From the History of Science to the Science of History: Scientists and Historians in the Shaping of British Marxist Theory
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Science and Society 69 (4):529 - 558 (2005)
Although British Marxists in the 20th century were never a significant electoral force, Marxist intellectuals achieved prominence in a number of fields, with considerable impact on cultural and political life. Their greatest advances were in history and the natural sciences. The Red Science movement of the 1930s was spurred by the twin crises of the depression and the rise of fascism. Its influence grew until it was derailed by the Soviet genetics controversy of the late 1940s. The now-legendary school of the British Marxist Historians first emerged in the mid-1940s, but became dominant following the events of 1956. The varied origins and impacts of the Scientists and the Historians reveal the rich but generally overlooked heritage of British Marxism in the mid-20th century. They also highlight the difficulties faced by Marxist intellectuals in unifying theory with an effective political practice.
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