June 2004 is the 10th anniversary of the death of Reg Birch, founding Chairman of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
In commemoration of his life, Reg Birch: engineer, trade unionist, communist by Will Podmore has now been published.
Steeped in the industrial battleground of the Park Royal, the largest concentration of engineering workers in the country — for half a century Reg Birch led the struggles of the industrial working class and founded Britain's first genuine Communist Party.
The following is taken from the Introduction to the book:
This political life of Reg Birch, engineer, trade unionist and communist, written to mark the occasion of the 90th anniversary of his birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, is much more than the story of one individual, however great. The facts about when he lived, where he lived and how he lived, make this a story about the British industrial working class during its highest level of organisation so far. We see this through the thought and actions of man who was in the thick of the working class struggle as a fighter and leader, and who was able to see and analyse it clearly in all its progressiveness and backwardness.
This account of Reg's political life and unique record of his speeches and articles does more than describe the ebb and flow of the ongoing war between those who create value by their work, and those who create nothing themselves but live by exploiting the work of others. It is also a story of British communism in its context of radically changing Britain and the world, illustrating its roots and the soil it grew in, and its development in the 20th century.
As described in the book, Reg discouraged biographers. Nevertheless, an account of his life and thought is needed. He made a huge contribution that impacts still. This political life is written not to survey the past, but in our need to look forwards and consider where we are going. For the 21st-century reader, Reg's story provokes reflection about the tactics and strategy of struggle, about working class morality, about the place of communism in a modern Britain, and about the very future of our nation.
The book can be ordered now by printing out and completing this form and sending it with the required payment to the address shown on the form.