Reference number
  • CLI
  • 1940s-2002
  • Collection
  • Publications by Cliff, 1946-2002, and by others, 1943-1999; draft books, articles and speeches, c1940s-2000; notes, 1940s-1990s; bibliography of works, 2002; personalia, 1945-2000.
  • 9 boxes
Admin history
  • Tony Cliff was born in Palestine in 1917 with the name Ygael Gluckstein. He became a Trotskyist in the 1930s and emigrated to Britain shortly after the Second World War, where he joined the main Trotskyist group, the Revolutionary Communist Party. After writing 'State Capitalism in Russia', which advanced the theory that the Soviet Union was a state capitalist entity, Cliff was expelled from the Revolutionary Communist Party and formed the Socialist Review Group in 1951. This group initially comprised Cliff and a small group of his adherents. It operated within the Labour Party and became known as the International Socialists. In the mid 1960s the International Socialists changed tactics and began to operate independently. The International Socialists became the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 1977. The SWP launched the Anti-Nazi League in 1977 and partly as a result its membership grew rapidly at that time. Tony Cliff was the author of a number of books, which explained his theories. These books included biographies of Lenin and Trotsky, and 'State Capitalism in Russia', republished by the Pluto Press in 1974. Tony Cliff died in April 2000, at which time the SWP had over 10,000 members.
    Reference: Tony Cliff, 'A World to Win: Life of a revolutionary' (2000, London).
  • This collection has been weeded for duplicates.
Finding aids
  • An authority record exists for Tony Cliff (GB 0152 AAR2260).
Access status
  • Open
Related Material
  • The Centre also holds the Tarbuck papers (MSS.75), which include archives of the Socialist Review Group and Revolutionary Communist Party. Records of International Socialists/International Socialism Group members Richard Hyman (MSS.84), Steve Jefferys (MSS.244), Richard Kuper (MSS.250), Alistair Mutch (MSS.284) and Stirling Smith (MSS.205) have been deposited at the Centre. In addition the Colin Barker papers (MSS.152) have also been deposited at the Centre.