Remembering Peter Sedgwick

The Ford Maguire Society presents Ian Birchall on Peter Sedgwick

[sadly Ian Birchall is currently ill and this event has had to be postponed]

Peter Sedgwick (1934-1983) is best remembered as translator of Victor Serge’s brilliant Memoirs of a Revolutionary and as author of Psychopolitics, a study of mental health.  But from the 1950s to his untimely death in 1983 he was an active participant in the British left. For much of this time he was a member of the International Socialists, but he always saw himself as a member, often  a highly critical one,  of a broader left. His observations on the various currents and projects of the left were sometime sharply polemical but always perceptive and constructive.  His writings are a valuable contribution to an understanding of the British left then … and now.

 Ian Birchall knew Peter Sedgwick in the International Socialists. Ian has made an impressive contribution as a writer in that tradition, with works including:

Workers Against the Monolith: The Communist Parties since 1943 (1974)

Bailing out the System: Reformist Socialism in Western Europe, 1944-1985 (1986)

The Spectre of Babeuf (1997)

Sartre against Stalinism (2004)

A Rebel’s Guide to Lenin (2005)

Sartre’s Century (2005)

Tony Cliff: A Marxist for His Time (2011)

The Ford-Maguire Society is very glad to welcome Ian to talk about the contribution made by Peter Sedgwick, who we remember as a lively presence in Leeds in the 1970s and early 1980s.



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