Publication Details

Cahill, Rowan, (2000). The Muggletonian Message: E. P. Thompson, William Blake and Intellectual Radicalism. Hummer, 3 (4), 1-3.

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I read Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law (Cambridge University Press) soon after it was published in 1993, and following the death that same year of its author, veteran radical historian and anti-nuclear campaigner E P Thompson.

I found the book a source of strength because it dealt with themes and issues I was grappling with as the Greedy 1980s gave way to the Economic Rationalism of the 1990s, corporate banditry, and as post-Cold War intellectuals heaped scorn on anyone who still took socialism and/or Marxism seriously. For me Thompson’s book was a statement of radical affirmation: it was about the passing on of radical faith across generations and centuries; it was about how the no-names of history, those people and outfits not listed amongst history’s winners, may, in a sense, be the real winners.