Nina Fishman was a political historian, thinker and activist whose death in 2009 has robbed the British left of one of its most outstanding and original personalities. Born in San Francisco, she came to England in the 1960s when her father Leslie - an academic economist and communist who had been hounded from university to university during the McCarthy era - was offered a teaching post at Warwick followed by a chair at Keele. Nina herself studied economics at Sussex, then took her doctorate in history under Eric Hobsbawm at Birkbeck. She taught shop stewards at the Harrow College of Higher Education, and when that college merged with Regent Street Poly to form the University of Westminster she joined the faculty, becoming professor of industrial and labour history in 2004. In 2007 she took early retirement and moved to Swansea University as an honorary research professor in history. She wrote two important books on the history of British communism: The British Communist Party and the Trade Unions, 1933–45 (Aldershot 1995: Scolar Press) and Arthur Horner: A Political Biography. Volume 1 1894-1944, Volume 2 1944-1968 (London 2010: Lawrence and Wishart).
However Nina was far from being an ivory tower historian and was always active in everyday politics: she was a convinced social democrat in the Eduard Bernstein tradition; a passionate advocate of worker's control who urged British unions to accept German-style co-determination through the Bullock report (against the opposition of much of the left); took a strongly anti-nationalist position on the Irish question; supported electoral reform and created the Tactical Voting 1987 campaign to help bring Labour back to power; above all she was a passionate European who strove to persuade the British Labour movement to abandon its provincial attitude and accept European integration as an opportunity rather than a threat.
This website was created by a group of her friends, colleagues and political collaborators not merely to honour Nina's memory but to collect together all her various writings into a single place where they can be a valuable resource for future political historians and activists.