Blog of the AMM

Peter Sedgwick

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Peter Sedgwick grew up in Liverpool and won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he became a member of the Communist Party. In 1956, after the Hungarian Revolution, he left and joined the Socialist Review Group, later the International Socialists. He wrote for the group’s press while also getting involved in the activities of rank-and-file members. He was opposed to the International Socialists’ renaming themselves the Socialist Workers Party in January 1977 and refused to join the new organisation. However, he remained dedicated to the far left. For the 15 years until his death Sedgwick earned his living as a lecturer in politics at the Universities of York and Leeds. In his book Psycho Politics (1982) he explained the severe reductions in psychiatric services that were already taking place, and criticised the anti-psychiatry writers Foucault, R.D. Laing and Thomas Szasz, whose work was used to justify, or undermine criticism of, spending cuts.

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