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By Tony Cliff

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Introduction by way of Paul Foot The autobiogrphy of the founding father of the Socialist staff celebration who many give some thought to the only so much influential socialist innovative to have emerged in post-war Britain. It charts Cliff's impressive improvement from an impoverished Palestine within the Thirties, the place he used to be prompted by way of the writing of Trotsky, to a upset Blairite Britain, the place he was once instrumental within the development of a mass-based innovative occasion up until eventually his demise in April 2000.

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His name was Jabra Nicola, a really brilliant man. W hile editor of El Nur, Jabra earned his living as a journalist on a bourgeois Arabic daily. He worked during the night. Every day at the end of his shift I would meet him and discuss with him for three or four hours. After nearly a month I convinced him. Perhaps he was also motivated by 23 A WORLD TO WIN the prospect of not being pestered any longer! This was a really great achievement. To grasp the harsh conditions under which Jabra lived, I shall relate one incident.

There was a funny aspect to the prison. In its library one could find a book called Capital in the geography section. But when one of the prisoners received by post the novel by Stendhal called Red and Black, he was not allowed to have it because political books were banned. Facing the paucity of literature I did two things: first I decided to learn French, so I took Jules Verne’s A round the World in Eighty Days in French, together with its translation into English, and read them sentence by sentence.

For example, in one part of the Bible all Israelites were entitled to participate in eating from the altar after the sacrifice. In another only the priests (Cohenim) were entitled to do so. Elsewhere there was differentiation among the priests, between Cohenim and Levis. So one could decide which part of the Bible was written earlier and which later according to the religious customs described. And this gave an opening to look at other aspects of the time. T he standard prac­ tice among Bible experts was to look at the style of language as the key to decide the order in which the different parts of the Bible were written.

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