Further reading on British Maoism

For those interested in the bizarre history of the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, I thought I’d mention some of the other parts of the interweb discussing the WIMLMTT and British Maoism.


The Tendance Coatsey blog was probably the first to start publicly collating information on the WIMLMTT (mainly sourced from the EROL) and has led to an interesting discussion.

The Transpontine blog, which focuses on the history of politics and popular culture in South London, was also quick to have something on the Workers’ Institute and a discussion of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Keith Flett, from the London Socialist Historians Group, posted a defence of the ‘mostly harmless’ Maoists in Britain who were being lumped in with the extreme activities of the Workers’ Institute.

Author and activist Tariq Ali, formerly of the International Marxist Group, wrote about Maoism and the British left in the 1970s for The Guardian and tried to explain the attraction towards these minuscule Maoist groups back then.

Lucy Townsend asked for the BBC News website, ‘How common were Maoist groups in 1970s Britain?’ and found that there were around 20 different groups, each with only a handful of members.

Paul Flewers, editor of Revolutionary History journal, was interviewed by BBC Radio about the Workers’ Institute earlier in the week as well.

Phil at A Very Public Sociologist looks at why Maoism was short-lived in the UK, while Trotskyism had a much longer tenure.

Most of the mainstream media have been accessing the EROL website and a PhD thesis on sectarianism on the British far left written by Stephen Rayner in 1979 that has been digitised by University College London. But these sources have much more information than is being utilised.

If there are any other noteworthy sites, please let me know.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the mention, but I’m not the Editor of Revolutionary History, I’m the Production Manager. We haven’t had an Editor since Al Richardson died, although most issues are guest-edited.

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