Red History Wars? Communist Propaganda and the Manipulation Of Celtic History In The Thirties

Antony Howe


The theme of the 2007 Celtic Studies Foundation Conference was ‘Celts in Legend and Reality: Ancient and Modern.’ This paper looks at communist propaganda that packaged a leftist form of national history. In the British Isles this set off debate over how ‘History’ could be used and abused in the dubious service of propaganda for an avowedly internationalist Marxist party. The awkward fact of multiple national pasts was glossed over and the ‘line’ was clumsily implemented by the British party centre in London. A grab-bag of bits of ‘English’ history was adopted that ignored nearly all ‘Celtic’ history. The Scottish and Welsh party districts reacted very differently, the Scots alone successfully resisting this affront.1

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