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This thesis has been kept on track and been seen through to completion with the support and encouragement of numerous friends, colleagues and institutions. It is therefore a pleasant task to express my thanks to all those who contributed in many ways to the success of this study. There were those who supplied useful addresses or who put me on the trail of a document in my search to exhaust all possible avenues. Others generously provided access to and/or photocopies of rare primary and secondary source material. There were also those who responded to drafts of my work which I circulated in various stages of completion. Their constructive criticisms encouraged me to reconsider some early dubious propositions and steered me away from engaging in unnecessary polemics. I hope that they can recognise where and how I have attempted to address their questions and comments, even though I may have settled on a final formulation which does not agree with their understanding and interpretation. Among those who either opened doors or whose considered criticisms contributed to my progress, I would like to express particular thanks to Al Richardson, Paul Hampton, John Sullivan, Reiner Tosstorff, Mary Low Machado, Paolo Casciola, Robert Alexander, John Archer, Pierre Broué, Daniela Spenser, Osvaldo Coggiola, Barry Carr and Rafael Soler Martínez. Their interest, advice, assistance and questioning were of special importance in stimulating the arguments which follow.
I, likewise, want to thank Tony Heywood for his support in taking on the supervision of this thesis under unusual circumstances at a time when such a positive step provided me with confirmation of the validity of the project and a much needed push to complete. As one of my joint-supervisors he particularly encouraged me to bring out my argument at every opportunity and so not limit my horizons. He was a model of professional behaviour, showing me that there is more to academia than the menacing mediocrity which I had experienced previously. I am deeply grateful to him. With reference to the corridors of academia, I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Economic and Social Research Council who funded this project for three years.
I have also been fortunate in that the many members of staff at the libraries and archives with whom I have had contact have willingly shared their knowledge and skills. It is not possible to list all of these people here but I would like to acknowledge the work of the librarians at the Inter-Library Loans Service and the subject specialist librarian, Grace Hudson, at the University of Bradford. They were my initial contact with the librarian profession in the search for all sorts of materials across two continents. In this context, I am also grateful to Al Richardson, the guardian of the Socialist Platform archive where I was able to have the space and time to familiarise myself with an extensive pool of socialist and Trotskyist sources. A special thanks goes to Socialist Platform together with other libraries and archives who strive to put a minimum of obstacles between the researcher and source, irrespective of whether or not the enquirer holds a university or academic identity card.
Leaving the personal until last, a big thanks also goes to Sita Rajasooriya who in love and companionship had, at times, to live with this thesis as much as me. Reinforcing my spirits at some crucial junctures, she provided much encouragement throughout the largest part of this project. Her insistence on its worth and validity whenever I listened too much to the large doses of subjective idealism emanating from ‘sandalista’ fellow-travellers was of special value. Un abrazo muy fuerte also goes to Ernesto Armiñan and his family whose sincerity in difficult conditions was a constant reminder that true stories count. I would also like to extend my thanks to my parents for their support past and present. Perhaps this thesis would not have survived some of the more trying times during the process of writing up if it had not been for their unquestioning support.
Before concluding this section, I want to state the oft cited caveat that whatever the defects in this thesis, be they imprecise quotations or translations, or basic misrepresentations, they are unintentional and my responsibility alone.
Finally, I dedicate this study to those who trust in the certainty of class struggle, to those who recognise that in the field of history and ideas, as much as in every day life, this class conflict has not ended, to those who have confronted capitalism as well as the stifling barbarity of Stalinism with a cutting dignity which has not subordinated the independence of the working class to the passing fashion of the day, and to those who have hope for their dreams. May their voices and stories be heard.
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