Introduce by Ken Coates
The first secretary of the Independent Labour Party, the President of the dockers’ union, the first General Secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union: a mere roster of the positions he held in the Labour Movement, of which this is a tiny fraction, would establish Tom Mann as a Pioneer. But what he did was always more impressive than the positions from which he did it. He was an initiator, a catalyst, a goad to action. Whenever a real crisis came, his stature found its true proportions, and again and again Tom Mann became a pivot for the actions of downtrodden people. Throughout his lifetime as a militant socialist, whatever the stages of evolution of his thought, he invariably displayed a gift for finding himself at the centre of every major struggle of his time. For this reason it is important that these Memoirs, first published in 1923, should again become available.