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Giles Udy. Labour & the GULAG: Russia and the seduction of the British left

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Клуб «Открытая Россия» / The Open Russia Club

16 Hanover Square, Mayfair

London

W1S 1HT

United Kingdom

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The Labour Party welcomed the Russian Revolution of October 1917 & for the following decades it enthusiastically supported the Soviet ‘great experiment’ and prepared to bring about its own Socialist revolution in Britain. While the British Left’s preferred version of its history in the years before the Second World War is a noble one, Giles Udy argues that there is a darker narrative which runs parallel to this: how Labour’s infatuation with Soviet Communism led it to defend the Soviet Gulag, excuse or deny mass shootings and refuse to halt British imports of tons of timber cut by the political prisoners. In 1920 Lenin instructed British Communists to join and subvert the Labour Party. A century later, something close to that seems to be happening. Once more, Socialism has become the utopian ideal; once more, its economic and human rights failures (in Venezuela and elsewhere) are denied or dismissed. Giles Udy’s lecture examines the last time Labour flirted with Socialist totalitarianism and the moral compromises that followed.

Giles Udy has spent the past 15 years studying Soviet Communism, with a particular focus on the repression of its citizens and the sponsorship of revolution and subversion abroad. His lecture will be based on the material in his recent book “Labour & the Gulag: Russia and the Seduction of the British Left”. The book has been widely acclaimed. It has been described as ‘the best book of political history for years’ (Edward Lucas) ‘compelling’ (Michael Gove), ‘magisterial’ (Evening Standard) ‘scholarly, passionate, important’ (Lord Maurice Glasman, Blue Labour), and a ‘masterpiece’ (Tim Montgomerie). It has been ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Spectator. Giles’s original work is on the Gulag camps of the Arctic far North of Siberia, and in pursuit of that research he has travelled thousands of miles across Russia, visiting some of the most isolated parts of the country. Labour and the Gulag began as a chapter in that book. He is a members of the Keston Institute, Oxford, and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School in London. Copies of Giles Udy’s book (retail price £30) will be on sale to members for just £17.00. Payment by Cash Only.

Tea, Coffee & Biscuits at 6.30 pm. Talk starts at 7.00pm.

* - in cooperation with The Great Britain - Russia Society

Please note that this event will be in English, without translation into Russian.

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Date and Time

Location

Клуб «Открытая Россия» / The Open Russia Club

16 Hanover Square, Mayfair

London

W1S 1HT

United Kingdom

View Map

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