Lawrence and Wishart

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Lawrence and Wishart
Founded 1936
Country of origin UK
Headquarters location London
Publication types Books, academic journals
Official website www.lwbooks.co.uk

Lawrence & Wishart is a British publishing company formerly associated with the Communist Party of Great Britain,. It was formed in 1936, through the merger of Martin Lawrence, the Communist Party's press and Wishart Ltd, a family-owned liberal and anti-fascist publisher.[1]

It publishes the journals New Formations, Anarchist Studies, Renewal, Twentieth Century Communism, and Soundings.[2]

History[edit]

Founded in 1936, Lawrence and Wishart initially became involved with the political and cultural life of the Popular Front, publishing literature, drama and poetry, as well as political economy, working-class history and the classics of Marxism.

Post-war, the company published work from the CPGB's History Group, including early work by Eric Hobsbawm. Later in the century Lawrence and Wishart began its project of commissioning translations of selected writings by Antonio Gramsci whose work on the relationship between politics and culture has ongoing significance for the company. The first volume dedicated to Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, was published in 1971.

The mid-1980s saw the publication of works by writers who brought the insights of cultural studies to bear on more traditional political concerns with ideology, politics and power, a field of research that ultimately led to the range of journals that Lawrence and Wishart now publish.[1]

Lawrence and Wishart today[edit]

Continuing to publish the journals New Formations, Anarchist Studies, Renewal, Twentieth Century Communism, and Soundings, Lawrence and Wishart are also developing their work with online books. Recent online publications have included Regeneration, on generational politics,[3] and the Soundings collection The Neoliberal Crisis.[4] The company has also published books with a number of partners, including Compass,[5] the International Brigade Memorial Trust,[6] the Marx Memorial Library,[7] the Socialist History Society,[8] UNISON[9] and Unite the Union.[10]

Copyright issue on Marx/Engels Collected Works[edit]

The Marx/Engels Collected Works were published by Lawrence and Wishart, in collaboration with others, between 1975 and 2005 in 50 volumes, and is the most complete attempt at rendering their work in English.

According to Andy Blunden, a volunteer at the Marxists Internet Archive, L&W allowed the website to publish material from the MECW around 2005, but it was always an option of the publishers to revoke permission.[11] This finally happened at the end of April 2014 when the publishers asked via email for the deletion of 1,662 files from the website threatening legal action if MIA did not comply.[11][12][13] Lawrence and Wishart has argued that the free reprints on MIA will affect its plans to issue MECW in a digital version in the near future, and its action is purely to ensure that it remains in business.[11]

By the end of April 2014, more than 4,500 individuals had signed a petition objecting to Lawrence and Wishart's decision to take action against MIA.[12] In response to the criticism, Lawrence and Wishart in a statement said it had been "subject to a campaign of online abuse."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lawrence and Wishart About Us
  2. ^ Lawrence and Wishart Journals
  3. ^ Regeneration
  4. ^ The Neoliberal Crisis
  5. ^ A New Political Economy
  6. ^ Antifacista: British & Irish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
  7. ^ Marx In London
  8. ^ John Saville: Commitment and History
  9. ^ Leadership and Democracy: A History of the National Union of Public Employees Vol 2 1928-1993
  10. ^ The T&G Story: A History of the Transport and General Workers Union
  11. ^ a b c Jennifer Howard "Readers of Marx and Engels Decry Publisher’s Assertion of Copyright", Chronicle of Higher Education, 29 April 2014
  12. ^ a b Noam Cohen "Claiming a Copyright on Marx? How Uncomradely", New York Times, 30 April 2014
  13. ^ a b Hector Tobar "Radicals fight over a Karl Marx copyright", Los Angeles Times, 29 April 2014

External links[edit]