Sedgwick, Peter Harold (1934-1983) socialist and author

Peter Sedgwick, c1983ADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: Peter Sedgwick was born in 1934 and brought up in Liverpool. He gained a scholarship to Balliol College Oxford where he became a communist, leaving the Communist Party in 1956 with other members of the early New Left. He then joined the Socialist Review Group later to become the International Socialists. He wrote brilliantly for the group’s press, but also involved himself deeply in all the drudgery and activities of the rank rank-and and-file members. He was always a free spirit and was bitterly opposed to the International Socialism group renaming itself as  the Socialist Workers Party in 1976, refusing to join the new organisation while always remaining a man dedicated to the far left.

Peter's magnum opus "Psychopolitics" was a critque of the discourse of mental health movements, and encompassed analyses of Foucault, Goffman, RD Laing and Szasz. He was also the translator of Victor Serge's Memoirs of a Revolutionary and Year One of the Russian Revolution, and was editing the correspondence between Leon Trotsky and Serge at the time of his death.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers of Peter Sedgwick (1934-1983), including:

  • correspondence with contemporaries and friends including Raphael Samuel, Jean McCrindle, Anna Davin, Luke Hodgkin, Stanley and Hannah Mitchell, Steven Lukes and others, 1953-1983
  • photocopies of Sedgwick's handwritten diaries, 1980-1983
  • family, biographical and personal papers, 1934-1952
  • published articles, reviews and papers regarding politics, psychology and Victor Serge, 1963-1984.


NOTE: Parts of the collection are CLOSED.