This September, Pluto relaunched the Left Book Club, a project originally founded by Victor Gollancz in 1936. The aim of the Left Book Club (LBC) was simple, to popularise ideas of the left and combat the rise of fascism. By the eve of the Second World War, the LBC had reached a membership of nearly 60,000 – with 1,200 reading groups scattered around the country.
What made the LBC so necessary in the 1930s are the same things that make its relaunch so important today. In a context of rising ethno-nationalism and an economic system that fuels inequality, we need a space outside the mainstream media that doesn’t simply reinforce the values of the ruling elite and the status quo.
Mirroring the story of the LBC, and returning to the fray this Autumn is another revitalised, octogenarian institution of left media: Tribune – Britain’s oldest, democratic socialist publication.
This month, we are joined by three members of Tribune‘s new editorial team: Kheya Bag (Associate Publisher), Owen Hatherley (Culture Editor) and Ronan Burtenshaw (Editor), in a discussion about left media; the value of tradition; Corbynism; Jacobin and graphic design; and the foregrounding of culture in our political movements.
Left Book Club: leftbookclub.com