Marxist Writers: Jim Higgins

Marxists’ Internet Archive

Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins

1930 – 2002



Born into a working-class family in Harrow, Jim Higgins joined the Young Communist League at 14 and left school at 16. Two years later he was apprenticed to the Post Office as a telecommunications engineer. After National Service in the early 1950s, he became active in both the Communist Party and the Post Office Engineering Union. He broke with the CP in 1956 following Khrushchev’s “secret speech” and the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Higgins read Trotsky voraciously, and joined a small group – Socialist Labour League – and then the Socialist Review Group which became the International Socialists.

By the 1960s he was a POEU branch secretary and was elected to the union’s national executive, but he gave up his union work to become IS’s full-time national secretary in the early 1970s. IS grew rapidly in the later 1960s and early 70s but in a burst of internal quarrels in the period 1973-76 he was forced out of the organisation and then built a new life as a journalist. He remained active as a writer and speaker at left wing meetings up until his death.


Spring 1961

Dead Scrolls? (book review)

Autumn 1963

Ten Years for the Locust

Summer 1965

Mike Kidron (letter)

Winter 1965/66

Harry Wasn’t (book review)

Spring 1966

[White-collar workers]

Winter 1966/67

Luxemburg and Lenin

Spring 1967

Is Almond a Nut? (book review)

Autumn 1967

1917: Lenin and the Working Class

March 1968

A Day with the Leadership

April 1969

Morning Star (book review)

October 1969

The Origins of the Communist Party (extended book review)

April 1970

Lenin (pamphlet)

November 1970

The Minority Movement

February 1971

Revolutionary Trade Unionism

April 1971

Revolutionary Trade Unionism - Part II

October 1971

Sectarianism, Centrism and the I.S. Group

March 1972

Marxism and Terrorism (with Duncan Hallas)

May 1972

Setting the Record Straight

December 1972

Natalia Trotsky and the Fourth International (book review)

January 1973

The Assassination of Trotsky (book review)

January 1973

Trotsky: a documentary (book review) (as Robert James)

July 1973

Why did you join the party? (as Robert James)

December 1973


April 1974

Rank and file movement: the first links are forged (with Paul Foot)

February 1975

R.P. Dutt: Stalin’s British mouthpiece (obituary)

July 1975

Now Let Us Praise Leon Trotsky (extended book review)

6 Sept. 1975

The deluge after Blackpool

27 Sept. 1975

AUEW: Decline of a union

18 Oct. 1975

Trade unions: Democracy at the Top

8 Nov. 1975

Clive Jenkins: Tomorrow the world

15 Nov. 1975

Equity: Lets Play Trade Unions

22 Nov. 1975

Communist congress: Pale-pink Reds

29 Nov. 1975

AUEW election

13 Dec. 1975

TUC Running Scared

17 Jan. 1976

The unions: Out of molehills

24 Jan. 1976

Transport: Art for BR’s sake

14 Feb. 1976

The lessons of Linwood (book review)

April 1976

Hagiography or History (review article)

April 1976

It’s time to give left-wing democracy the deodorant treatment

3 April 1976

Doon in Troon

10 April 1976

The year of Scanlon?

24 April 1976

Good soldiers?

8 May 1976

Are Journalists Often Red?

29 May 1976

Amalgamating the engineers

19 June 1976

Bristol fashion

August 1976

Too much Cogitation is bad for Monty’s eyesight

September 1976

TUC leaders back Labour – at our expense

18 Sept. 1976

Seamen back from the brink

12 Nov. 1977

Breakthrough for the Trots?

9 Nov. 1985

The Fall of the Mekon


1956 and All That

July 1993

From Gangrene ... to the Danger of Amputation


What Is To Be Done With Lenin?

Spring 1995

Max Shachtman and His Left (book review)

Winter 1995/96

The Prophet’s Children (book review)

Summer 1996

The Ideas of Leon Trotsky (book review)

July 1996

A secular-democratic state


More Years for the Locust (book)


Trotskyism in the United States (book review)


The arrogance of the long distance Zionist


The Fate of the Russian Revolution (book review)


The Locusts, Cankerworms, Caterpillars and Palmerworms Will Get You If You Don’t Watch Out


A World To Win (book review)


The Asturian Uprising & the Warsaw Commune (book review)


How Not to Hammer Hitchens (letter)


Tony Cliff (letter)


Trotskyist Bears and Working Class Stars

Last updated on 13 October 2014