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The Lost Literature of Socialism Paperback – November 18, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0718829865 ISBN-10: 0718829867

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Lutterworth Press (November 18, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718829867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718829865
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,822,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Watson has taught almost every elementary and junior high school subject during his 28 years of teaching. He most recently taught special education classes for grades 8 and 9 at Alexander Junior High School in the North Battleford (Saskatchewan) Public School Division. Mr. Watson also conducts inservice programs for teachers, and parent-teacher organizations and speaks at local conventions. He is the author of "Teacher Smart: 125 Tested Techniques for Classroom Management "and" Control and The Classroom Discipline Problem Solver," both from Jossey-Bass.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Earth that Was on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first ordered this book I was expecting a prejudiced polemical potboiler. Those books are always fun, but this is really a compact classic.

It's short, barely a hundred pages of text, but it packs a punch. well above it's weight. It could have been edited better, there is some sloppy printing, but the writing and argument itself is excellent. The fact that such a quality book was available only via such a poor edition tells us something about the ongoing biases within our intelligentsia this volume addresses.

I studied political science and sociology for four years at university, the life and times of marx and socialism were a major theme in those studies. Despite that I probably learned more from George Watson in a hundred pages than a few hundred days of college. If only I had had "The Lost Literature of Socialism" way back then. Get this book, and recommend it to any undergraduate student in the social sciences. Help make an aging baby boomer leftist academic's slide into retirement deservedly unpleasant.

Watson, an expatriate Queenslander, is what used to call a Cambridge don. His scholarship, depth of learning, and breadth of reading are evident throughout. It's best to think of the book as a series of essays on a common theme. The title is slighty misleading. He does cover 'the lost literature of socialism' but his gaze is wider than that. At the same time, his definition of socialism is narrow. So the title doesn't help. If anything, Watson, a man of the centre-right, is also happy to defend of trade unionists and the more pragmatic, parliamentary, "Liberal Party" (in the UK sense) socialists out of the John Stuart Mill stable. So Labor, Labour and social democrat supporters don't need to get their knickers in a knot.
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Format: Paperback
This book is more the author's ruminations about socialist literature and related socialist thought, than a systematic take-down of them. Worse, we do not actually see that literature very much, which is surprising given the title and the author's claim to venerate texts. And the relevant sexier stuff hidden in socialism's attic, e.g. Engels' embrace of genocide, only comes out a little near the end. And then Watson reaches a bit. There is an attempt to portray Naziism as a chiefly Marx-inspired socialism but it is based too much on Rauschning who is a suspect source. (He was also a person, not a text, and not a socialist). A chapter on Orwell feels unnecessary, implying without much evidence (while also not drawing much of a useful conclusion from the implication) that Orwell's non-fiction was partly exaggerated, and at times outright false. Further, Watson's perspective that life is a lottery and should be one does not comport with the more classical liberal perspective he claims to have. With all that, the contains quite a few gems of thought and phrasing, and Watson's rediscovery of a few writers and writings on class conflict (e.g. Millar) is noteworthy.
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