People Before Profit are proudly hosting the Dublin launch of The James Connolly Reader. The collection is edited by Shaun Harkin, a Derry-based socialist who has been active in campaigns and trade union struggles both in Ireland and the United States.
James Connolly remains a towering figure in Irish history and political thought yet his ideas remain neglected or misunderstood. Framed by many as a nationalist whose politics did not extend past ending British rule, it is possible to forget that Connolly was a socialist who wanted radical changes in how society was run and operated.
Connolly rejected moderate demands and an accommodation with the system. He was very clear that “the day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go”. Women’s rights were central to Connolly’s vision of a socialist Ireland: “the working class of Ireland must cheer on the efforts of those women who, feeling on their souls and bodies the fetters of the ages, have arisen to strike them off”.
As a socialist and anti-imperialist, Connolly’s analysis remains as relevant as ever as we consider issues such as the crisis of capitalism, women’s liberation, the national question and the continuing injustices of landlordism.
The James Connolly Reader collects the texts and speeches necessary to understand Connolly’s political thought. Harkin’s impressive introduction allows the reader to appreciate Connolly’s writings in the context of his time whilst also providing lessons for today.
Join us in the Central Hotel, Dublin, at 7pm on the 21st September for the launch of an exciting and welcome addition to socialist thought and activism on this island.
“A book that should be on school shelves, as much as those of someone who wishes for a fairer society. Essential.” – The Irish Times