Michael Kidron

Badly Served

(Autumn 1964)

From Reviews, International Socialism (1st series) No.18, Autumn 1964, p.32.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Hungary 56
Andy Anderson
Solidarity, 197 King’s Cross Road, London WC1. 3s 6d.

Solidarity, the publishers, and Andy Anderson, the author, have missed a golden opportunity. Hungary 56 could have introduced a new generation to the greatest working class event since 1917. It could have demonstrated the constructive power of workers acting as a class, the types of interactions and organisations they create; could have explained the nature of Russia, of the Cold War, of labour bureaucracies everywhere ... The list is endless. Instead we are given a poorly organised re-hash of some – certainly not all – of the accounts already published, less well-endowed with facts than with opinions; a finger-pointing exercise instead of an analysis of political forces; an apologia instead of a confident assertion of the importance of the Hungarian episode. The author and his comrades might have done better to have read Balázs Nagy’s La Formation du Conseil Central Ouvrier de Budapest en 1956, published three years ago by Imre Nagy Institute in Brussels (see elsewhere in this issue). Nonetheless, for readers who can’t get hold of eye-witness accounts like Peter Fryer’s Hungarian Tragedy or Dora Scarlett’s Window Onto Hungary, or who are still confused about the conflicting roles of Russian tanks and workers’ arms, this is the best there is. At 3s 6d it is worth buying.


Last updated on 11.9.2007