This autobiography vividly evokes the battles of Red Clydeside, in which Gallacher was heavily involved, including the struggles to form workers’ and soldiers’ councils on Clydeside during the First World War and his meeting with Lenin in 1920.
No one speaks of the Red Clyde, the shop stewards movements, the establishment of the Rent Restrictions Acts, or the anti-war campaigns of 1914 – 1918 without William Gallacher emerging as one of the central figures. This autobiography relates to his early years in the Social Democratic Federation, the struggles to form workers’ and soldiers’ councils on Clydeside during the First World War and his meeting with Lenin in 1920. Gallacher gives a vivid account of the upheavals in Glasgow immediately following the war, which culminated in the Battle of George Square in 1919 and also describes the formation and turbulent early years of the British Communist Party of which he was a founding member. Revolt on the Clyde is a forceful and inspiring portrait of militant activity in an era whose struggles are still resounding today.
First published in 1936, and reprinted in 1978 with an introduction by Michael McGahey, former President of the Scottish Area of the National Union of Mineworkers, Gallacher’s book provides us with valuable insights into key years of the formation of Scotland’s distinctive political culture.