Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

December 2021

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News from SLHS
The 2021 edition of Scottish Labour History, the society’s peer-reviewed journal, will be distributed over the next few weeks. With it will come a complimentary copy of Diverse Voices, Challenging Injustice: Banner Tales from Glasgow, a 106-page joint publication by the Society, Glasgow Museums and the University of Glasgow School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, which tells the stories of the peace, anti-apartheid and anti-racist movements of Glasgow through the voices of their participants. A ‘Zoom’ launch of the publication has been put back to the new year.

Literature in the Mines at the Working Class Movement Library
Literature in the Mines is an exhibition at the WCML running from November to 4th February 2022, and is open to library visitors on Friday afternoons from 1-4.30pm. The exhibition highlights the poetry, songs, plays, fiction and other prose of miners in Scotland and northern England, which appeared in various contemporary papers and journals. An accompanying talk by Kirstie Blair (given on November 24th) will be available on WCML’s YouTube channel at The Library is also sharing ( excerpts from a volume currently being digitised, known as the Coal Trade Papers, featuring handbills and pamphlets about the coal trade c1818-1845. More information at

Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Experiment
This hour-long YouTube presentation comprises a talk by US historian Ronald Grigor Suny about Stalin’s development as a revolutionary Bolshevik, and follows the recent publication of his book, Stalin: Passage to Revolution. Suny, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, is the author of several (not unsympathetic) books on the Soviet Union, including Red Flag Unfurled (2017) and Red Flag Wounded (2020) – both, incidentally, published by Verso, who are currently offering a 40% discount on all titles ( The link to the video is

Our Class Our Culture
Renfrewshire Morning Star Reader’s Group is holding a ‘Zoom’ meeting in the newspaper’s Our Class Our Culture series on Tuesday 7th December at 7pm, on Scottish Volunteers in Defence of the Spanish Republic. The speakers are Kath Campbell and Councillor Jim Sharkey and the session will be chaired by Colin Mack. The link for the meeting is…  
Socialist History Society Book Launch
The Socialist History Society (SHS) is holding an online launch on Tuesday 7th December at 6.30pm for On Strike Against the Nazis, a new title in its occasional publication series. Written by Steve Cushion and Merlin Moos, the booklet traces examples of class struggle and resistance in Northern France and Belgium during World War II. The publication is £5.00 (including p&p) in the UK (£7.00 overseas). More details from Steve Cushion on The link for the launch is…

The North East Labour History Society
The latest issue of the Newcastle-based labour history journal, North East History, is now out. Among twelve main articles, two deal with migration: one on Black lives in Tyneside 1939-52, the other on Newcastle hostels training youngsters for colonial inter-war year migration. A grim tale of child labour in the iron and glass industries is balanced by a more cheerful story on Paul Robeson. Post-war topics include squatters confronting housing shortages in 1946, and Labour’s place in Newcastle’s municipal politics. Two articles focus on trade union education: one a general survey, the other a Newcastle Polytechnic tutor’s memoir. There is an unusual take on the 1984/5 miners’ strike, from a then junior solicitor at Thompsons, the trade union legal firm. NELHS membership is available at: or via treasurer Judith McSwaine, 12 Whitfield Rd, Forest Hall, Newcastle, NE12 7LJ. Last year’s volume (reviewed in our current journal) is now free online.

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