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Radical Unionism
The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism
Though often seen as opposing ideas, Darlington engagingly traces the entwined legacy of revolutionary syndicalism and the communist movement.
During the first two decades of the twentieth century the ideas of revolutionary syndicalism developed into a major influence within the trade union movement. Committed to destroying capitalism through direct industrial action and revolutionary trade union struggle, the movement raised fundamental questions for activists across the world.

Radical Unionism provides an analysis of the dynamics and trajectory of the syndicalist movement in six specific countries: France, Spain, Italy, America, Britain and Ireland, and provides a systematic examination of the relationship between syndicalism and communism.
Reviews

  • "[Radical Unionism] is a rich text and source of information. It deserves to and no doubt will become a standard point of reference for anyone wishing to understand the nature of syndicalism in the period under question."
    — Martin Upchurch, Journal of Industrial Relations

    "This is a very valuable, well thought out and useful volume. . . . Darlington's work will remain a touchstone for scholarly debate on syndicalism for years to come."
    European History Quarterly

    "Darlington’s book impressively pulls together the diverse literature on syndicalism. But more importantly, by looking at syndicalist politics thematically and studying their often stormy relationship with the Communists after the Russian Revolution, he has done a service to all those grappling today with how to engage with the politics of trade unions and political trade unionism."
    —Simon Basketer, International Socialism

    "All in all, Darlington has delivered an informative representation of syndicalism that highlights its essential features and lays out the debates and experiences that defined it in a clearly constructed synthesis."
    International Journal of Social History

    "Overall, then, it represents an ambitious and insightful attempt to synthesize a substantial volume of material."
    Labor History Review

    "Informed, informative, enhanced with an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive index, "Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism" is an extraordinary work of seminal scholarship and highly recommended for academic library collections."
    The Midwest Book review