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Colin Barker

In Brief

(April 1975)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.77, April 1975, p.32.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

WE’VE HAD plenty of occasion to call attention to interesting publications from Penguin Books Ltd. Their books have probably received more review space than any other publishers. It’s therefore especially appropriate that we express our solidarity with the trade unionists currently fighting 40 redundancies proposed by this company. Penguin are now owned by Longman-Pearsons, whose chairman, Lord Cowdray has a personal fortune estimated at the end of the 1960s at around £100 million. Readers who feel that a little of Lord Cowdray’s money could be well spent saving jobs should send messages of support to Bert Williams, ASTMS Group Chairman, Penguin Books, Bath Road, Harmondsworth, Middlesex.

Pluto Press have a number of special offers which should prove to be of interest to IS readers. Their next four titles are all available at special pre-publication prices provided orders accompanied by cash reach them by the end of the stated month. April sees the publication of Moshe Lewin’s latest book, Political Undercurrents in Soviet Economic Debates (£3.95, special price £3.00) which will be a highly-prized item for anyone who has read any of his other books, most notably the fine Lenin’s Last Struggle (now in Pluto paperback at 90p). Also in April, a reprint of Carter Goodrich’s The Frontier of Control, the 1920 study of workshop politics in Britain (£2.95, £2.00 to those who have the readies in quickly).

In May come two books on the period of the Italian factory occupations: Paolo Spriano’s The Occupation of the Factories (£2.00 special offer £1.50) and Gwyn Williams’ Proletarian Order, Gramsci and the factory councils (£2.70 special price £2.00).

Methuen Playscripts have just brought put an up-dated edition of Alan Plater’s Close the Coalhouse Door, with songs by Alex Glasgow (75p). Those who know the old version will enjoy the new scene and song on the 1972 miners’ strike, with Ted at the helm. Glasgow fans will appreciate the music at the end.

We don’t often give puffs to rivals, but the last but one New Left Review 87-88 (double issue, 90p) has a first rate article by Jon Halliday, Hong Kong: Britain’s Chinese Colony. As Halliday says, the revolutionary left in Britain has largely ignored Hong Kong. The article proves we were wrong.

Basil Bernstein buffs might note a socialist magazine concerned. with language: Language and Class Workshop, 20p from Harold Rosen, 41a Muswell Avenue, London N10 2EH.

Teachers should read the latest ‘Rank and File’ pamphlet, Teachers’ Salaries: The Fight for a Single Scale, 20p plus postage from 86 Mountgrove Road, London N5. More than a discussion of wages, it’s about what a white-collar union ought to be.

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Last updated: 21.3.2008