Neil had been suffering from a very aggressive form of blood lymphoma for seven months. During most of that time, Neil remained optimistic and kept up his incredible work rate.
Neil was the author of nearly 20 books, including the ambitious Radical History of the World that has just been translated into Chinese. He was the author of books on historical topics as varied as Lawrence of Arabia and the first great Jewish revolt against Rome, as well as contemporary political issues like Creeping Fascism and System Crash. He was also the editor of Military History Matters magazine.
All Neil’s work was aimed at transmitting the heritage of Marxism, and its relevance to contemporary struggle, especially to young people. Since the merger of Mutiny and Socialist Resistance to form the ACR, he had played a leading role in the organisation, both on its steering committee and on the editorial board of its very successful website.
Neil’s death is an irreparable loss for the ACR, for his partner Lucy and the rest of his family, and for his many friends and collaborators, both in the socialist movement and in the archaeological community. During his illness, he felt that he had never been so productive. All the more tragic that he should have died at what is today a very early age and when his future work would have been immensely valuable.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance will be publishing details of commemorative events and more detailed tributes. We send our solidarity to his family, and assure all his comrades, inside and outside the ACR, that we will continue his struggle, and like him never give up.
Below are just some of the articles written by Neil for the ACR website, they capture what a wonderful writer he was and with every word his revolutionary spirit leaps off the page. We will miss you comrade.
That is very sad news. I first met Neil at meetings of the University Left at Cambridge in 1980 where he was a leading and very dynamic and forceful character in organising against apartheid and one particular protest where we bailed up the Chilean ambassador, forcing him to escape over the roof. I have copies of several of Neil’s books on my shelves, he was a gifted writer, committed to the underdog. It’s rare that revolutionaries stick to their guns their whole lives; Neil was a model in that respect, never giving up the fight.
On 5 January you posted my review of Neil’s excellent ‘Alienation Spectacle and Revolution’. Recovering from serious surgery myself, I was prompted to write this by Rob Marsden, and putting my mind to something definitely helped me regain focus and enthusiasm. Neil responded with ‘warm thanks’, which I appreciated very much. So you can imagine how shocked & devastated I was to learn of Neil’s death from Rob. The loss of Neil will be deeply felt in the revolutionary movement and my thoughts are with his family, friends and comrades at this difficult time.