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Connolly's Marxism (Pluto ideas in progress)

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James Connolly, born in Edinburgh 1879 and executed by the British in Dublin 1916, was a major socialist theorist. He worked his way out of a poverty-stricken Scottish childhood, through lengthy spells in the army and as a trade union organiser in America. He emerged as Ireland's most clearsighted and resourceful socialist organiser and thinker.

In this interpretive study Bernard Ransom presents a complex Connolly - historian, philosopher, strategist and activist. In particular he shows how Connolly made Marxism relevant for Ireland by reconciling nationalist and socialist ideas; and how he restored a viable, realistic use of Marxist theory as a guide to action, at a time when most of its practitioners treated as an unchallengeable "scientific" dogma.

What emerges is a consistency of thought and action by a man not afraid to be inspired by Irish history and Christian traditions; a man whose life's work, including the apparently "hopeless" Easter Rising of 1916, was an attempt to establish the theoretical and organisational basis for socialism in Ireland.