Writings of a dog of war
Wintringham lived such an action-packed life that it seems remarkable he ever found the peace to write anything, but his oeuvre runs to hundreds of thousands of words, and includes everything from autobiographical reminisences to treatises on military tactics and strategy to political polemic to spectacularly bad poetry. Now the volunteers at the magnificent Marxist Internet Archive have placed a selection of Wintringham's scribblings online.
Wintringham was not the sort of man to compose sentences for some ideal future audience - the subject and style of his writings were always dictated by the needs of the present. It is remarkable, then, how topical some of the pieces he wrote seventy or eighty years ago seem today. Wintringham's dissection of the economic crisis that gripped Britain in the early 1920s echoes uncomfortably in 2008; his discussions of the difference between guerrilla and conventional warfare, and his insistence on the ultimately political nature of all war ring true in an era when Western armies are once again entangled in Afghanistan and Iraq; and his warning about a Labour government's attempts to settle disputes between workers and bosses in the interests of bosses would probably resonate with a few Kiwi trade unionists.