Keir Hardie, From Serfdom to Socialism
Introduced and edited by John Callow

John Callow’s splendid new edition of James Keir Hardie’s great work From Serfdom to Socialism – the first new edition since 1974 – not only commemorates the centenary of Hardie’s death but also arrives at an important time in the Labour Party’s history. The current period of left-wing reinvigoration after the neo-liberalism of the Blair and Brown years, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader taking the party in a new (old?) direction, and frantic attempts to undermine the political left by the right-wing media and ideologues gives the twenty-first-century reader a flavour of what Hardie would have battled against as he attempted to convince his readers of the necessity of socialism.

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Reviewed by Deborah Mutch - De Montfort University, Leicester - Cercles, October 2015.

Our Flag Stays Red

‘persuasively argued’

Weekly Worker, 18 January 2007.

The Making of King James II

‘Both a considerable addition to our knowledge of the Restoration period and an overturning of the traditional view of James himself. In effect, he is revealed from good evidence to have been the ham-fisted, opinionated, inept and disastrous individual that the great Victorians declared him to be from prejudice’.

Professor Ronald Hutton, September 2000.

King in Exile

‘Impressively researched and stylishly written, this completion of Callow’s two-volume study of the ill-starred king provides us with the most perceptive and detailed biography we have, not only of James II, but of any of the Stuart monarchs’.

Professor John Adamson, The Sunday Telegraph,
26 December 2004.

‘This is an historical work that, despite its subject, is worthy of any republican bookshelf’.

Morning Star, 10 January 2005.

‘This is an excellent and thoroughly researched work on a little known aspect of a period that greatly affected Ireland. Indeed, this should be a standard work for anyone who wants to understand the period which led to the vicious Penal Laws and the myths of the Boyne … it is essential reading’.

Peter Berresford Ellis, Irish Democrat, February 2005.

‘splendid narrative passages … Callow’s masterly book is full of interesting analysis and description’.

John Pollock, Church of England Newspaper,
11 February 2005.

‘A realistic, well-researched account of the last Catholic king of Britain and his desperate plight’.

The Good Book Guide, February 2005.

‘A highly commendable piece of revisionist work which will become required reading for all historians of the Stuarts, Jacobites and English Catholics’.

Leo Gooch in Recusant History, Vol.28 no.1.


Professor V.A. McLellan, Editor, Recusant History.

‘John Callow tells this melancholy tale with scholarly fairness and psychological insight’.

BBC History, March 2005.


‘Groundbreaking new study reassesses James’s strategy for dealing with his downfall and exile’.

Richard Brown, Ken Trotman Books, December 2004.

James II - The Triumph & the Tragedy

‘This is a superb book in the admirable series, English Monarchs, produced by the National Archives. It is a pleasure to review volume that is extremely well and clearly written, with an attractive and well thought-out format … This book would be very useful, and highly enjoyable, for A level students, younger secondary pupils and, I am certain, undergraduates. In fact, anyone interested in history could gain pleasure and glean information from this delightful publication’.

Alison Hurst, The School Librarian, December 2005.

‘This is a must for anyone wanting a basic introduction to this troubled man, from his childhood … to his short-lived reign and ultimate exile … access to the archives make the book all the more fascinating, with reproductions of key documents in the monarch’s own hand’.

Family History, September 2005.

Our Flag Stays Red

‘Written in 1948 … this reissue of a communist classic is as fresh and relevant as the day it was first published. Worth obtaining a new copy just for the excellent and well-researched introduction by John Callow, which is complimented by photos from the archives of the Marx Memorial Library … this is a work that deserves to be read and reread in a political climate that uncannily bears many characteristics of an earlier period in working-class history’.

Geoff Bottoms in Morning Star, 11 September 2006.