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Communists and British Society 1920-1991

Newly accessible communist archives in Britain and Moscow have given us a fuller and richer picture of the membership of the British Communist Party than of any other British political party, and indeed of most other communist parties. This project presents the fullest and most authoritative details of the Communist Party in Britain yet assembled. It tracks down British communists: who they were, where they came from, how their allegiances were forged and sustained, how communist identities were created and dissolved, the diverse roles party members played in British society. A truly collaborative project led by academics with sustained research experience, this book will not simply deepen our understanding of one of the key social movements of the twentieth century, it will provide a social history of left-wing activism in Britain, from the social ferment and grassroots militancy of the interwar period to the cultural politics and 'designer socialism' of the 1980s. Accessible but rigorous, the book will also illuminate broader issues of history, radical politics and political sociology, including: patterns of belief and commitment; formative influences and politicisation; organisational culture; relations between organisations; processes of mobilisation; the significance of class, gender, generation, locality and ethnicity for political activism and radicalism
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Methodological foundations; Chapter One; A party not like any other; Chapter Two; Communities of the faithful; Chapter Three; Un parti national etranger; Chapter Four; Cults of leadership; Chapter Five; Generations in revolt; Chapter Six; True sons of the British working class; Chapter Seven; 'Empirical proletarians': Communists in the British trade-union movement; Chapter Eight; 'Aliens, Jews and Sinn Feiners'. The CPGB and ethnicity; Chapter Nine; Trajectories of the left; Bibliography; Index

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