Michael Kidron was one of the early founders of the International Socialists (IS) (forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party; SWP) through the 1960s and 1970s, and the first editor of International Socialism journal. He is perhaps best remembered for writing 'The State of The World Atlas', jointly with Ronald Segal and Dan Smith. His archival collection largely comprises of fascinating correspondence he had with various socialist contemporaries with over 300 individual letters. The wonderful feature of this collection is that it has been catalogued to file/letter level, which means that almost every letter is identified as an individual record with the correspondent’s name the title of the record. A contact of Kidron’s also kindly offered various detailed descriptions of each piece of correspondence, which has been incorporated into the catalogue and offers an immense level of detail and information.
Highlights in this collection include Kidron’s correspondence with noted socialists such as Raymond Challinor, Marxist historian, who discuss the state of left wing politics in the 1950s and Wilebaldo Solano, Spanish Communist activist during the Spanish Civil War, on socialism in Cuba. There are also materials relating specifically to the journal International Socialism during its formative years (1960-1963) where Kidron played a key role, as well as Kidron’s time as a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of California, where he taught a course, dealing with the impact of large and permanent military establishments. Overall this collection is an excellent source of information for anyone interested in left wing and socialist movements in the United Kingdom, and abroad, in the second half of the 20th century.