From the Summer 1976 issue of The Western Socialist
Mr. Gilbert McClatchie, author and lecturer on Socialist theory, died in London on Tuesday at the age of 87. For over 30 years editor of the Socialist Standard, he was an authority on the historical basis of Marxism. His latest work, Historical Materialism, was published in 1975 by The Socialist Party of Great Britain. He was also the author of The Communist Manifesto and the Last 100 Years, which was written in 1948 on the one-hundredth anniversary of the original, and is now a collectors’ item.
For many years he ran a bookshop behind Baker Street and he accumulated what is probably the only comprehensive private library in the United Kingdom of eighteenth and nineteenth century works on political economy and sociology. Even at the age of 80 he was still lecturing throughout America and Canada. He was a critic of certain aspects of Marxian theory and was anything but an unquestioning disciple. The SPGB, which he joined in 1910, nominated him as parliamentary candidate for Paddington North in the 1950s.
He was an Irishman, but a severe critic and opponent of the Irish Nationalists of the 1916 Easter period, with whom he was on personal terms, including James Connolly and most of the old members of Sinn Fein. A man of mild temper, infinite patience and intellectual integrity, he was the exact opposite of what passes these days as a revolutionary. His contribution to an understanding of the contemporary problems facing society was useful and will endure.
Reprint of news item from the London Times.