The Historians’ Group of the Communist Party – Ten Years that Reshaped History

In late 1946 a group of historians, friends and members of the Communist Party started regularly meeting in Marx’s House in London, picture here.
In late 1946 the Historians’ Group – made up of historians, friends, and members of the Communist Party – started regularly meeting in Marx’s House in London, pictured here.

Gil Shohat
Humboldt University Berlin

In today’s history cosmos, terms such as ‘History from Below’, ‘People’s History’ and ‘Social History’ belong to the essential canon of most academics and students. Thus, it is important to remember how these terms found their way into historiography before they were considered legitimate. Members of the Communist Party Historians’ Group in the UK laid the cornerstone for a new paradigm in historiography, today largely referred to as Social History, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But exactly how did these historians perceive their own role as academic insurgents in the heart of ‘Whig history’ and what were the problems facing them as historians and members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)? Continue reading “The Historians’ Group of the Communist Party – Ten Years that Reshaped History”