[Marxism] Cliff Conner on Ernie Tate's memoir

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 2 15:31:35 MST 2014

Dear friends and comrades,

I want to strongly recommend Ernie Tate’s 2-volume memoir, Revolutionary 
Activism in the 1950s and '60s.

I just posted a review of Volume 2 on Amazon.  Here it is:


I previously reviewed Volume 1 of this set and also gave it 5 stars, but 
there are important differences between the two volumes. I found much of 
personal interest in Vol. 1 but I recognize that readers who don't share 
Ernest Tate's political-activist background might not value it as 
highly. Vol. 2, however, should be of great interest to a much broader 
readership because it provides an insider's view of an extremely 
important historical event—namely, the creation of the powerful 
anti-Vietnam-War movement in Great Britain during the 1960's and early 
70's. An essential contribution to that movement was made by the 
Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and the International War Crimes 
Tribunal that it gave birth to. Tate and his comrade-in-arms Jess 
MacKenzie were closely involved with all of these developments, and his 
narrative account of their battles and eventual triumphs is fascinating. 
And underlying all of his "mass work" was Tate's central role in 
bringing a British section of the Fourth International into being. What 
he has to say about his dealings with key figures in the antiwar, labor, 
and socialist movements such as Bertrand Russell, Ralph Shoenman, David 
Horowitz, Isaac and Tamara Deutscher, Ernest Mandel, Vladimir Dedijer, 
Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Laurent Schwartz, Tariq Ali, Ken 
Coates, Pat Jordan, Tony Cliff, Gerry Healy and many more will be of 
immense value to historians trying to understand the great youth 
radicalization as it played out in Britain during those turbulent years. 
If I have not already dropped enough interesting names, I will add that 
the book has photos of mass antiwar demonstrations with such notables as 
Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Branson [!] front and center.

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