Socialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’

BookSocialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’

Socialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’

A comparative study of Irish Catholic and Jewish radical and communal politics in East London, 1889-1912

Studies in Labour History, 11


March 13th, 2018

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The late-Victorian and Edwardian East End was an area not only defined by its poverty and destitution, but also by its ethnic and religious diversity. In the neighbourhoods of East London diasporic communities interacted with each other and with the host society in a number of different contexts. In Socialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’ Daniel Renshaw examines the sometimes turbulent relationships formed between Irish Catholic and Jewish populations and the socialist and labour organisations agitating in the area. Employing a comparative perspective, the book analyses the complex relations between working class migrants, conservative communal hierarchies and revolutionary groups. Commencing and concluding with waves of widespread industrial action in the East End, where politics were conflated with ethnic and diasporic identity, this book aims to reinterpret the attitudes of the turn-of-the-century East London Left towards ‘difference’. Concerned with both protecting hard-won gains for the industrial proletariat and championing marginalised minority groups, the ‘correct’ path to be taken by socialist movements was unclear throughout the period. The book simultaneously compares the experiences of the Irish and Jewish working classes between 1889 and 1912, and the relationships formed, at work, at worship, in political organisations or at school, between these diasporic groups.


'By looking at the strong currents of anti-Semitism and anti-Catholic/Irish sentiment that ran through different strands of pre-1914 British socialism and trade unionism, this book makes a significant contribution to the revitalisation of British labour history.'
Dr Jon Lawrence, University of Cambridge

‘This is a very thorough study of radical Irish Catholic and Jewish migrants in East London between 1889 and 1912 and their wider relationships.’
Mike Davis, Chartist

Author Information

Daniel Renshaw is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Reading.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. Diaspora, Migration, and Irish–Jewish Interactions in London, 1800–188925
2. Socialist Ideology, Organisation, and Interaction with Diaspora and Ethnicity46
3. Socialism and the Religious 'Other'105
4. Concerns of the Communal Leaderships147
5. Grass-roots Interactions in the Diasporic East End191
6. Conclusion243