The Lost World of British Communism (Hardcover)

By Raphael Samuel, Alison Light (Preface by)

Verso, 9781844671038, 244pp.

Publication Date: November 17, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/31/2017)

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The Lost World of British Communism is a vivid account of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Raphael Samuel, one of post-war Britain’s most notable historians, draws on novels of the period and childhood recollections of London’s East End, as well as memoirs and Party archives, to evoke the world of British Communism in the 1940s. Samuel conjures up the era when the movement was at the height of its political and theoretical power, brilliantly bringing to life an age in which the Communist Party enjoyed huge prestige as a bulwark for the struggles against fascism and colonialism.

About the Author

Raphael Samuel (1934–1996) taught History at Ruskin College, Oxford, and was a founding editor of History Workshop Journal. His works include Theatres of Memory and Island Stories, also from Verso. For more information about his work, see the Raphael Samuel History Centre and Archive online.

Praise For The Lost World of British Communism

“An unparalleled account of the Communist Party at the height of its theoretical power and influence.”
London Review of Books

“Raphael Samuel gave new meaning to the idea of history … He brought to the writing and popularisation of history a seemingly inexhaustible energy and creativity.”
—Gareth Stedman Jones, Independent

“Samuel was born to be an historian. He had the vital quality of living at the same time in the past, the present and the future. Everything interested him, from public health to colonial rebellion and from street lighting to street fighting.”

“You can’t know the times without knowing the party, and Samuel makes an excellent guide to it.”

“Shows Samuel at his very best as both a historian and writer.”

“The best book on the subject”
—Martin Kettle, New Statesman