Andy Beckett

Andy Beckett is writing a book about the radical Labour left since 1968.

Motorised Youth Rebellion: Radical LA

Andy Beckett, 18 February 2021

Los Angeles​ is often imagined as a place where fun and culture happen but politics doesn’t. Since it first became a big city in the early 20th century, only a few of its political events have received global attention: the city’s deadly riots in 1965 and 1992; the formative years spent in southern California by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and the region’s postwar...

Favoured Irregulars: The Paras

Andy Beckett, 24 January 2019

Sentimentality​ about soldiering can be a powerful thing in countries where few people have ever done it. In the United Kingdom, the last national servicemen were demobbed 55 years ago. According to the latest figures, the armed forces have 192,130 personnel, including part-time volunteers – less than 0.3 per cent of the population. The number of full-time servicemen and women has...

In​ 1964, shortly after getting married and landing the first research fellowship at the new Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham, Stuart Hall, the Jamaican-born analyst of Britain, went looking for somewhere to live. He had already been in Britain for 13 years, in Oxford and London. He wasn’t unaware that prejudice against immigrants existed. But the West Midlands...

Vuvuzelas Unite: The Trade Union Bill

Andy Beckett, 22 October 2015

The headquarters​ of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is a basement room beneath a dry cleaner’s in Central London. From a loading bay behind a row of shops, concrete steps lead down to a flimsy door, with a pile of leaflets beside it and ‘IWGB office’ scribbled above it on a piece of A4. Behind the door is a whitewashed space with metal shelves,...

Eighteen years ago, in a pub in Darlington, someone I associated with fashion and clubbing but not anything as sedentary as reading told me she had just read the best book ever written. I had never heard of Trainspotting. It had been published the previous summer, and was still in the early stages of its journey from cult status to ubiquity. Soon afterwards I too found myself improbably...

Downhill from Here: The 1970s

Ian Jack, 27 August 2009

The fashion is relatively recent for slicing up history into ten-year periods, each of them crudely flavoured and differently coloured, like a tube of wine gums. Growing up in Britain in the...

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11 September 1973: Crimes against Allende

Christopher Hitchens, 11 July 2002

The strangulation of Chilean democracy was a jewel in the crown of those successful Washington-inspired military coups and counter-revolutions that featured Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Brazil in 1964,...

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