Rajani Palme Dutt


The Perse School
Hills Road
Cambridge, CB2 8QF
United Kingdom
52° 10' 50.9988" N, 0° 8' 18.9996" E
Balliol College
Broad Street
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom
51° 45' 16.3368" N, 1° 15' 18.3276" W
Highgate N6 5JF
United Kingdom
51° 34' 36.0984" N, 0° 9' 26.9784" W
Date of birth: 
19 Jun 1896
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
20 Dec 1974
Location of death: 
Highgate, London

Rajani Palme Dutt was born at Cambridge to Upendra Krishna Dutt and Anna Palme. Dutt's family household was a meeting place for visiting Indian nationalist leaders and leading figures in the British labour movement. Educated at the Perse School, Cambridge (1907) and Balliol College, Oxford. He immediately joined the Independent Labour Party on his arrival at Oxford, opposed the war as a conflict of rival imperialisms, and was imprisoned in 1916 for refusing the draft.

Dutt was a founding member of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1920 and was editor of Labour Monthly, which was prefaced by Dutt's 'Notes of the Month'.From 1923, he edited Workers' Weekly.

He was a staunch supporter of Leninism and Stalinism and saw the British state as having fascist tendencies, evidenced by the British empire. After the Second World War, Dutt continued working for the CPGB. He died in Highgate, London, on 20 December 1974.

Published works: 

Communism (Bombay: Hindusthan, 192-)

The Two Internationals (London: Labour Research Department; Allen & Unwin, 1920)

The Labour International Handbook (London: Labour Publishing Co.; Allen & Unwin, 1921)

Empire "Socialism" (London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1925)

Modern India (Bombay: Sunshine Publishing House, 1926)

Socialism and the Living Wage (London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1927)

The Election and the Coming War (London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1929)

Capitalism or Socialism in Britain? (London, 1931)

Fight for the Workers' Charter (London: Minority Movement, 1931)

Crisis: Tariffs: War (London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1932)

Lenin (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1933)

Fascism and Social Revolution (London: Martin Lawrence, 1934)

Life and Teachings of V. I. Lenin (New York: International Publishers, 1934)

(with Ben Bradley) Indian Politics: Anti-Imperialist People's Front: Towards Trade Union Unity (London: Ben Bradley, 1936)

World Politics, 1918-1936 (London: Victor Gollancz, 1936)

The Political and Social Doctrine of Communism (London: Hogarth Press, 1938)

Why This War? (London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1939)

India Today (London: Victor Gollancz, 1940)

The New Order in Britain (London: Labour Monthly War Pamphlet, 1941)

(with Ivor Goldsmid Samuel Montagu) Ruby Star (London: Labour Monthly, 1941)

25 Years [On the U.S.S.R., 1917-1942] (London: Labour Monthly, 1942)

Britain in the World Front (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1942)

A Guide to the Problem of India (London: Victor Gollancz, 1942)

India: What Must be Done (London: Labour Monthly, 1942)

The Problem of India (Toronto: Progress Books, 1943)

The Road to Labour Unity (London: Labour Monthly, 1943)

Freedom for India (London: The Communist Party, 1946)

R. P. Dutt in India: Souvenir of His Travels (London: London District Committee Communist Party, 1946)

How to Save Peace (London: Communist Party, 1948)

Britain's Crisis of Empire (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1949)

Empire War Plans (London: Trinity Trust, 1949)

Whither India?  (London: Trinity Trust, 1949)

(with Ernest Bevin) Mr. Bevin's Record (London: Trinity Trust, 1950)

(with George Bernard Shaw) George Bernard Shaw: A Memoir by R. P. Dutt, and 'The Dictatorship of the Proletariat', the Famous 1921 Article by George Bernard Shaw (London: Labour Monthly, 1951)

The Crisis of Britain and the British Empire (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1953)

Stand by Congo (London: Communist Party, 1960)

Problems of Contemporary History: Lectures Delivered on the Occasion of the Award of an Honorary Doctorate of History at Moscow University in April and May, 1962 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1963)

Pamphlets on Political Questions (1919-64)

The Internationale (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1964)

India in Travail (London: Labour Monthly, 1967)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Labour Monthly

Worker's Weekly

Secondary works: 

Brockway, Fenner, Inside the Left: Thirty Years of Platform, Press, Prison and Parliament (London: Allen & Unwin, 1942)

Callaghan, John, Rajani Palme Dutt: A Study in British Stalinism (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1993)

Callaghan, John, 'Dutt, (Rajani) Palme (1896–1974)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31055]

King, Francis, and George Matthews, About-Turn: The British Communist Party and the Second World War (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1990)

Morgan, Kevin, Harry Pollitt: Lives of the Left (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993)

Archive source: 

Memoranda, out-letters, reports, TS articles, etc., CUP 1262 K1–K6, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence and papers incl. logbooks of notes, etc.,  JRL, Labour History Archive and Study Centre

Working Class History Library, Salford

Correspondence with Harry Pollitt, JRL, Labour History Archive and Study Centre

Correspondence with John Strachey, private collection

Correspondence with R. Page Arnot, Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull

Correspondence with Victor Gollancz, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Oral history interview, Imperial War Museum, Sound Archive, London

Archives of the CPGB, Labour History Archive, University of Central Lancashire