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Hyndman, Henry Mayers

Hyndman, Henry Mayers (1842–1921). Socialist. Born into riches—the West Indian fortune of his grandfather— Hyndman was converted to Marxism by reading Das Kapital on board an Atlantic steamer on a business trip. In 1881 he published a kind of précis of it under the title England for All, which he distributed to delegates at the first (Social) Democratic Federation conference in order to convert them to socialism. This irritated Marx, because Hyndman had not mentioned him by name. From 1884 he edited the leading British Marxist journal Justice. A committed anti-imperialist, he opposed the Boer war, but then supported the First World War, which estranged him from most of his fellow-socialists. He also apparently alienated working people by his extremism, and his habit of quoting from Virgil in Latin in his speeches to them. He is probably the only western Marxist leader ever to have played county cricket for Sussex; but that was before he saw the light.

Bernard Porter

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Hyndman, Henry Mayers

Henry Mayers Hyndman (hīnd´mən), 1842–1921, English Socialist, an early advocate of Marxism in England. He was a journalist by profession. In 1881 he founded the parent organization of the Social Democratic Federation, which in 1911 became the British Socialist party, with Hyndman as chairman. In World War I the party was disrupted, many members becoming Communists. Hyndman reorganized the Social Democratic Federation in 1920. Among his works are The Historical Basis of Socialism (1883), The Economics of Socialism (2d ed. 1896), A Record of an Adventurous Life (1911), and Further Reminiscences (1912).

See biography by R. Hyndman (1923); study by C. Tsuzuki (1961).

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