Party Animals


In July 1961, Yuri Gagarin came to London. The Russian cosmonaut was everything the Aaronovitch family wished for – a popular and handsome embodiment of modern communism. But who were they, these ever hopeful, defiant and historically doomed people? They lived secretly with and parallel to the non-communist majority, sometimes persecuted, sometimes ignored, but carrying on their own ways and traditions. A memoir of early life among communists, ‘Party Animals’ first took David Aaronovitch back through his own memories of belief and action. But he found himself studying the old secret service files, uncovering the unspoken shame and fears that provided the unconscious background to his own existence as a party animal. Only then did he begin to understand what had come before – both the obstinate heroism and the monstrous cowardice.

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