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New Left Review I/215, January-February 1996


Dorothy Thompson

On the Trail of the New Left

The politics of the non-aligned Left of the years 1956–1962 have become fashionable of late. Two at least of the writers who were prominent in the journals of the time have published memoirs, and at least two more are in the pipeline. Clancy Segal has published two romans à clef on those years, describing himself bizarrely on the dust-jacket of the second as ‘a founder member of the British New Left’. A conference was convened in Oxford in 1989 whose proceedings were published, for whatever odd reason, as Out of Apathy, the same title as the first of the New Left Books which, in 1962, was among the last productions of the New Reasoner—Universities and Left Review team. Several doctoral theses have been written on the period in the United States and at least two in Britain, and now two volumes have appeared which are written-up versions of these latter.

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