Laybourn, Keith (2005) 'A peripheral vision': A comment on the historiography of Communism in Britain. American Communist History, 4 (2). pp. 159-166. ISSN 1474-3892

‘‘A Peripheral Vision’’ is a timely and much needed critical review of the recent
debate that has occupied historians of British Communist history, most bitterly
in the pages of Labour History Review (LHR). It presents powerful arguments
for reuniting the role of Stalinism with work on the British Party leadership and
the rank-and-file activists in future histories. The vital point is that the
revisionist history which has emerged since the 1980s has sought to remove,
or at least greatly downplay, the importance of the Russian leadership as one of
the factors, undoubtedly, in the view of this writer, the primary one, in the
evolution of the CPGB. Revisionists have rejected the work of Pelling, Kendall
and Macfarlane, who are criticized for believing that the CPGB was robotic
in its acceptance of Moscow direction.1 In contrast McIlroy and Campbell are
adamant that only reinstatement of the centrality of Bolshevism and Stalinism
will permit an accurate picture of the Party.

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