[Marxism] Re: Marxism Digest, Vol 5, Issue 98

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 23 18:40:50 MST 2004


Richard Harris wrote:
>I think it is disgraceful to quote Irving.  He is one of the world's most
>well known Nazis.  He has been held by a bourgeois court to be a liar and
>Nazi sympathiser.

I wasn't aware that Harris's holocaust denial writings were being quoted 
here. A reference was made to his book on Hungary that nobody seems to have 
read except Hal R. Unless somebody has actually read it, I suggest that it 
is presumptuous to dismiss it.

There was an extensive discussion of Irving's book on apst, which is 
archived on google.groups.com. Here's what Ken McLeod had to say, who read 
the book *twice* just to make sure he was on solid ground. Unless people 
can engage with the book on this level, I suggest they refrain from popping 
off:

 >David Irving, who is - unfortunately perhaps - a much better historian
 >than any of the 'revisionists' he hangs out with, wrote a very well-
 >documented book on the Hungarian uprising. _Uprising!_ presents masses
 >of evidence that the dominant popular mood was anti-communist and anti-
 >semitic. If this is correct then there's no doubt that the Trotskyist
 >and anarchist accounts of the 1956 uprising are so much eyewash.
 >

Since writing the above I've re-read this book, and I have to say I was
completely wrong. Irving presents evidence that there were - not
surprisingly - elements of anti-semitism and anti-communism in popular
consciousness, but does not suggest that it was 'the dominant popular
mood'. He devotes little attention to the workers' councils, but what
little he does indicates that they were widespread, widely supported,
and broadly socialist.

Irving did a lot of archival research and interviewed many participants
on all sides. The book is worth reading.
-- 
Ken MacLeod



Louis Proyect
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