiercely loyal to friends and causes, and a formidable enemy of bullshit, Saville made his contribution to history and to scholarship outside the limelight. "There are not many entries in the Dictionary of Labour Biography," [Ralph] Miliband wrote in the introduction for the Festschrift (Ideology and the Labour Movement, 1979) presented to him by friends and pupils, "which record lives of greater dedication and integrity."
Eric Hobsbawm remembers fellow Marxist historian John Saville (1916-2009), whose autobiography, Memoirs from the Left, was reviewed here and here

Edited to add: 'I did a lot of work when I was able': remembering John Saville, 1916-2009 over at the ever superb Reading the Maps

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At 8:39 pm, Blogger Rob said...

We've also lost Arrighi and Gowan of late, sad times.

At 1:53 pm, Anonymous Grim and Dim said...

Saville was indeed a fine socialist activist and historian, and we should mourn his loss.

But Hobsbawm, who has never really come to terms with 1956, confuses the Reasoner and the New Reasoner.

More serious is the silly nationalist boast that the Dictionary of Labour Biography is "the best of its kind anywhere in the world" (like dear old British democracy, I suppose).

Has Professor Hobsbawm really never seen Maitron and Pennetier's Dictionnaire Biographique du Mouvement Ouvrier Francais? In fact I think Maitron was what Saville was trying to imitate in the DLB.

At 9:55 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Grim and Dim - you are truly also a 'formidable enemy of bullshit'.

An excellent tribute to Saville can be found here

At 9:58 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Or, more specifically, here.


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