Scotland, and especially the industrial conurbation surrounding Glasgow, played a pivotal role in radical politics in the twentieth century. The protesters challenged the capitalist social order and, on occasion, the state itself, thus earning the tag 'Red Clydeside'. However, the role of women in this movement has been marginalised. In this original and meticulously researched study, Neil Rafeek addresses this gap in the literature, critically examining the experience of women in the Communist Party in Scotland, from the formation of the Party in 1920 to the end of a century of tumultuous upheaval and social and political change. Rakeek engages critically with many of the key issues of debate, traversing gender relations within the Party, the importance of the Socialist Sunday School and other formative influences on political consciousness as well as the involvement of communist women in the world wars, the developing struggle for women's rights, the 1960s, the revolutions and anti-Vietnam war/nuclear weapons campaigns. This book privileges the memories and voices of participants, and relies upon new oral interview evidence, accumulated by the author, from those women who lived through and were directly involved in these events. Rafeek describes women's experiences of meeting leading international personalities of the era: Khrushchev, Gagarin, Tereshkova, Castro and Ceauescus. Using rich and evocative personal testimony blended with sensitive analysis, Rafeek shows the idealistic socialist motivation behind the establishment of 'Red Clydeside' and the subsequent growing strains and discord in Communism and the labour movement generally, internationally and in Scotland.
Communist Women in Scotland
Red Clydeside from the Russian Revolution to the End of the Soviet Union