Ralph Fox

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Fox, Ralph


Born Mar. 30, 1900, in Halifax, Nova Scotia; died Jan. 2, 1937, near Córdoba, Spain. British writer and historian. Member of the Communist Party of Great Britain from 1925.

Fox graduated from Oxford University in 1918. He first visited the Soviet Union in 1920, and from 1930 to 1932 he worked at the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute in Moscow. Fox died in action while serving as assistant political commissioner of the Anglo-Irish Brigade of the International Legion during the national revolutionary war of the Spanish people (1936–39).

Writing from a Marxist point of view, Fox dealt with contemporary problems in his critical works on literature and history, which included articles on J. Galsworthy and H. G. Wells, and the works Lenin: A Biography (1933), The Class Struggle in Britain (1933), and Portugal Now (1937; Russian translation, 1937). His article “In Defence of Communism: A Reply to Harold Laski” helped propagandize Marxism-Leninism in Great Britain and criticized the reformist views of Labour Party ideologists.

Fox summed up his views in The Novel and the People (published 1937), in which he wrote with great conviction on the exhaustion of contemporary bourgeois culture and the prospects of the arts developing in the vein of socialist realism. As a critic and fiction writer, for example, in his collection of sketches and stories People of the Steppes (1925) and his novel Storming Heaven (1928), he persistently warned against the use of socialist realism in a narrow and purely political manner. Fox, however, overestimated the importance of 18th-century literature and underestimated the critical realism of the 19th century. Like many Marxist literary scholars of the 1930’s, he attached undue importance to vulgar sociologism.


Ralph Fox: A Writer in Arms. London, 1937.
In Russian translation:
Angliiskaia kolonial’naia politika. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Roman i narod. Moscow, 1960.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
Ivasheva, V. V. Angliiskaia literatura XX v. Moscow, 1967.


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